Women in Science: The Female Entrepreneurs Paving the Way

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Friday 11 February is the United Nations’ International Day of Women and Girls in Science, intended to recognise women as agents of change in the scientific community and promote equality across the fields of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). 

Recent data shows that women make up just 24% of the core STEM workforce with key barriers to this sector including gender stereotypes, male-dominated work cultures, and fewer female role models.

These Hatch founders are paving the way for more diversity in STEM and share their motivations for starting their own businesses, the challenges they have had to overcome, and how joining a Hatch programme has helped them grow their business.

Amy Davis: Hexarad

Amy Davis is the co-founder of Hexarad, a radiology technology company providing remote, specialist clinical reporting on diagnostic images to both NHS and private healthcare providers. Hexarad combines its network of expert radiologists and innovative technology solutions to help hospitals and health providers better manage their own resources, and ultimately speed up diagnoses for patients.

Amy and her co-founder Farzana are both consultant radiologists and have used their clinical experience to pinpoint the most significant problems facing the sector, particularly in response to the nationwide shortage of radiologists and huge and growing treatment backlog caused by the pandemic.

“I would love to see more women in STEM as well as more women in leadership roles in business as well as healthcare. One of the great things about Hatch was the community of like minded women and mutual support which helped me to overcome (to a certain extent) my imposter syndrome. "

Joana Moscoso: Native Scientist

Joana co-founded her company Native Scientist to broaden the horizons of underserved children by connecting them with scientists after identifying the disparity in children’s science education 

She explains “at Native Scientist, we work towards the day when every child feels ‘I can be a scientist if I want to.’” and envisions a world where the full potential of every child can be met. 

Native Scientist develops, delivers, and evaluates science outreach and education programmes focused on connecting scientists and children with a shared background to broaden children’s horizons and promote a fair and quality science education.

Kavitha Ravindran and Rajeshwari Iyer: sAInaptic

Kavitha and Rajeshwari founded the artificial intelligence-driven online learning platform sAInaptic as an interactive revision tool for GCSE students studying science.  

Students receive instant feedback on exam-style questions in the form of a predictive score and qualitative information for improvement which allows them to develop their high-order analytical skills. 

This technology is making practical feedback more accessible to students, removing barriers to quality education that can hold students back including overburdened teachers and under-resourced schools. 

Through creating sAInaptic Kavitha and Rajeshwari hope to support more young girls with their ambitions to pursue science in further education and beyond, but they believe that to truly tackle gender disparity in STEM we need more representation of women in science.

“This will change only when we actively create awareness and provide opportunities for young girls to interact and engage with women in STEM straight from their early years through to the time when they are in universities. School assembly talks should include female data scientists, entrepreneurs, and engineers alongside football players!”

Keya Lamba and Shweta Bahri: Earth Warriors

Avid educationalists Keya and Shweta founded Earth Warriors to provide a comprehensive climate education school curriculum for 3-11 year olds using a positive and empowering approach. Its mission is to tackle the climate crisis by empowering 2 billion children to take action through age-appropriate climate education.

In their research they discovered that there was no comprehensive curriculum focused on climate change and sustainability for children in preschool and elementary school. This is despite a demand for climate education from teachers, parents and children themselves. 

“We hope our positive and empowering approach will inspire young students, especially young girls, to pursue careers in STEM. Earth Warriors is currently being rolled out in schools in the UK, the US, Botswana, and India, and we as the co-founders remain dedicated to our mission of bringing the programme to as many teachers and children around the world as possible.

Reedah El-Saie: Xplorealms

Xplorealms is a multi-award winning education technology startup, building a meta-verse of free culturally nuanced, immersive, educational mobile games aligned with the British national curriculum, for 7-14 year olds.

Reedah wanted to build a fun, engaging and immersive app, which accelerated learning, but was aligned with the British national curriculum and engaged all children.

It was also important to her to showcase and celebrate contributions of diverse characters to science, arts, and humanities and engage neurodiverse and vulnerable children so she undertook months of research with a focus on ‘learning through play’.

Diversity in STEM is the key to innovation. Diverse people bring a range of different perspectives and insight.

Ruby Lee: Studio 77

Founded by Ruby, Studio 77 is a website design and branding studio focused on empowering sustainable businesses through strategic and sophisticated design. 

Ruby explains, “Studio 77 was born out of frustration, passion for design, and a lack of women in creative director roles. In 2019 only 0.1% of creative agencies were founded by those who identify as women.

“With a strategically designed website, a beautiful brand, and a killer business idea, I truly believe anything is possible – and I want to help people achieve that ‘anything!’”

"I wanted to show other women who thought they 'weren’t good enough’ that it was very possible for us to pioneer these types of roles."

Samantha Kidjo: ICI CARE

ICI CARE, founded by Samantha,  is an impact driven business on a mission to end inequalities through hair. It creates personalised and sustainable hair care products with a focus on afro and curly hair.

Samantha offers an alternative to wasteful products and guarantees a 100% toxic-free ingredients chart. At ICI CARE all hair is beautiful and haircare is a holistic self-care ritual. 

“While the beauty industry is mainly catered towards women, it is still dominated by men. As a female founder I still have to constantly prove myself as a legitimate founder.”

Samantha has a background in material science and engineering, and believes that there should be more women in STEM.

“There is still so much misconception around STEM careers. We need to start the work early by making it normal for girls to get into STEM. Sharing stories, opportunities and breaking the idea that STEM is not compatible with womanhood."

All of these Hatch founders have truly become agents of change in their sectors, with businesses like these showing women and girls that they do have a place in the scientific community. At Hatch we want to support even more changemakers across STEM fields and beyond to imagine, launch, and grow the business that they are passionate about.

Our next round of programmes will be launching in May with applications live now. Visit our programmes page now to apply or get in touch to discover how we can support you on your entrepreneurship journey! 

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