What’s holding women back?
“We’ve achieved a great deal, but it was tough to get the venture off the ground. The tech scene is still male-dominated. There are usually few women in the room. When you are a woman pitching a female-focused product to male VCs, you often have to build a sense of empathy and get them to see the potential. You need to have the confidence in yourself and the knowledge to get them on board.”
The benefits of bi-directional mentorship
“One of the major challenges facing women in general is overcoming issues with self-doubt. There are plenty of factors out there in the business or tech environment that already make it more difficult to succeed, but sometimes women can make it more difficult for themselves by having a higher level of self-doubt than men. We have a tendency to take failure more to heart and can be more risk-averse at times. We need to understand that failure is normal."
“STEMgem is already playing its part in addressing this by encouraging girls to experiment, prototype and design their own creations using real-world tools and coding. Another way of encouraging self-belief among women is through mentorship. I believe that women should hold together, giving and receiving support from each other. My LBS network works this way. We support each other in a way that is bi-directional so that everyone prospers.”
“Female role models are of critical importance. In December 2017, I founded Bridge to Afghanistan, a mentorship programme that connects young women in Kabul to female mentors via Skype. The goal is to help Afghan girls broaden their exposure, improve their employability skills, and cultivate the confidence to just go for it."
“I’d like to see a world in which women feel the confidence to dream big, to go for their goals, to fail and learn from failure and to be true to their authentic selves.”