02 Sep “We need more entrepreneurs” – meet the woman headlining the Women in Tech Festival 2019
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon has worked on STEM subjects with more than 40,000 young people, and is now trying to encourage more women to embrace entrepreneurship
Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon is, by all accounts, a child prodigy and an entrepreneur. In 2001 she became the youngest girl to ever pass A-level computing, at the age of 11, and in 2013 founded her own organisation, Stemettes. As she talks to us, she bring up the glaring imbalance in the number of female versus male entrepreneurs in the UK tech sector, even today:
“If you want to start a business, that’s a lot of risk, and some women are not in a position to take on additional risk because of home responsibilities placed upon them.”
Imafidon graduated from the University of Oxford with a Master’s Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science in 2010. Predictably, the employment offers came thick and fast, from companies including Goldman Sachs, HP and Deutsche Bank.
Stemettes is a social initiative that aims to draw the next generation of young women into STEM sectors. It has already worked with more than 40,000 young people across Europe.
But Imafidon is also calling on tech firms to have a better awareness of the hurdles facing women who want to get their own business off the ground.
“You might need capital. And of course, if we look at wealth distribution as well, many women cannot afford to dip into that capital. So, there are quite a few things that can get in the way of what it means, mechanically, to become an entrepreneur, or to start a business and even to be a leader.
“There’s also the issue that there may be elements of experience you need and if you’re not promoted earlier on in your career, or don’t get given the projects you need to learn more, then you could find it more difficult to become a leader.”