Leading Innovation In FemTech:
How to Close the Data Gap in Female Biology

In our first conference for the Think Tank for Women in Business & Technology, I mentioned my hypothesis around the relationship between biology, the environment, and the self. I explained how information or data connects these elements. Let me refresh your memory with an analogy.

Think about biology, environment, and the self as flowers in a garden.  Now think of information, or data, as the insects that sit on the flowers and help the pollination process. 

Data is the essence of what helps living beings to communicate and propagate.  The more data we have the more capable and intelligent we become in responding to the limitations of our biology, and environment.

I argue that there is a significant gap in the flow of data to women, and about women. You can find my complete argument in the report of our September 10th Conference on FemTalent.com. 

In our third conference on 15th of December 2020 we will be focusing on the data gap with regards to our understanding of female biology and exploring the technological and business implication of this, including the opportunities and the challenges ahead. This is a field that is appropriately referred to as FemTech. Let me give you some examples of the kind of data gap that I’m talking about. 

  • Did you know? Women face adverse reactions to drugs twice as often as men because drug dosages have historically been based on clinical trials conducted on men, (ScienceDaily, 2020)
  • Did you know that Female subjects have historically been excluded from toxicology or biomedical research, according Tamarra James-Todd, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School.
  • Did you know that 52% of women have experienced period pain that affects their ability to work, but only 27% had told their employers about it. (BBC, 2016).
  • Did you know that women are historically underrepresented in cardiovascular research because they often have different symptoms than men. Due to this, women are less likely to survive a heart attack, particularly when treated by a male doctor (Quartz, 2019).
  • Did you know that one in four women considers leaving work due to menopause (ITV, 2016)

 Historically, we’ve known so little about female biology and psychology. As a result, women have been kept away from many political, economic, and scientific endeavors.

It is in human nature to fear what they don’t understand and to attempt to contain it if they can. Women have therefore been contained on so many levels, which manifested itself differently in different cultures and at different times.

Our third conference for Women in Business & Technology is on the topic of “Leading Innovation In FemTech, and we aim to answer these questions:

Why is it important to close the data gap in our understanding of female biology?

How is our lack of understanding of female biology impacting women’s quality of life around the world?

Most importantly, we would like to explore opportunities for entrepreneurs and scientists, both men and women, building businesses and innovative technologies in FemTech.

This is especially important as we enter a new era of merging with artificial intelligence and gene editing with so much research going into enabling a symbiotic relationship between humans and machines.

Think about the research and development currently undertaken by Elon Musk’s Neuralink.

As exciting as these initiatives can be, my worry is that once again women could be left in the shadows as these technologies are developed if we don’t actively get involved, raise investment and build female led initiatives. And so the biases live on, keeping us ever more behind.

At our last conference, we received over 100 proposal submissions for the panel and we had only a dozen spaces. As always, our aim is to curate the most thought-provoking and engaging panel for you.

If you wish to be part of the panel please submit your proposal through femtalent.com/events/december2020

Panel - Part 1

Somi Arian

Somi Arian is a tech philosopher, multi-award-winning filmmaker, author, entrepreneur, and a LinkedIn-Top-Voice in the UK. Somi is researching women’s socioeconomic position in society and why, historically, women have been held back in science, technology, and the business landscape and how to change this narrative. This is why she started this Think Tank.

Mitzi Krockover

Mitzi Krockover is Principal and Senior Consultant at SSB Solutions. She has 20+ years of experience and focus on medicine, health and women’s issues. She is enthusiastic about opportunities that combine her skills and passion by supporting women-led entrepreneurship, women’s leadership and femtech through funding, advising, mentoring and board service.

Helene Guillaume

Helene Guillaume is the founder and CEO of WILD.AI. She studied mathematics and financial risks, was a quant in a hedge fund and management consultant to Fortune500 companies in AI. She was a rugby player; she’s an ultra-marathon runner, triathlete, and ice-swimmer.

Rick Rowan

Rick Rowan is founder and CEO of NuroKor Bioelectronics, a UK based medical technology company, specialising in non implantable electroceuticals, bioelectrical medicine, development of it’s technology and making a positive impact on quality of life on a global scale. In his former position as co-founder and CEO his consumer lifestyle medical devices were featured in Forbes list “The best healthcare gadgets and gizmos of 2018”.

Raj Bhattacharya

Dr Bhattacharya is the President of Orthopaedics at the Royal Society of Medicine and  Clinical Director of Orthopaedics at Imperial College Hospitals. He is also an active entrepreneur with a keen interest in digital technologies and how they can improve our approach to human health.

Maryon Stewart

Maryon Stewart is CEO at Healthy Wise and Well, a company focused on helping women overcome hormone-related symptoms and to reclaim their wellbeing. She is currently a regular contributor to Femail in the Daily Mail. Maryon established the Women’s Nutritional Advisory Service and Natural Health Advisory Service. With a team of 13 professionals, they pioneered a workable programme helping hundreds of thousands of women overcome their PMS, peri-menopause and Menopause symptoms with a scientifically based non-drug approach.

Min Chen

Dr Min Chen is an associate professor at Florida International University- College of Business. Her research examines information technology innovations, healthcare analytics, and issues relevant to the economics, organisation, and regulation of the U.S. health care system. She received the best professor and best course awards from FIU’s Healthcare MBA program and was invited to address stakeholders about the challenges and opportunities facing the U.S. health care systems.

Courtney Williams

Courtney Williams is co-founder of Emagine Solutions Technology which is a mobile ultrasound software company. It has won many awards such as the Arizona Innovation Challenge Spring 2020 and the 500 Startups Venture Ready Programme to name a few. Courtney’s career history in finance and business has give her a range of skills, which she has used to create Emagine Solutions Technology.

Panel - Part 2

Yonah Welker

Yonah has been working on the intersection of tech and society since 2005 – when they became a tech explorer and launched a hardware think tank. Over their journey, Yonah founded and co-created tech startups and labs, helped to facilitate tech ecosystems through North America to APAC, MENA, Africa, Europe, screened over 2000 teams, contributed projects in ethics (data, AI, tech), deeptech, impact and sustainability (European Commission). They guided and screened the world’s youngest tech and AI inventors, as well as talent from Google, womenpreneurs and leaders from Oprah Academy and African Leadership Academy to name a few.

Ibilola Amao

Ibilola Amao is an Executive Consultant at Lonadek Global Services, a is a multi-award winning, woman-owned company. She is a STEM Focused Value Creator, with a global network, focusing on deploying Information Technology, Engineering expertise and skilled local workforce to increase business profitability in STEM focused sectors such as Energy, Power, Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Oil and Gas.

Holly Sydnor

Holly Sydney is Chief Brand and Marketing Officer at AWL Strategies- All Women Leadership. She is a branding and marketing expert with extensive experience developing strategic campaigns that connect brands with the people they want to reach. Holly has a passion for helping brands develop and evolve their identity in the marketplace and tell stories that create connection and delight their customers. 

Stayci Keetch

Stayci Keetch is Director of Communications at CHEO Research Institute. She is a communications strategist who disrupts the mainstream agency mentality, focusing on holistic advertising mechanisms, thus my clients become – or remain – leaders in their industries. A video specialist, I create long-lasting impressions using visual mediums to build strong personal and corporate brands. Stayci has had many achievements; Finalist, Woman Entrepreneur of the Year (Orleans Chamber of Commerce, 2018) and Finalist for Businesswoman of the Year, Emerging Entrepreneur (WBN, 2019) to name a few.

Andrea Wolf

Andrea Wolf is CEO at Brem Foundation to Defeat Breast Cancer. Her experience with public policy, marketing, communications, and partnerships has led to great change in the breast cancer early-detection landscape. As the CEO of the Brem Foundation, Andrea has significantly expanded a rapidly-growing organisation through branding, media placement, thought-leadership, and data collection.

Jackie Rotman

Jackie Rotman is the founder and CEO of the Centre for Intimacy Justice, a nonprofit organisation aimed at establishing equal rights in business towards women’s sexual health wellness in companies. At the age of 14, she founded an organisation that uses the history of hip hop dance to close the opportunity gaps for youths in the US. Jackie also led Spark, a philanthropic network which is dedicated to women and girls’ empowerment.