Disrupting biases and educational disadvantages is also the mission of Anne-Marie Imafidon, co-founder of Stemettes, a social enterprise encouraging girls from 5 to 22 years of age to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, or STEMs. Imafidon shared insights from a six week summer program where 115 young women from across Europe spent 24/7 under one roof and interacted with STEM leaders and investors to create startup ideas, develop leadership skills and become role models. “Surprisingly, altruism was their main topic”, Imafidon said. “All the girls gravitated towards problems that others had. Societal problems.”
Their startup ideas ranged from curing allergies to finding e-car charging stations, from improving homework to confront bullying. Many of the participants have since moved on, building out their startups, giving public speeches and inspiring others. Imafidon concluded: “The future of innovation is not just bigger, better, faster. It's also about solving real problems.” Girls and young women are already the changing the face of innovation.