Get-It-Made grant boosts woman in engineering

2 mins read

Women in Engineering Day takes place today. Last year, Get it Made awarded an INWED grant to female tech start-up Emm and we spoke to Get It Made's project manager Aiza Sadirbayeva about how the cash injection has helped Emm.

Q) Please explain more about EMM and what they manufacture?

Emm is developing the next generation of consumer health tools to manage women’s health on their terms. Period products are overdue an upgrade, so the company is launching a custom fit smart menstrual product with an app that helps women understand their body better. It’s designed to help track and monitor menstrual health and provide key insights and anonymous data that the user can share with healthcare professionals if required.

Q) What are EMM’s principal aims and objectives as a company?

Emm empowers everyone to change the quality of their life by inherently understanding their health though technology and specialist knowledge. Its team of engineers, academics, researchers and innovators have spent the past two years building its patent-pending technology and re-engineering period products to create a high-performance solution for next generation menstrual healthcare.

Q) How has the grant Emm received last year helped to develop the business?

The grant has allowed Emm to rapidly iterate designs and bridge the gap between prototyping and production tooling, especially for an application that is so intimate and challenging. Innovation isn’t easy so this funding we hope enables them to do much more for less.

Q) Are there any plans for Emm to launch to the market? If so, when?

Emm is, we believe, launching to market soon!

Q) Can more such grants encourage women in innovation?

Grants such as Get It Made’s are aimed at removing the barriers which are still standing in the way of female-founded enterprises. Yes, we believe more funding like this will encourage more women in innovation to get their ideas further, as well as draw more investment to underfunded areas such as female health and wellbeing, to name just one area!

Q) In your opinion, is there enough women in engineering & manufacturing?

We’re gradually seeing some encouraging signs - for instance, research last year showed that 16.5% of those working in engineering are female, compared to 10.5% as reported in 2010. However, it’s not enough; this growth also needs to be reflected across all areas of work where women are underrepresented. Does this mean that the gender gap is narrowing? It is hard to tell but I believe so. I truly hope so too!

Q) What more can be done to increase the number?

I think firstly, we need to go back to the drawing board. This is a systematic problem which has created an unconscious bias, and it emanates from a really young age. Toys for girls are all based around house chores and raising children etc., whereas toys for boys are more mechanical.

This I think is the only effective way of changing these stereotypical beliefs which have been prevalent for too long. We need to offer more grants and scholarships for women in STEM. This will certainly increase the number of women in manufacturing, further inspiring the younger female generation to get into STEM.

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