Thinking differently about sex and gender during the design process helps identify risks & generate new opportunities

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Photo by Mathieu Stern on Unsplash

We are human beings. However, our needs and experiences of what it means to be human are different based on how we look, where we are born, how we are treated, and how we move through the world.

Human-centered design has too often treated ‘man’ as the placeholder for human.

Whilst some would argue that this is just the result of living in a patriarchal society, others suggest that this is the by-product of different social justice movements’ idealogical attempts to promote equality over difference. …

Understanding the value of gender across the human, corporate, and investment life cycle

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Photo credit: Bloomberg

Despite the fact that women control roughly $20 trillion in annual customer spending globally, accounting for 70–80% of total consumer purchasing, historically businesses have failed to adequately create and market products that meet the particular needs and pain points of women.

In the US, not only are female CEOs outnumbered by men, but there are more male CEO’s named John than there are females in their entirety. The challenges women face are diverse: from limited ecosystems to nurture entrepreneurial endeavours, weak pipelines to access female entrepreneurs, and systemic challenges in accessing investment. Female-run businesses account for roughly 2% of all venture capital investment. When it comes to those actually responsible for allocating capital, just 13% are women. Two-thirds of VC firms in the UK alone have no women making investment decisions at all. Just 27% of all people working in UK venture capital (including administrative and marketing roles) are female. …

My yet to be titled autobiography of a successful feminist entrepreneur

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I am an overachiever. I have always been driven to do more, be better, work harder. I thought at some point in my life, I would feel it…successful. Like I had made it. Yet, what I didn’t realise was that for perfectionists there is no top. Your mind keeps moving the bar over and over again.

Perfectionism is a game you can never win.

Becoming an entrepreneur taught me that life, much like a start-up, is cobbling together the pieces of something you believe in and throwing it out into the world to iterate upon. Not a perfectly constructed puzzle, but just a building block to add to, take apart, and sometimes burn to the ground. I think this may sound much more inspiring than it feels because when you are knee-deep in to-do lists, you are arguing with your co-founders for the umpteenth time about what the exact problem you are trying to solve is, or selling yourself at a networking event hoping to connect in some meaningful (really financial) way to someone (or anyone) is utterly and wholly exhausting. …


Milena Bacalja Perianes

Social Impact Innovator, Femtech Expert, Gender Specialist: Co- Founder of the MH Hub

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