Inspirefest snapshot: The prodigy turned empire-builder for girls in STEM

7 Jun 2018

Image: Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon

Stemettes co-founder and CEO Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon wants to ensure that no young tech prodigy gets left behind because of their gender.

Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon knows the value of harnessing the passion and energy of youth. Something of a child prodigy, she passed A-level computing at just 11 years old – the youngest girl to do so in the UK – and by 20 she had earned a master’s in mathematics and computer science from the University of Oxford.

Entering the professional world, Imafidon found herself at major companies such as Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard and Deutsche Bank, before she decided to master her own ship and co-found Stemettes.

This award-winning social enterprise is laying the groundwork for the next generation of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths). Through panel events, hackathons, exhibitions and mentoring schemes, Stemettes aims to build a pipeline that will lead to at least 30pc representation of women across these industries.

Founded in 2013, Stemettes has reached 17,500 girls across Europe since then. The organisation’s fifth birthday came with the launch of Stemillions, which enables young women to set up their own local groups and communities.

The key ingredient to it all is a dash of fun, and there’s a friendly competitive element with groups joining one of four Stemillions ‘houses’ and uniting to earn house points.

Imafidon’s ultimate goal is to see a more diverse and balanced sci-tech community shaped by the young women progressing through such programmes. Awarded an MBE in last year’s Queen’s Honours list, Imafidon has also been named one of the BBC’s 100 Most Inspirational and Innovative Women.

For inspiration from extraordinary thinkers, catch Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon and more at Inspirefest in Dublin on 21 and 22 June. Get your tickets now.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.