International Women’s Day (IWD) celebrates the achievements of women around the world, and we’re delighted to be able to champion and support a diverse community of business founders, academics and disrupters who want to make the world a better place.
This year’s IWD theme #EmbraceEquity offers a perfect opportunity to highlight just some of the incredible women we are privileged to work alongside, supporting their journeys every day.
Equity is about giving everyone what they need to be successful, which may not be exactly the same for each person.
The IWD website explains: “If we give everyone the exact same thing, expecting that will make people equal, it assumes that everyone started out in the same place – and this can be vastly inaccurate because everyone isn’t the same.”
Women forging change
Equity is at the heart of Alison Wood’s mission to end period poverty and stigma by providing affordable reusable sanitary pads and education to communities around the world. She was keen to collaborate with academics to develop the sanitary products with some key requirements and also make them environmentally friendly. Interface matched Floco, the company Alison co-founded, to Dr Danmei Sun, Associate Professor of Textile Materials & Engineering at Heriot-Watt University, who identified suitable materials. The product was manufactured using ultra-absorbent materials and launched to market in 2020. The company supports several communities around the globe to tackle period poverty, helping safeguard girls’ education.
Women in technology
Amanda Pickford, Director of Shock Innovations, was “overwhelmed” by the support and ideas coming from Fife College’s gas lecturers after Interface matched them up. The two-way learning between college and business has been passed onto students during the development of new technology, ThermaFy, a digital platform that can determine how dirty a heating system is using real-time thermal data from a smartphone.
A passion for human cognition drives Pooja Jain, a neuroscientist and co-founder of CogniHealth, a digital companion for dementia carers.
Working with academics at the University of the Highlands and Islands helped to strengthen the functionality and add interactive features to the CogniCare app, which empowers carers, often family and friends, with an array of resources and activities that cover all aspects of dementia care in one place. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) to drive personalised dementia care support with the aim to reduce the affected family’s financial, physical and psychological burden.
Professor Fiona Macpherson, University of Glasgow, has championed the importance of virtual reality for education and has been leading developments in immersive technology to benefit students in Scotland and beyond.
A renowned researcher in philosophy and Director of the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience, Fiona has collaborated on creative, multisensory experiences to bring immersive technology and experiences to life for the general public.
Fiona, shortlisted for Knowledge Exchange Champion in the upcoming Scottish Knowledge Exchange Awards is an advocate of the development of virtual reality research and technology, aspiring to put Scotland on the map for ambitious VR learning. If you’ve been inspired by our women #EmbracingEquity and would like to find out more about engaging with academics/businesses, contact Interface