Regina Llopis, president of Grupo AIA, has created Women Angels for STEAM [WA4STEAM]
Scanty participation of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is due to diverse reasons and the so-called imposter syndrome is one of them. This psychological syndrome reflects the feeling of not deserving a job, position or success.
If we look at business entrepreneurship in technology or science, the figures are even worse. Only 22% of women undertake STEM projects and their access to financing is lower than for their male colleagues despite the better business results women show according to a survey carried out by t The Boston Consulting Group and MassChallenge.
On the other hand, in the last few years, this STEAM term has been used to refer to scientific and technical fields combined with arts and architecture. According to a survey conducted by UNESCO, 91% of girls and 80% of young women describe themselves as creative. Most of the girls interviewed believe the STEM areas do not foster creativity and only 20% of them think a mathematician has a creative job.
In this context, WA4STEAM is created. An association of women investors committed to financing business projects, the so-called start-ups, led by women focusing on any of the STEAM areas before mentioned.
One of the main objectives of this association is to empower innovation aiming at adding value to the community and impacting on the economy and society. This is what has motivated Regina Llopis, president of Grupo AIA, to lead this project from the beginning which involves 31 women from 5 different countries, whose professional profiles range from medicine, pharmacy, physics, engineering, finance among others.
WA4STEAM´s creation came up after the participation of the partners in the European Union Women Business Angels for Europe’s Entrepreneurs (WA4E) organized by the Business School IESE in Madrid and Barcelona. Since its creation in May,2018, its partners have invested in different start-ups in STEAM areas led by women: Spotlab, Marbel, Ezymlogic and Artig Gallery, among others.
In the founding assembly, Regina Llopis was appointed president, Sylvie Lemaire, vice-president Ana Suarez, Treasurer and Blanca Ochoa executive board secretary. This association is one among the activities Regina Llopis carries out to foster girls and young women´s participation in STEAM areas and empower their access to top executive positions and play the role model to encourage future women executives.
WA4STEAM´s challenge is to make women feel the passion for entrepreneurship in STEAM areas and become strategic partners to foster future generations of girls and women.
Also, among the founding objectives of the association is creating a collective environment to allow women entrepreneurs to find the tools they need to develop their business projects, promote networking among professionals, entrepreneurship and other organizations and influence society through gender equality in STEAM.