Anne-Marie Imafidon, Founder of Stemettes, on being awarded an MBE: "Women in STEM is a wider problem that affects everyone, so I’m pleased it has been recognised"

 

‘Head Stemette’ and Founder of social enterprise Stemettes Anne-Marie Imafidon, was awarded an MBE for services to Young Women and STEM Sectors as part of the 2017 New Years Honours List.

Stemettes is an award-winning social enterprise inspiring the next generation of females into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles via a series of events and opportunities. In three years 7,000 girls across the UK, Ireland and Europe have had attended Stemette experiences.

As part of the initiative she has also Co-Founded Outbox Incubator: the world’s first tech incubator for teenage girls. She sits on the boards of Redfield Asset Management, Urban Development Music Foundation and Inspirational YOU. She has previously worked at Goldman Sachs, Hewlett-Packard, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers.

WeAreTheCity recently spoke to Imafidon about her award who said: “It’s a pat on the back from the wider society. There has been lots of change in the IT industry, and a lot of companies are looking inwards still.

"But women in STEM is a wider problem that affects everyone so I’m pleased it has been recognised as this has previously not been included on the honours list. STEM has been included before, but not girls in STEM.

“I was so surprised that someone entered a nomination for me. It’s crazy to think that someone thought I deserved it.”

Imafidon added: “It is humbling and overwhelming, because I am much younger than the others on the list and on previous lists. At only 27 to be recognised at this age is insane.

“Even though it’s me who can put the letters after my name now, it’s not just me who done all the work. It’s a thank you to the whole Stemettes team and everyone who has supported us. It’s for everyone.”

Imafidon has always been interested in business, Maths and technology. Her rather unique set of achievements include passing two GCSEs aged ten (Mathematics & ICT), holding the current world record for the youngest girl ever to pass A-level computing (aged 11), a Guardian ‘Top 10 women in tech you need to know’ and being one of the youngest to be awarded a Masters’ degree in Mathematics and Computer Science by the University of Oxford, aged 20.

She was also named the UK IT Industry & British Computer Society’s Young IT Professional of the Year in 2013, Red Magazine’s ‘Woman to Watch’ 2014, won a Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister in October 2014 and was named the 29th Most Influential woman in IT in 2015. Anne-Marie has also been listed as one of Management Today’s 35 Under 35 and was on the Timewise List of 50 Power Part Timers.

Outbox Incubator

On 27 July 2015 Stemettes launched the first ever Outbox Incubator, which invited 45 young entrepreneurial girls, from across Europe, to stay at a large house in South London for six weeks. The house was billed as a cross between Dragons Den, The Apprentice and Big Brother.

The Outbox Incubator programme offered support and funding for girls aged between 11 and 22 who want wanting to launch their own science or technology-based business. In partnership with Wise, whose patron is HRH The Princess Royal, the programme was funded by the Salesforce Foundation.

Throughout February 2017 Stemettes will be screening its Outbox documentary - Eat.Sleep.STEM.Repeat. It will also be launching a network of youth clubs called Stemillions clubs across the world.

Imafidon added: “We will be running an event soon to celebrate the Outbox house one year on, to reach other girls and inspire others to start similar projects. This will include encouraging the girls to start their own youth clubs and to continue to reach more girls in their own communities.

“We aim to reach two million girls by 2025 who can say they have some kind of Stemettes experience.”