Although there are separate chapters on this platform for entrepreneurs, and for women in STEM (and in politics), this inspiring woman is both an entrepreneur and an engineer, and as she answered both sets of questions from each chapter, I couldn't help but profile her in both!
Pleased to introduce Marina Staingart and her niche business in the healthcare industry, helping thousands of people with the unique services her company, Medialpha provides.
Here is her interview from the She-Entrepreneurs-Mtl chapter:
How long since founding/running your business? Since Feb. 2014
Mission of your firm: To empower patients to take better care of their health by providing the best price and the best home service for diagnostic tests.
Why the entrepreneurial path? By accident or more precisely by conviction. I didn't think I had it in me, I always thought I needed a genius idea to start a business. But my values directed me in life so that I've met my right business partner and together we created a business that makes us both happy to pursue. I do feel that I make a difference in many people's lives. And I love the liberty to make my own schedule.
Lesson(s) learned? As en entrepreneur, I work more, but it doesn't feel like work because I have a sense of purpose.
Advice? Focus, focus, focus (do not waste time on small details).
Fun/interesting fact about you within your industry/career? I am a computer engineer by trade and my title is the CTO, while my business partner has medical background. It is always funny to see people's reaction when they realize that I am the technical one, and not my business partner (breaking the stereotypes here.) :)
Anything else you’d like to add? Just start and be ready to hang in there... It's tougher than you originally hope.
And here is her interview from the She-STEMs chapter:
Marina Staingart, eng., MBA, CSEP is the CTO & co-founder of Medialpha Laboratories :
How/why did you get into a STEM field? I wasn't born in North America, so I was never told growing up that women "are not good at math". So I was good at math and all the science disciplines. My father was an engineer, my aunts and uncles were engineers, most of my cousins are engineers, so my sister and I became engineers. You have to keep family traditions alive!
STEM fields often change – or disrupt – the way we do things. Can you say how your field or what you do has an influence on advancing the industry? Medialpha Laboratories is a mix of service and software company. We have automated a currently manual process which disrupts the established business model of the industry. I am very proud of our achievements and we are hoping to impose a new standard of doing diagnostic tests at people's homes.
Have you encountered challenges being in a traditionally male dominated industry/field, and how did you overcome it, or go about it? Of course, I am one of very rare female computer engineers to have used my official OIQ stamp. At first, I always have to prove my worth when I meet new men in the industry. This being said, I find most men are happy to be working with women in the tech world, I never had problems in a team environment.
Words of advice or encouragement? If you like it, you will make it.
Anything else you would like to add? I believe that there are too many stereotypes about men and women, which forces people to choose a profession for life. Don't be afraid to choose your own path, times are changing and trends follow.