Jo Morfee

Co-founder, InnovateHer

And - Director at Liverpool Girl Geeks; Digital Panel Member for Institute For Apprenticeships Tech Education

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Girls can do anything. You are in control of your own destiny.

What do you do?

As co-founder of a social enterprise, my role is hugely varied! We set up InnovateHer in 2015. Our mission is to equip girls aged 12-16 with the digital skills and confidence to pursue a career in STEM. We do this primarily through our 8 week after school programmes, which are led by industry role models and aims to encourage girls to take STEM subjects at GCSE and A level. We also work closely with companies to create fairer and more equitable workplaces.

We have a small team of four, based in Liverpool and Manchester. Due to the size of the business and that we’re in a growth phase, we all have to cover a wider range of tasks. I work on everything related to running the business and developing it, ranging from bid writing, seeking new sources of revenue, project management, financial forecasting, ordering supplies, managing the team and more. I’m very fortunate to have a brilliant team around me, including a very supportive and creative co-founder.

Why did you choose this field?

As co-founder of a social enterprise, my role is hugely varied! We set up InnovateHer in 2015. Our mission is to equip girls aged 12-16 with the digital skills and confidence to pursue a career in STEM. We do this primarily through our 8 week after school programmes, which are led by industry role models and aims to encourage girls to take STEM subjects at GCSE and A level. We also work closely with companies to create fairer and more equitable workplaces.

We have a small team of four, based in Liverpool and Manchester. Due to the size of the business and that we’re in a growth phase, we all have to cover a wider range of tasks. I work on everything related to running the business and developing it, ranging from bid writing, seeking new sources of revenue, project management, financial forecasting, ordering supplies, managing the team and more. I’m very fortunate to have a brilliant team around me, including a very supportive and creative co-founder.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I wish I had recognised earlier happiness is the number one thing to try and achieve in life. Obviously we can’t be happy 100% of the time, but if your work is generally rewarding and it makes you happy, you will thrive.

I wish I’d known sooner you can walk away from a job or a situation if it makes you unhappy. It can be really scary, but also very liberating. For years I made excuses for why I was staying in a job that made me miserable. No more excuses!

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love seeing the difference we’re making to young women’s lives. We’ve seen girls completely transform as a result of attending our programme, growing in confidence and self-belief and making new friends. We get thank you cards from girls and their parents a lot. It makes all the hard work worthwhile. I look forward to seeing where each and every one of them ends up - they are going to completely disrupt the industry and I can’t wait to see that!

Best advice for next generation?

Never let anyone tell you something isn’t possible. Girls can do anything. You are in control of your own destiny.

And...join our InnovateHer community online to meet like-minded girls and be inspired!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

I have a small camper van and I love the freedom it gives me. I like to wake up at the weekend and think ‘where shall I go today?’ and then just drive into the wilderness and sleep wherever it looks like I’ll have a good view in the morning. It’s my way of satisfying my nomadic nature and my love of the wild!

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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