It’s International Women and Girls in Science day today. With the purpose to promote equal and full access to women and girls to participate in science, this day hopes to encourage people to recognise the role that they already play. In honour of this, we wanted to create a three part series that spotlights the women in science behind Wǒ, appreciating their motivations, what they have achieved and the barriers they may have faced. As the final part of this series, we take a deep dive into the world of science with our founder Karen Lee-Thompson…
Originally from Taiwan, our founder Karen is a mother of two wonderful girls. She has been in the beauty industry for 20 years now, and lives and breathes beauty innovation. She loves learning, developing new skills and acquiring new knowledge; she also believes in making a difference to the world, no matter how small.
Q. Why did you start Wǒ ?
Having worked in the industry for so long and on many different brands, I couldn't help but feel there are still many consumer needs that have not yet been resolved, particularly in an inclusive, simple, and holistic way.
Q. What's the biggest lesson you have learnt creating Wǒ?
The biggest lesson for me is articulating your ideas with razor-sharp precision and filtering out the noises that distract you. But I must say, up until this point, I haven't perfected that yet. I am sure there will be a lot more learning to come.
Q. How did you become successful despite gender inequalities?
I believe each individual has different strengths and unique skill sets. As an ethnic minority and female, I always take the approach of building connections with others. Be confident to speak up and share my own views; in turn, people notice and respect my contribution.
Q. What is your most proud achievement to date?
I am really pleased to have launched Wǒ despite the challenges along the way. Launching a new brand is never easy, but establishing a new brand during the worst pandemic our generation has ever seen certainly was certainly not for faint-hearted!
Q. What struggles have you faced?
As a small brand owner, the primary battle is getting yourself out there, being heard, and being seen. There are loads of new brands coming into the market every single day, and you only have consumers' attention for about 3 seconds, so that is tough. And there are never enough hours in the day balancing between business and family!
Q. What advice would you give your teenage self?
Believe in yourself and keep on learning.
Q. Did you have any female mentors or role models in your field?
There are so many successful females in the beauty industry. Each one has her own style and strength. I have been lucky enough to work with many over the years, so I can say that I learn from all of them!
Q. What are your hopes for the future of women in science?
I'd love to see more female scientists joining the beauty industry. When people think about science, we think it's hard to crack or deadly serious. For sure, science is serious, but there are also loads of fun elements. Creating something new is the most rewarding experience in life!
If you have questions for our founder Karen, please share with us below!