Name: Sophia Yen, MD MPH
Company: the FFFL, #FemaleFounded #FemaleLed campaign
- Can you tell us a little about yourself?
Sophia Yen, MD, MPH is the CEO and Co-Founder of Pandia Health, birth control delivery. She has a passion for making women’s lives easier, preventing unplanned pregnancies, and educating women about #PeriodsOptional.
With more than 20 years of experience in medicine, she is board-certified in Adolescent Medicine. She graduated with a B.S. from MIT, M.D. from UCSF Medical School, and M.P.H. from UC Berkeley in Maternal Child Health. She serves as a Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Adolescent Medicine at Stanford Medical School. She is a Reproductive Health Specialist and co-founded 3 non-profit organizations/projects in her endeavors to improve the lives of women: The Silver Ribbon Campaign to Trust Women, SheHeroes.org, FFFL = #FemaleFounded #FemaleLed .
She co-founded Pandia Health because she believes no one should suffer from “pill anxiety” – the fear of running out of birth control and the stress of having to obtain birth control each month. Dr. Yen enjoys educating the public and other physicians about birth control, menstrual regulation/elimination, sexually-transmitted infections, acne, obesity, and other adolescent health issues.
She has spoken at SXSW, TEDxBerkeley, TEDx Silicon Valley Women, UC Merced, UC Davis, local high schools, Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, and given grand rounds and noon lectures at various academic institutions from Stanford Pediatrics and Internal Medicine to UCLA Internal Medicine.
- What are you trying to accomplish with your work?
The book Half the Sky (by Kristof and WuDunn) describes how women hold up half the sky and without women, the sky is not full. We want the sky full, our hearts full, our cups full. #FFFL is an awareness campaign and movement that encourages women and our allies to choose companies that are Female Founded & Female Led.
- What motivated you to take the first step in launching your business?
I saw many organizations helping women founders. But few awareness campaigns for consumers to wake up and support women founders/leaders/owners.
- What was one of the hardest or most unexpected obstacles you had to overcome to get your idea off the ground?
For women founders, it’s always funding. And finding the right people to help make it happen e.g. Springboard Enterprises. Website design/marketing Gianna Whitver.
- Tell us about a moment you are particularly proud of in your start-up journey?
We are just beginning but we love the fact that all the women’s orgs have responded positively!
- Did you face any unique challenges as a woman in your field to get your start-up launched?
Because we’re a nonprofit and partnered with Springboard Enterprises (a well-respected women supporting organization), it’s been ok thus far.
- What advice do you have for someone thinking about starting their own business?
Get support. Join the village!
- Why .CO? And .health?
It was available and Springboard Enterprises suggested it. We trust Springboard.
- What’s next for you?
Raise funds for someone to run this full time. Get as many companies to sign up as possible. Get women and allies to buy from #FemaleFounded #FemaleLed companies and to ask the companies they patronize who are their founders? Who are their leaders?