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Empowering Women in STEM: From Lab to leadership with Saba Khan

Materials.Business Newsletter ⚙️ May 02d, 2024

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Podcast Guest: Saba Khan

Welcome to the Material Business Podcast, where we delve into the minds of extraordinary individuals who have forged their paths in the world of entrepreneurship. In this episode, we have the privilege of exploring the journey and wisdom of Saba Khan. In the midst of the pandemic, Saba found herself at a crossroads, transitioning from the slow pace of academia to the urgent demands of public health and eventually to the dynamic world of the film industry. In a candid conversation with Monica, she shares her journey of self-discovery, the frustrations of traditional hierarchies, and the power of taking control of one's own path

Key Discussion Points:

The Frustrations of Academia: Saba expressed her frustration with the slow pace of research in academia, where experiments could sit on a professor's desk for years without being published. She felt that much of her work went unnoticed, waiting for the next project or student to come along. As she put it, "I thought I was going to retire there... But as soon as I left... I could see the impact it was having on public health."

Transitioning During the Pandemic: The pandemic served as a catalyst for Saba's career transition. Furloughed from her university position, she felt compelled to contribute to the COVID-19 response. Volunteering in a clinical trial, she found fulfillment in immediate, impactful work, setting up testing labs and processing patient samples.

The Power of Taking Initiative: Saba's frustration with being sidelined during furlough pushed her to take initiative. She said, "I just didn't feel like I should be sitting at home during a pandemic... If there was any time to go into the lab and do lab work, it was now." This drive led her to seek out opportunities where she could make a tangible difference.

Leadership and Resilience: Reflecting on her leadership style, Saba emphasized her focus on getting things done and allowing others to contribute in their own way. She admitted to being a bit of a lone wolf, but believes in leading by example and inspiring others to join in. Founders, CEOs, and leaders like Saba exemplify resilience, as they navigate uncharted territories and overcome challenges to drive their initiatives forward.

Empowerment and Equality: Throughout the conversation, Saba and Monica emphasized the importance of empowerment and equality. Saba rejected the notion that certain titles or positions confer greater importance, saying, "We're all equal... I don't look at people's job titles anymore... we're all on our own personal journey." She and Monica are dedicated to empowering women in STEM through education, coaching, and knowledge-sharing initiatives, stabilizing their expertise areas and helping as many women as possible navigate and succeed in these fields.

Learning from Mistakes: Both Saba and Monica discussed the importance of learning from mistakes and not being afraid to take risks. Saba believes that mistakes are part of the learning process and should not be feared. She stated, "I don't do mistakes. I just have learned this... It's only a mistake if you repeat it."

In a world where the traditional notions of hierarchy and expertise are being challenged, Saba's journey serves as a testament to the power of taking control of one's own path. By embracing initiative, learning from mistakes, and recognizing the value in every individual's journey, founders, CEOs, and leaders like Saba and Monica are stabilizers in their expertise areas, empowering others and driving positive change. As Monica aptly put it, "It's those little things that add up to who you are and what you're putting out there so it blossoms at some point."


Saba Khan
Saba Khan is a Senior Scientist based in Manchester, United Kingdom with nearly 20 years of laboratory experience. She has been recognised for having promoted the growth and expansion of COVID-19 testing labs both nationally and internationally.
She is the Director of the Tiger Team Lab Consultancy Group where she supports biotech start-up companies and provides on-site lab training. Has recently co-founded the NorthWest Women in STEM group, a non-profit community interest group aimed to empower women in STEM by providing webinars, workshops and podcasts.

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Blessings of love & light, Marieke Leliveld
Spiritual Teacher & Coach, Quantum-Touch Practitioner, Jikiden Reiki Practitioner, Energy Intuitive, Quantum Alchemist & Teacher, Channeller, Medium, Psychic, Shamanic Conduit, ICU Academy Teacher for children, Animal Health Technician, Animal Communicator, and other.

This space could be yours... ask us how!


Next Podcast Episode !!!


Industry events on the lookout !!!

Click on the image for further information about the events!

We will be chairing the session: Materials and Corrosion Management for a Sustainable Thank you to everyone who submitted abstracts (we got more than 200) - more information on the sessions will be posted here - stay tuned!

We partnered with the Women in Engineering Summit (WES) and there are already 3 initiatives on the go with them - SDG17 at its purest. Stay tuned to learn more about them and participate in the summit in June 2024.

We partnered with North West WOMEN in STEM - ever since speaking with Saba (co-founder) we couldn't resist putting #SDG17 in action once more. Have you listened to her podcast yet?

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