Leen Kawas, a thirty-five-year-old CEO from Washington state is set to be the first woman to bring a Washington state corporation public since 1998.
The biotechnology company Athira Pharma, which Kawas helped found, is working to create treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of dementia – a truly impressive achievement that has been decades in the making.
Leen Kawas immigrated to the United States from Jordan in 2007.
She attended Washington State University, graduating with a doctorate in molecular pharmacology.
The loss of her mother and of her grandmother have shaped Kawas into a strong leader and inspired her to pursue a career in medicine.
Kawas, being the first woman in over twenty years to take a Washington state company public through an IPO, is part of a notable shift when it comes to women in business.
In just the first half of last year, fifteen percent of U.S. companies to IPO were led by women.
Even with these positive trends, many statistics fall flat.
For example, only 2.8% of companies founded by women received venture capital in 2019, and there are only sixteen women on the GeekWire 200 list (a list of privately held technology companies to watch in the Pacific Northwest).
Dawn Lepore, former board member of eBay, has weighed in on the topic.
She shares how important it is in this arena to surround yourself with those who can give you good advice and have the right experience to help guide your company.
Now, acting as a mentor and angel investor, she is optimistic for the future.
While there is no quick fix to seeing more women in these roles, that does not mean it is not worth their hard work and effort to get there.
Connect to Kawas on Linkedin.com
Learn more about Leen: https://www.cakeresume.com/me/leen-kawas