Brit Berry-Pusey - 2020 SPIE Women in Optics Planner
Co-Founder and COO
Avenda Health, USA
Country of Birth: USA
I’ve always loved a challenge and to push past what people expect of me. I was told physics is one of the hardest fields of study, so I knew physics would be the field for me.
Having a strong technical background, I became interested in understanding how we can take our scientific ideas out of the lab and into the world. This brought me into the world of business where I lean on my technical skills and problem-solving abilities to overcome business challenges at healthcare companies and move new technologies forward. Today I am COO of a prostate cancer medical device company I cofounded. My responsibilities are wide-ranging and include HR, finance, strategy, designing clinical trials, working with the FDA, and preparing for a market launch. I love the breadth of responsibilities that comes from working at a startup.
An obstacle I've faced, and is common with many women, is self-doubt. Self-doubt can be destructive when it leads to mental paralysis, but it can be motivating when it leads to self-improvement. I use my self-doubt as a springboard to learn more about and improve on areas of unease for me.
One thing I have learned over time, is that no matter what you choose to pursue, you are going to have low moments. You will have low moments even at your dream job. Keep pushing through the low moments, know everyone has them, and achieve your goals.
I would advise young women interested in STEM careers to do it! I think STEM education gives you such a great foundation for wherever your career might take you. I never thought when I started studying science that I would end up starting my own company, but here I am. My critical thinking skills I honed through my scientific training are invaluable to my work on the business side of a medical technology company.