United Kingdom-based engineer Youmna Mouhamad has created a tool catered specifically for Black women by a Black woman.
Mouhamad’s inception of the Nyfasi Deluxe Detangler bloomed when she worked as a nanny while studying to earn her Ph.D. in physics, BBC reports.
As she watched a young girl’s hair get washed and conditioned, the child’s eyes began to fill with tears due to the experience. This moment would cause Mouhamad to embrace a new academic journey and switch to studying engineering.
“I shifted to engineering because I always had a desire to work on things that I can touch with my hands, and I love the process of taking an idea and actually creating something,” Mouhamad says to BBC.
To bring her vision to life, Mouhamad would attend an enterprise fellowship at the Royal Academy of Engineering. Here, she was able to create a focus group to develop an effective product pooling adolescent girls and women to test the prototype, which provided stellar reviews.
To hear the positive feedback is a glimmer of hope for Mouhamad, but she hopes her work will open the doors for other ethnic minorities to pursue work in the field of engineering. She recalls never having the experience of being taught by a Black teacher and how pivotal representation can be for students to understand, “if she can be there, so can I.”
To empower the future generation of STEM, Mouhamad is in the process of creating her business under the mentorship of Dylan Jones-Evans, a professor at the University of South Wales. Evans hopes other minorities will follow suit upon hearing Mouhamad’s testimonial as an engineer and entrepreneur.
“Many of them don’t have the right role models, but slowly that’s changing,” Jones-Evans said, according to BBC. “I see Youmna over the next few years – and she is already — being a role model for so many people.”
We are happy to see trailblazers like Mouhamad lighting a path for the next generation of leaders