How This CEO Is Fighting to Innovate Women’s Healthcare


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On this episode of “The Founder CEO,” we spoke with Kathy Lee-Sepsick, founder and CEO of Femasys, who shared her personal motivation for starting the company. Driven by her own experiences, she saw a dire need for better options in women’s healthcare, particularly in permanent birth control, and set out to create safer, more effective solutions. She candidly discussed the challenges of balancing her role as a CEO with being a mother, highlighting her hands-on leadership style and strategic vision for Femasys’ future. Despite numerous hurdles, Kathy’s unwavering commitment to improving women’s health remains evident, as she continues to lead Femasys towards significant advancements and support for other innovative technologies in the field.

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Main Takeaways

Personal Motivation and Mission of Femasys

  • Felt a dire need in women’s healthcare for better options, especially in permanent birth control.
  • Believed existing options were lacking and aimed to create something better and safer.
  • Motivated by personal experiences and the belief that women deserve better healthcare options.
  • Awareness of the risks associated with existing solutions and a drive to improve them.

Challenges and Evolution as a Leader

  • Juggled responsibilities as a working mother and CEO.
  • Daughters grew up with Femasys, impacting their career choices positively.
  • Felt responsible for every dollar raised and the impact on women’s health.
  • Maintained a balance between professional and personal life, ensuring dedication to both.
  • Never considered quitting despite numerous challenges.
  • Faced attempts from others to take over her position but remained steadfast.

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Strategic Planning and Vision

  • Built infrastructure and prepared for commercialization years in advance.
  • Focused on creating a strong foundation to support future growth and product launches.
  • Plans to leverage the current position to bring more innovative women’s health technologies to market.
  • Envisions Femasys as a platform for underfunded and shelved inventions to find a pathway to commercialization.

Leadership Style and Team Dynamics

  • Actively involved in all aspects of the business, from clinical cases to meeting patients.
  • Believes in leading by example and working alongside the team.
  • Successfully recruited a high-caliber commercial team, valuing their contributions.
  • Ensures the team is well-informed and aligned with the company’s mission and goals.

Personal Reflections and Learnings

  • Stresses the importance of maintaining personal health to be effective in professional and personal roles.
  • Regularly monitors her health to ensure she can continue leading the company.

Related: 6 Common Challenges Women Entrepreneurs Face

Continuous Learning and Networking

  • Emphasizes the value of strategic networking and learning from others’ experiences.
  • Attends events and conferences to stay ahead and gather insights beneficial to Femasys.

Personal Challenges

  • Proud of taking the company public without a CFO and being one of the few female founders to do so.
  • Finds fulfillment in seeing the impact of her work on women’s health.
  • Managing the demands of being a CEO and a mother, often feeling stretched thin.
  • Encountered moments where balancing professional and personal life was particularly difficult.

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