Set To Take Over Tech: 70% Of Iran’s Science And Engineering Students Are Women

70% of of Iran’s science and engineering students are women, and in a small, but promising community of startups, they’re being encouraged to play an even bigger role.

The common myth about women in Iran is that they are seen, but not heard, that they’re not permitted to drive, that they are second-class citizens, and that entrepreneurship and positions of power are out of reach. These notions are wrong. For years, women in Iran have owned and managed businesses, many of them in male dominant industries like oil and gas, construction, mining, and now tech. And now, with such a high number graduating with degrees in science and engineering, there’s a push to get women more involved in Iran’s blossoming startup scene.

20-year old Ghonche Tavoosi recently practiced pitching her startup Lendem, to a group of VC’s, including Dave McClure of 500 Startups at iBridges, a conference supporting Iran’s tech community. Through Lendem’s platform, friends, colleagues and neighbors lend each other stuff, like phone charging cables, and other items. The website keeps track of who’s got what, reminds people to give items back, and guarantees their return. Tavoosi pitched well. McClure was impressed, though he won’t make any investments in Iran until sanctions are lifted.

In an industry just starting to emerge, women are at the forefront, even if small in numbers. Two sisters, Reyaneh and Bahareh Vahidian, helped organize the first Startup Weekend for Women in Tehran encouraging female entrepreneurs to share ideas and network. Iran’s young women are considered trailblazers in the tech sector, but generations have come before them, including pioneers like Behnaz Aria.

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 Set to

to make a vigorous effort; apply oneself to work; begin.

 Take over

to become dominant

 myth   uk   us   /mɪθ/

a widely held but false belief or idea.

“Statistics ​disprove the myth that women are ​worse ​drivers than men.”


treated as if you are not as good or important as other people

Many of the women are treated like second-class citizens.

 Entrepreneurship   ˌ   /ɒntrəprəˈnəː/


 Out of reach   /riːtʃ/

Unreachable; unattainable.

“I wanted to be president, but I’m afraid that such a goal is out of reach.”

I shall choose a goal that is not out of reach.”


Notion  uk   /ˈnəʊ.ʃən/  us   /ˈnoʊ-/

a ​belief or ​idea:

“The show’s ​director ​rejects the notion that ​seeing ​violence on ​television has a ​harmful ​effect on ​children. “

“I have only a ​vague notion of what she does for a ​living.”

 Male dominant    /ˌmeɪl ˈ/ˈdɒmɪnənt/ Adj

controlled mainly by men, or consisting mainly of men

 push   /pʊʃ/  N

attempt, a ​determined ​attempt to get an ​advantage over other ​companies in ​business:

“The ​company ​plans to make a ​big push into the ​European ​market next ​spring.”

“ The ​hotel is making a ​major push to ​attract ​customers.”

 Blossom /ˈblɒs(ə)m/

mature or develop in a promising or healthy way.

“their friendship blossomed into romance”

Practice  /ˈpræktɪs/    UK (US practice)

carry out or perform (a particular activity, method, or custom) habitually or regularly.
“we still practise some of these rituals today”
synonyms: carry out, perform, do

Pitch  uk   us   /pɪtʃ/

to ​try to persuade someone to ​buy your ​products or ​services or choose you to do some ​work for them:

pitch for sth

“The ​agency had already pitched for the bank’s $5 million ​advertising ​account on two previous occasions.”

“She was given 15 ​minutes to pitch her ​idea for a new ​project.”

 VC  Venture Capital

سرمایه‌گذاری خطرپذیر (به انگلیسی: Venture Capital) که از آن با عنوان‌های «سرمایه‌گذاری جسورانه» یا «سرمایه‌گذاری کارآفرینی» نیز نام می‌برند، عبارت است از تأمین سرمایه لازم برای شرکت‌ها و کسب‌وکارهای نوپا (استارت آپ) و کارآفرین که مستعد جهش و رشد ارزش و البته ریسک فراوانی است

Stuff  /stʌf/

a variety of objects or things

“What’s all this stuff on my desk?”

“By the time we got to the sale, all the good stuff was gone.”

 Impress  /ɪmˈpres/   V

make (someone) feel admiration and respect.

“their performance impressed the judges”

 Emerge  /ɪˈmɜː(r)dʒ/   V

To become known or prominent after being in obscurity:

“evidence that emerged from the investigation”

“ new leaders that emerged from the party ranks.”

  at the forefront    /ˈfɔː(r)ˌfrʌnt/

a leading or important position

at/in the forefront (of):

“We are at the forefront of efforts to tackle inequality.”

 Trailblazer /ˈtreɪlˌbleɪzə(r)/   N

someone who is the first to do something or to discover something

“Orville and Wilbur Wright were ​aviation trailblazers.”

 pioneer   Uk   /ˌpaɪəˈnɪər/  us   /-ˈnɪr/   N

a ​person who is one of the first ​people to do something:

“one of the pioneers of ​modern ​science”

“ a pioneer ​heart ​surgeon”