In an interview conducted by CIO LOOK, Lora Haddock—Founder & CEO, Lora DiCarlo exemplifies how she is rebooting orgasms. Her firm desire to bring out a change in the customary way of business has driven her establishing a venture that inherently reform the definition of hands-free vaginal robotic massager. Let us have a look over a memorandum of such a disruptive leader.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Kindly take us through your journey on becoming a proficient leader.
I’ve always been a creative person, working in various industries searching for the right space to express my inventive side. I’ve worked in almost every industry from publishing, food and beverage, and healthcare to get through college, until I was awarded a full ride scholarship as a Naval Midshipman U.S. Navy in 2008 and was accepted as a Cadet at the Norwich University Nursing program. But in 2009, my mother encountered some serious health problems, and I had to leave the Navy with an honorable discharge to become her fulltime caretaker. In 2013, after working at a startup brewery for three years, I decided to continue my career in healthcare by co-enrolling at Portland State University and Portland Community College, commencing a pre-med program. I’m an “anatomy geek” and became fascinated with psychological, physiological, and anatomical aspects of the female orgasm. While being a student and working full time in healthcare and business management positions, I was developing my concept. I spent three years doing physiological research, gathering anatomical data from hundreds of women, and developing functional product specifications. I found my calling the day that I founded Lora DiCarlo. I’ve grown and learned from each field that I’ve worked in and since founding Lora DiCarlo in October 2017, my journey towards launching a new women’s health product has only just begun.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to entice the target audience?
We design, build, and market consumer electronics for women and people with vaginas’ sexual health. We are building the first lifestyle consumer brand for socially active and empowered women and non-binary folks in our category. Our first product, Osé, empowers the user to explore the possibilities of their own pleasure. It will enhance the experience of those women who already have a variety of sex toys and create new experiences for the women who do not. Education is the biggest step towards empowering women to learn about their own bodies and normalizing self-pleasure. From there, Lora DiCarlo will offer a variety of specific products that will meet the various types of orgasms people have. The industry currently only offers vibration and with a new product like Osé, we intend to learn from our customers; what works best and develop a product based on those needs. Our offerings are based on our customers’ enticements. Osé is only the beginning of the journey towards self-awareness, de-stigmatization of femme pleasure, and the rest of our offerings will be based on our target audience’s pleasure preferences.
How do you strategize your game plans to tackle the competition in the market?
Our game plan is to simply be ourselves: a diverse group of folks who want more from the sex tech industry; to create products for everyone and remove the shame associated with pleasure. Our social mission is to fight for gender equity and we aim to empower women and people with vaginas and normalize self-pleasure. We’ve built a company whose values are Respect, Integrity, and Empowerment and every single one of our decisions are measured against these values. Tech finds its place in every single element of our lives and we know that diversity is essential to creating products that are accessible for all people, not just a privileged few. When product design is driven by a homogeneous group of people, then the tech that is created is increasingly out of touch with many of its users. This goes for everything from algorithms to pleasure products. Biases inform everything that we make, which is why safe inclusion, diversity, and representation of all types of people in tech, is so crucial.
What are the vital traits that every business woman should possess?
An only individual that stands in the way of determination and knowledge is oneself. Impostor syndrome is a hurdle for nearly every female I’ve ever met, but that’s all it is, a hurdle, something to be confronted and moved beyond. People will try to deter you, sometimes deliberately and that’s when you push harder. That’s when you find allies and you surround yourself with them. Find folks that get you, that get your drive, those that get your mission and turn them into your supporters, your allies, and your warriors. We as femmes often think that if we are to succeed, then we are to do it alone; that notion could not be further from the truth. Build o a team, create a following, inspire others with your passion, determination, and knowledge and they will lift you up. Days, months, and years will undulate with highs and lows; some days will make you want to curl into a ball and cry and other glorious days you may feel as though no one can touch you. Just remember to stand your ground to fight the good fight because you do belong here. These allies will counsel you, follow you, work for you, fight for you, and eventually, when you are given the official title of leader you’ll already be in that headspace, then those allies will become the building blocks of your greatest venture. Whatever happens, don’t give up because you never know when you’ll have an opportunity to change the world and we need more change makers.
What are your insights on “The myth of meritocracy”? And how it could bring a change in today’s technological arena?
There has never been a better time to prove “The myth of meritocracy”: Wealthy parents are being held accountable for using bribery and fraud to get their children into Ivy League schools, data shows huge disparities between white and nonwhite students regarding access to opportunities, and male-led start-ups receive 96% of all venture capital funding – the list goes on and on. As for our experience regarding the myth of meritocracy, I knew being a female CEO in Tech would mean more obstacles to overcome but I had no idea just how quickly they would surface. Before the CTA restored our Consumer Electronics Show award in Robotics and Innovation, they took it away from us for being indecent, immoral, obscene, and profane. In the past, CES has banned other female owned sex toy companies from even attending their conference. CES is the “Global Stage for Innovation” which I think most would consider a literal technological arena where female CEOs have been banned from existing in the same space as men. Meritocracy would have you believe that the white males, making up 65% of the tech industry, made it there because they worked harder, but the reality is that women, POC, and LGBTQ folks are quite literally excluded from a worldwide space of tech and innovation. Hopefully, there is a glimmer on the horizon and the tech industry, as well as other industries where misogyny and gender bias is systemic (which is basically every industry), will see the light along with the Consumer Technology Association.
How do you cope [up] with capricious technological trends to boost your personal growth?
I think we’re at the edge of the revolution in pleasure and wellness products, and a lot of that is specifically related to who is making them. Previously it was mostly male CEOs, designers, and engineers designing products for vaginas. Now we’re seeing a shift away from that model, with more women, gender nonconforming, and LGBTQ+ people taking charge and designing products that actually work for us. We’ve received so much positive support throughout this entire experience, from people of all genders and backgrounds. What we’ve found is that there is so much space for change within tech and society in general. People want to see more of them represented in the products they use and the brands that they see.
What are your future endeavors/objectives and where do you see yourself in the near future?
For Lora DiCarlo, we’re continuing the movement. We know there are so many issues with bias and sexism in tech and business, as well as stigma around sexuality. What we want is to make a tangible change in the world. We’re striving for a world where folks can feel empowered and can help lift other people up. We want to make sure more diverse people have their place in tech and business. Our Marketing and Sales Director, Sarah Brown, likes to describe our product roadmap as an interstate, rather than a road – so we have a huge amount of products in the pipeline. We’ll be officially launching Osé in fall of 2019, and we have several products focused on couples, we’re also really interested in VR, so lots and lots of wonderful things coming.