Pioneering women’s health, gender equality
Lora Haddock, a self-described ‘anatomy geek’ was always fascinated with the psychological, physiological and anatomical aspects of orgasms. Drawing on years of research and anatomical data she had gathered from hundreds of women, she founded Lora DiCarlo in 2017, thus, creating a new page in the history of physiologically appropriate women’s health and wellness products. Lora has always been passionate about helping people find their voice and creating an environment of mutual respect and empowerment. She adds, “Inclusivity and true gender equity interests me. I want to make a positive impact on spaces and industries that have traditionally only been accessible to a select few. I want to find ways to make them more inclusive. With Lora DiCarlo, we have an opportunity to center the topic of women’s health, and by extension, gender equity, in everything we do.”
Quizzing her on the factors that led to the launch of Lora DiCarlo, Lora explains that she always had a creative streak within her. “I have worked in various industries searching for the right space to express my inventive side. I’ve defied gender roles throughout my entire life from building structures by hand, performing as a singer and musician, sliding under cars in the shop, studying ballet and various forms of dance, running track, to joining junior ROTC Marine Corps.” She 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, I had to leave the Navy to care for my mother. 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. During this time, I experienced my first blended orgasm and began my mission to recreate it without a partner.” Lora adds that this was the turning point for her to start Lora DiCarlo.
On her journey in designing her technology to empower people and their partners to explore and celebrate their sexual individuality, Lora noted that she was working on developing her concept. “I spent three years doing physiological research, gathering anatomical data from hundreds of women, and developing functional product specifications. We are still doing research and gathering as much information as possible to create a product that is truly inclusive and informed by individual needs. The journey continues.”
Issues within the healthcare industry
Emphasizing on the importance of education, Lora added that comprehensive, pleasure-forward sex education and capacity development at the community level need to be encouraged. “The lack of diverse representation in healthcare leadership also needs to be addressed. Women are responsible for 80% of the buying and usage decisions and are alarmingly underrepresented in executive and decision-making roles.”
Innovation with healthcare
Lora is confident that women are leading the charge. She adds that a few years ago, the number of women enrolled in U.S. medical schools exceeded the number of men for the first time in history. “I have hope that this new generation is going to change the way healthcare is accessed by and delivered to patients. The intersection of technology and patient-focused healthcare holds limitless potential.”
The Success Mantra
“There are two very memorable moments from this past year. The first was when we were given the award for Innovation in Robotics by the Consumer Electronics Show. The second most memorable moment was when CES agreed to collaborate with us to rewrite their event policies. After they revoked our award, (which was ultimately reinstated), it became clear that there was an opportunity to engage CES in dialogue about their policies and practices. We were able to make a positive impact on the tech industry as a whole by drafting updated, inclusive policies that have been formally adopted for CES 2020”, “ adds Lora.