My role as Paragraf’s Finance Director enables me to support the achievement of company goals through the management of the company finances, with a strong focus on compliance and governance.
Paragraf has a unique process for depositing uncontaminated, monolayer graphene directly on a substrate using standard semiconductor manufacturing tools. Currently, the company uses this graphene to create a range of sensors, with plans to expand to more-sophisticated graphene-based semiconductor devices.
I have been supporting Paragraf from the company’s inception and first funding round, becoming a full employee in February 2018 as the Finance Manager. At the start of Paragraf’s journey, this role encompassed everything from operations to HR in addition to finance.
Over the time I have spent at Paragraf, the role has changed hugely. The number of hats I wore at the beginning has decreased, following the recruitment of experienced team members. My role is now primarily finance, with the recent additional of heading up the ESG taskforce, which I am very excited to be a part of. From being only three of us in the company at the start, I now head up a team and the company employs 130 people.
I was always interested in science at school and went on to study aerospace engineering at the University of Liverpool, where I chose to complete a study abroad year at the University of Illinois in the US. After graduation, I chose a career within finance professional services, as I was keen to expand my knowledge and gain experience across a range of different companies and sectors. My interest in technology has never left and working for Paragraf gives me the best of both worlds. I frequently get goose bumps when I think about how we are changing the world for the better through our products, and that the technology which is being developed – only meters away from my desk – is only happening here at Paragraf.
Paragraf isn’t just about the technology, though; I love coming to work because of the people. From the beginning, we were keen to employ individuals who not only had technical competence but also aligned with our company values. This has led to a team who are all incredibly friendly and supportive of each other, as we are all focused on achieving the same goals. Even though we all share the same values, we are all very much individuals, which makes collaboration really successful.
There have been so many defining moments while I have been at Paragraf but two in particular stick with me. The first would be opening the reactor and testing the wafers to prove we had successfully grown graphene in the Paragraf lab, achieving the transfer of the technology from Cambridge University. The second was reaching 100 team members. I’m so proud to have had a part in shaping a friendly and aspirational company.
As someone who left a STEM career, I’m really keen to encourage more women to consider STEM. At Paragraf I have the opportunity to support internships, apprentices and to advocate technology as a rewarding opportunity. It is so important for young people to see the dynamic career paths open to them in such an exciting industry and that we can demonstrate that STEM is for all.
If you would like to help me enable Paragraf to take opportunities to the world and discover a rewarding career, please get in touch 😊.