MENTOR SPOTLIGHT: AMETHYSTA HERRICK
When did you know you wanted to take an entrepreneurial path?
As I wound down a career in software, I realized I needed more rewarding work. That led me to beginning as a writer, then an activist, and now finally working toward public speaking and content creation.
Tell us about your venture/work!
I write about identity – its nature and origin. My work began with an overview of the science of gender, but has now expanded into gender theory from a psychological and philosophical standpoint. Much of the content I write is informed by my own struggles with transgender and the gender transition I begin in 2022. I am currently working on building a new publication devoted to identity, especially gender theory.
How did you decide to tackle this particular issue?
I threw a lot of darts, really. When I began writing, I wasn’t sure exactly what my message should be. I wrote about genetics, which is where my education began. Quickly, however, I realized gender theory is more than biology – it entails biology, psychology, and socio-environmental factors. Without really intending to, I became a gender theorist and now work toward making gender a common discussion. The publication will attempt to make clear the universal nature of gender and its role in mediating our experiences within the context of a social environment.
What do you enjoy most about being an impact entrepreneur? What’s hardest about it?
I truly enjoy providing original thought in gender theory, particularly from a standpoint of personal experience. That said, original thought is occasionally opposed, and my personal experience diminished. Being at the forefront is exciting; being a target is less exciting.
How do you navigate the space of being a founder and also being a POC/women/non-binary person?
This is difficult territory. Gender studies are historically presented by women or nonbinary people. I believe that makes the message more difficult to promote – many people can’t get their heads around it. What I attempt to do is make it clear gender is a universal experience, not a transgender, nonbinary, or feminist experience. Every human must understand gender.
What advice do you have for early-stage impact entrepreneurs about using their time, relationships, and opportunities at The New School to prepare for this kind of career?
Building relationships is the best investment one can make. Although I haven’t seen much monetary reward thus far as a writer, I have met so many influential and interesting people. Now that I am about to embark on my own publication around gender theory, I have a group upon whom I can call to support it with their content. Opportunities come and go, but the relationships around them can be forever.
Anything else you would like to add?
My education began in biology, then switched to Analytical Chemistry, in which I completed a Ph.D. in 1998. I immediately entered the software field as a developer, then a team manager. Now, as a writer, I believe all that experience contributes to my view and my content. This is how I believe I developed original ideas around gender.
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