In 2020, when misdiagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS), Nicole Liu realised just how large the education gap was for women seeking reliable, easy-to-digest information around reproductive health, which would eventually become the driving inspiration behind Kin. The platform is seeking to normalise the conversation that is so often stigmatised, and revolutionising the way women access vital information and resources.
Now, modern consumers have the ability to easily take control of their health, with Kin providing everything from contraceptive pill prescriptions (an Australian first), to vitamins and expert information.
Below, Liu opens up about bringing Kin to life, a few learnings in business and the importance of creating impact, as evidenced by the company’s #WeNeedMoreLeave campaign.
“When I was 24, I was misdiagnosed by a doctor with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and told I was going to be infertile (in those words!).
“I wasn’t even sure that I wanted kids at that time, but to feel like I didn’t have the option was really scary. It led me down the deep rabbit hole that is Dr. Google, but that left me so much more confused than I already was.
“When I went to a Fertility Specialist to understand more, the Specialist told me that in fact, my results didn’t show that I had any indication of PCOS, and that even if it did, it didn’t imply that I had PCOS.
“When something weird happens to you, the weirdest thing to hear back when you tell someone about it is 'me too'. But that’s exactly what happened. My friends started talking about how they know a few people that went through the same thing, how after at least 10 consults, they got diagnosed with Endometriosis and more.
“And this experience showed me that there was such a stigma attached to our reproductive health and we don’t really talk about it at all. And this lack of conversation was leading to very little research and awareness around women’s reproductive health. And that in turn, was leading to people suffering in silence and isolation.
“I got angry enough about the problem to do something about it. So I got started working on Kin.”“By far and away, my proudest moment with Kin has been our #WeNeedMoreLeave campaign.
“For International Women’s Day 2022, our team wanted to take a stand around the inequalities that still exist in women’s reproductive health.
“Last year, the federal government introduced legislation that allowed for two days of paid leave for miscarriages. While this was an amazing step in the right direction and went a long way in acknowledging that miscarriage wasn’t a sickness, it’s an actual loss, we wanted to take one step further.
“So we launched the #WeNeedMoreLeave campaign, where we asked businesses to improve their miscarriage policies to have at least ten days of paid leave for miscarriages instead of two.
“After commissioning a national survey, we found that 7 days was the average amount of time it took for women to just physically recover after their miscarriage, and 10 days was the preferred amount of time to have off work.
“In just 3 weeks, 87 companies joined and changed their policies, impacting over 10k+ employees. It’s definitely our proudest moment and we hope to be able to continue advocating for women’s reproductive rights like this.
“It was just such a pinch-me moment to see Kin be able to take a stand about something we believed in, and actually do something about it. Really inspired me and our team to continue to set the bar higher for make we could achieve.
“Lean into discomfort. The only way to get past discomfort is to get through it. Lean into what you might be scared of, because you might just surprise yourself.
“Enjoy the journey, not just the end result. The journey is going to be the part you look back on the most. Have fun, learn as much as you can, and make it count.
“Take up space. Find your voice and don’t be shy about using it. At best, you’ll make a difference to an outcome. At worst, you’ll learn something.”“By supporting female-founded businesses, we can help them be successful. Ultimately, you can’t be what you can’t see. Women who run successful businesses become a source of inspiration for other women to start their own journey too.” “I think most people (definitely, 1000% myself included) get too excited about the potential solutions to fix the problems. And you often end up finding a solution that you like, and try to retrofit the problem.
“Our Product Managers definitely drilled into me the importance of understanding the real problems, before thinking about the solution. As a guide, they often say to spend 80% of your time on the problem, and 20% on the solution.
“Once you really understand the problem, you can make much better decisions about the solutions that you should build.”