Marissa Fayer on redistributing resources for global women’s health - Kathy Varol
Marissa Fayer
January 3, 2024   |   Episode #: 072

Marissa Fayer on redistributing resources for global women’s health

Show Notes:

Marissa Fayer is the founder and CEO of HERhealthEQ, a global non-profit with the mission to improve women’s health in developing countries by providing access to medical devices & equipment, creating an equitable standard of care.

Here are two 2020 statistics from the World Health Organization that highlight the inequitable standard of care for women in developing countries that HERhealthEQ is trying to combat:

  •  90% of cervical cancer and related deaths worldwide occurred in low- and middle-income countries
  • approximately 95% of all maternal deaths occurred in low and lower-middle-income countries – most of these deaths could have been prevented

Marissa has spent the last 22 years growing medical device companies into world-class organizations through improvements in their operations, implementation of new innovations, connections to capital sources, and creation of more sustainable impact-driven organizations. She is a strategic advisor, board member, and executive leader of several venture-backed private companies. Marissa is also a Miller Center Social Entrepreneur Fellow and has been listed as one of the Top 100 Women in Medtech.

In this episode we discuss:
✅ Why HERhealthEQ is focused on noncommunicable diseases
✅ The counterintuitive healthcare consequences of foreign aid ending as a developing country grows its economy
✅ The importance of strategic partners in creating change


3 episode takeaways (listen to the full episode for a lot more gems!): 

1️⃣ While we often spotlight sustainability in business, focusing on financial, social, and environmental sustainability, it’s crucial to turn this lens inward and consider personal sustainability. This is about finding that sweet spot where what we do aligns with what we love and what we’re good at. This harmony is the antidote to burnout. It’s about not just being a cog in a machine, but being a vibrant, contributing part of a meaningful pursuit. Working towards something that resonates with our values and beliefs isn’t just fulfilling; it’s personally sustaining and personally regenerative.

2️⃣ There’s a curious magic in the act of paying, even a token amount, for something. It’s like a psychological switch that flips our perception of value. When people invest in something, even minimally, they’re more likely to use and appreciate it. This principle is a fundamental human truth that applies to products and services. Charging a fee isn’t just a business strategy; it can be a way to ensure engagement and respect for what’s being offered.
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3️⃣ Amazon famously paid zero federal income taxes in 2018, despite an $11.2 billion profit. They achieved this through completely legal tax strategies: heavily reinvesting profits back into the business, which allows for tax deductions; utilizing tax credits, especially for research and development; paying employees with stock options, which can offer tax advantages; and carrying forward financial losses from unprofitable years to offset taxes in profitable years.

It feels unfair that a successful company can avoid federal income tax, which supports the common good for a nation including roads, infrastructure, emergency services, and education. However, I love the idea that corporations should only be eligible to enjoy certain tax benefits if they demonstrably contribute to society or the planet. It’s about modifying our systems to align financial success with ethical responsibility, transforming business from a mere profit-making entity to a force for positive change.


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