By Maddy Phipps-Taylor
I’m not an expert on women in tech. I know something perhaps; I’m a woman and I’m in tech. I also hire, support and mentor other women in tech (and men too). I’m proud that of the new joiners to our company since I joined, 2/3rds have been women. We still have work to do to get to gender parity and to truly represent the diversity of the patients we are here to serve, however, we have made a good start.
To continue this good start, I feel that a few things may continue to help us at Eva. I offer these to foster a discussion and as a personal point of view. Let me know if you have other suggestions!
- More visible role models – this is why I’m writing this, and why we are running profiles on some of our awesome women at Eva this week on our Facebook, twitter and LinkedIn pages. We have a 50:50 balance of women to men on our Management Team and 40:60 on our Board.
- More balanced recruitment practices. For example, all our engineers have to sit a coding test, which is marked without any name on it. The assessor (from our mid-senior engineers) only gets a reference code as an ID. After the test, successful candidates have at least one interview with a female interviewer. We are looking at how we can do more to ensure we hire the absolute best candidate for the role.
- More consideration for different working routines. From the early risers, to the school-drop-off-and-pick-upers, to the insomniacs, we have them all. Although these behaviours in themselves are genderless, and we are changing our culture dramatically to embrace them all. We ask people for their best work, and try to help them self-improve and learn on the job too. For Eva it is the quality of the work, delivered by the team, that is the most important measure of success and not the hours ‘clocked in’.
- More personal stories as examples of getting into or being in healthtech. It is not always a linear journey. Different career histories, and recognition of lucky moments or serendipitous events could help people looking to make a change.
Here’s my story:
I came to tech by lucky circumstance rather than by design. I was in ‘health’ long before I was in ‘healthtech’. Having spent time in health policy, regulation and academia, I was looking for a new job in 2015 that would pay the bills as well as challenge me professionally. I ended up as the Director of Strategic Programmes for a UK-headquartered, international healthtech company. Taking the plunge into healthtech energised my sense of social purpose and showed me the powerful scale effect of implementing change through software. The best software helps and facilitates clinical care without causing frustration or error, and getting it right is exhilarating.
At my first job in healthtech, I brought my understanding of the sector, my drive to improve care delivery, and a curious mind to learn about the software development lifecycle and how to support software in ‘production’. Now I’m hooked. This summer I took on the greatest challenge of my career to-date as CEO of Eva. For me, it is all for the thrill of making a difference for patients and healthcare professionals. I’m proud to be working towards our mission to help 10 million patients by 2025.
My question to anyone, of any gender, background or career history, is to think if healthtech could be the purpose-driven challenge you have been looking for?
As our current lives are shaped by the pandemic, it is clear there is so much that healthtech has to offer as we recover, reset and look to rebalance our priorities towards living happier and healthier lives. Eva, and other healthtechs, could be looking for someone just like you to design, build and support the software that will make a happier and healthier future a reality for us all.