In 2017, we realised with disappointment how difficult it was to connect with other women in the healthcare industry who shared our experiences – simply because there were so few of us that we were often scattered far and wide at digital health events.
Also, over the last few years, statistics have encouragingly indicated an increase in the number of women working in the digital healthcare industry. Despite this increase however, there continues to be disproportinately less women overall working in digital healthcare. According to a recent study conducted by Swiss Healthcare Startups (SHS), only 29% of digital health startup founders are female.
So we decided to make an impact. In September 2017, we founded the “Women in Digital Health” initiative, and ran our first meetup.
Since then, our community with members across the healthcare industry, from hospitals, clinical research, biomedical engineering, pharma, digital health start-ups, medical devices, ehealth and other areas, keeps growing steadily. Our Meetup group in Switzerland now consists of more than 250 women, with 200 additional members worldwide in our LinkedIn group. We meet, invite guest speakers, organize digital health events, engaging panel discussions, and provide valuable networking opportunities. In doing so, we also established exciting partnerships to extend our reach, network and services for our community.