25 Mar 2024
by Tobias Alpsten

Empowering Women in Tech and Healthcare: A CEO's Call to Action

By leading a tech company in the healthcare sector, the responsibility lies with me to address, support allyship and promote diversity and inclusion, especially concerning women in the sector.  

A stark reality - the inequality landscape 

Recent reports indicate that despite progress, gender inequality remains a prevalent issue in the tech sector. According to a 2020 PwC study, only 27% of workers in the UK tech industry are female, and in health tech, where iPLATO operates, the gender imbalance is even more pronounced. I recognise that it is not just about numbers; it is about the missed opportunities and untapped potential that diversity brings to the table. 

The power of allyship 

Acknowledging the need for change is not enough; we must actively champion allyship to drive the agenda. When men are actively engaged in gender diversity efforts, 96% of organisations see progress according to Harvard Business Review. 

I’m pleased that the team at iPLATO acknowledge that it goes beyond simple rhetoric – action and support is needed.  

Amritpal Gill, IT Manager at iPLATO expressed, “Being a male-ally helps my workplace do better and be better. Participating in our Women's Network enables us to learn from colleagues' unique insights and experience highlighting how essential a diverse and truly inclusive workplace can be to problem solving and navigating challenges.”  

Taking action: iPLATO Women's Network 

Driven by passionate and well-informed employees, iPLATO Women's Network was launched at the beginning of 2024. This initiative is not just a checkbox exercise; it's a mechanism for change within our organisation, with benefits that extend far beyond gender lines, impacting both women and men, as allies. So far, the most requested topics by the network include women’s health, finance, and career planning. We are proud to have such a motivated team driving the agenda to better how we serve our employees. There are synergies between women participating in their company's Women's Network, career progression and job satisfaction.  

Be a better business 

Research repeatedly finds that companies with greater gender diversity within their executive teams are more likely to be more successful. Diversity and inclusion, therefore, are both moral and business imperatives.  

In healthtech, where decisions can impact lives, diversity is particularly crucial. Established historical gender bias has resulted in studies, medical research and clinical trials, observing predominately male/male-only representation. Fast forward to today, progress is happening although females remain largely underrepresented in medical research.  

The historically disproportionate representation of women in healthcare, from research and studies to medicine development, has far-reaching negative consequences on women. We can deliver more effective and inclusive solutions through diverse thinking and understanding of healthcare challenges 

The road ahead 

Whilst a 2023 report by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey found the number of women in the C-suite increased from 17 to 28% since 2015, continued progress is imperative. We can always do better. 

I’m delighted to contribute to TechUK's International Women's Day campaign to help spotlight some of the much-needed work we are doing at iPLATO. We are nowhere near done and the trajectory is an exciting one. I am excited to be part of the change and call for other tech companies to join us.

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Tobias Alpsten

Tobias Alpsten

Founder & CEO, iPLATO