25 Mar 2024
by Khalima Khan

Khalima Khan; Inspiring inclusion along my journey

Embracing Diversity: A Strategic Imperative  

With a rich background spanning over 8 years in the healthcare sector, my career path has been somewhat specialised. I spent five years working at EMIS Health, who are known as a key leader in electronic patient record systems (EPR) for GP practices around the UK. After starting my family, I later joined iPLATO Healthcare, in a similar customer success role supporting GP practices to get the most out of patient engagement technology. Having always been passionate about helping others in this space, I’ve organised mentoring schemes and activities for colleagues to connect, grow and bond. 

What have I learnt? The power that diversity and inclusion can have when driving innovation and delivering value.  

I realised my passion for science and innovation many years ago at university which led to my journey navigating a STEM industry. Especially once I learnt how to navigate balancing being a full-time mum and working, I understood that a career dedicated to making a difference in healthcare, a sector where the stakes are inherently high and the rewards, profoundly impactful, meant thriving in a male-dominated industry. 

This year's International Women's Day theme, "Inspiring Inclusion," resonates deeply with my own professional journey and the ethos we embody at iPLATO. The importance of fostering an inclusive environment has never been more evident, and it's a call to action that highlights the necessity of embracing diverse identities and cultures within the workplace. 

The Business Case for Gender Diversity  

Inclusion isn't just a moral requirement; it's a strategic advantage. Studies have shown that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially. According to a McKinsey report, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on their executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. This link between diversity and success is particularly poignant for health tech companies like iPLATO, where understanding and addressing the needs of a diverse customer base, in our case, the needs of the NHS and patients, is crucial for innovation and growth. 

We recognise that addressing healthcare inequalities is not just part of our mission; it reflects our commitment to inclusion. By understanding the unique health challenges faced by diverse populations, we can tailor our solutions to meet these needs more effectively, thereby reducing disparities and improving health outcomes across the country. 

Fostering a Supportive Community: The Women's Network  

Entering 2024, we launched a brand-new Women's Network for Huma and iPLATO employees. Already, we have a vibrant network full of engaged members from different companies, countries and departments. We thrive to educate our members to ensure they are aware of the positive professional and personal impact we can make through our network. 

Importantly, we have executive level support, and active male-allies who are crucial to the longevity of our impact. Dan Farley, Training Manager at iPLATO actively supports the network and says, “Historically, women have not been equally treated or represented, which has led to many inequalities in life today, but is clearly shown in service, product and medicine design. Through listening to those with different lived experiences, we can all grow in empathy which drives an overall better quality of life”. 

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Khalima Khan

Customer Success Manager, iPlato Healthcare