With just 4% of VC funding going to female-led businesses, hurdles remain for women navigating the innovation space. But with more amazing women entering and leading the life sciences and technology sector each year, there has never been more evidence that balance is better.

In a talk she gave last month to, among others, members of the MedCityHQ team, OBE and Co-founder of Unruly, Sarah Wood called for women of all abilities to be able to lead. Sarah was referring to the unfortunate truth that women are routinely told – in both subtle and not-so-subtle ways – they have to be fiercely brilliant to be leaders. Meanwhile, many not-so-brilliant men routinely lead teams, businesses, even countries.

All women, Sarah said, should be given the freedom and confidence to, brilliance or no brilliance, work their way to whatever lofty heights they want. Seeing as none of us – even those with stand-out ‘giftedness’ – can be uniformly brilliant, we think this perspective is both an empowering and grounded way for women to strive for success.

International Women’s Day 2019

On this year’s International Women’s Day (#balanceforbetter) we want to celebrate all of the amazing women we work with at MedCity, and here we’ve chosen just a small selection to highlight. With so many amazing women working in life sciences, it’s fair to say that those featured are all pretty brilliant. And equally they come from diverse backgrounds and have each blazed their own unique trails.

Lise Pape, CEO, Walk With Path

Lise founded Walk With Path (WWP) in 2014, after graduating from Royal College of Art and Imperial College London. WWP is an aid to support gait problems, primarily for the elderly and patients suffering with neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease.

Noor Shaker, CEO, GTN

Noor is a Syrian computer scientist and entrepreneur and CEO of drug discovery start-up GTN Ltd. The company is using a combination of machine learning and quantum physics in its software to simulate and discover new molecules that may ultimately create new drugs and therapies.  In 2018, Noor received a CogX UK Rising Star Award for AI technology that will transform drug discovery to treat chronic diseases.

Ann Kramer, CEO, The Electrospinning Company

The Electrospinning Company designs and develops polymer scaffolds that translate innovations from concept through to the clinic. CEO Ann, a Natural Sciences graduate from Cambridge spent 20 years working in the UK, the US and Switzerland before joining the company in 2012. The company is an Angels in MedCity alumnus, raising £650,000 in funding through the programme.

Hinna Rafique, Director, Generation Medics

Hinna is Director of Generation Medics, a not-for-profit social enterprise, that works with industry, government and local authorities to identify and address potential skills gaps and shortages in the growing medical, life-sciences and STEM sectors. The company does this by building a future pipeline of local talent, which includes the delivery of valuable skills training to underrepresented and hard to reach groups.

Joanne Hackett, Commercial Director, Genomics England

Joanne joined Genomics England in 2017 to develop the organisation’s industry engagement strategy by managing and accelerating relationships with commercial organisations. Joanne’s passion is creating collaborations in the relentless pursuit of better health for all. She mentors and support individuals on the NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Training Programme, NHS Innovation Accelerator, and DigitalHealth.London Accelerator.