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Healthcare is Experiencing a Boom in Female Entrepreneurs and Leaders

In October, the Nobel Prize for chemistry was awarded to two women, Emmanuelle Chapentier and Jennifer A. Dodna for the development of a method for genome editing called CRISPR. This is the first time two women have won this prestigious prize and is a timely signal of the growing role women play in health-related fields.

While specific data is hard to find, anecdotal evidence seems to show more women are founding or leading efforts in the healthcare and life sciences industries. And even though women still lag men in the percentage of healthcare leadership roles, with only 13% serving as CEOs and 30% being part of C-suite teams, they tend to be better represented at the top versus in other sectors like financial services or technology.

Lygeia Ricciardi, Chief Transformation Officer of Carium attributes some of this larger role to simple volume. Given that women make 80% of the healthcare buying decisions in the United States and make up 65% of the healthcare workforce, she says it’s “only natural that we have strong opinions and insights into how to make it better.” And she sees lots of room for improvement, pointing to the opportunity to help people – especially women – use digital tools to better manage and improve their health.


Others can make complete 180-degree turns from careers in arenas like finance. Tiffany Wilson began her career in consulting and investment banking. While working on a Series A raise for a tissue engineering startup in 2001, she became fascinated by the potential to move technology from the lab to the bedside. She is now the President & CEO of University City Science Center in Philadelphia, where she champions the need for science, medicine, business, and government to work together in support of healthcare transformation.


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Kristen Fitch

Senior Director, Marketing