I’ll admit that I’m far from an expert on the challenges and inequities of women in the workforce. I think that everyone that knows me knows that I love working with women and I love strong empowered women. It’s what I hope my daughter will become one day. I’m proud that the Healthcare IT Marketing and PR conference was the first conference to be listed with over 50% female speakers.
I recently saw a stat that there were more CEO’s of the top 1500 companies named “John” (5.3%) than there are women CEOs (4.1%). That’s particularly disturbing since my name is John. It highlighted to me how solving the issues of gender inequality in the workplace is incredibly complex and challenging.
While I admit I don’t have all the answers, I was interested to hear these 5 suggestions for women from Kathryn Stecco, MD.
Women considering entrepreneurial initiatives in medical technology should follow these basic principles.
- Start with a big idea that solves a big problem: A new business must start with a powerful idea for a product or service that fills a real unmet need. Market is everything.
- Pursue a practical solution: Focus on products that are safe, effective and easy to use for both physician and patient. If the product doesn’t make physicians’ lives easier, they won’t use it. The product must produce meaningful clinical data that speaks for itself.
- Build relationships – early – with clinicians: Medical entrepreneurs must be out in the field developing ties with physicians and getting their input early in the design process. No matter how well designed your product or how impressive your patents, physicians will have the last word on the usefulness of your product. They are vital to your success.
- Be prepared to shift gears: Don’t fall into the trap of becoming so enamored of an idea or a product that you lose sight of its real likelihood of succeeding in the marketplace. You must have the flexibility to move on to something else when changes in the environment cause the ground to shift under your feet and your plans to be upended.
- Enjoy the ride! Successful entrepreneurs make adversity the energy that fuels their creativity. They don’t learn their most valuable lessons in the classroom but in the trenches. They thrive on the long hours, the unpredictability, the rush that comes from building something important and valuable.
Maybe some of these ideas will help some women who are working in the medical device industry. It’s a small thing for sure, but maybe if we all do small things to improve the opportunities for women those small things will turn into something great.