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Women entering the health technology sector: Top tips on securing a role

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Article by Hannah Jones, Head of People and Culture at Radar Healthcare

In a traditionally male-dominated industry like health technology, which is growing and evolving at a rapid rate, it is important for HR teams to be recruiting the right talent.

Candidates need to be passionate about the sector, and have the willingness to adapt their career trajectories through internal training and career development opportunities.

I also believe that the appetite from females to work in the health technology sector is also growing, due in part to the huge surge in digital health products marketed towards women (dubbed by some as ‘FemTech’).

These kinds of female focused products, which include ovulation and menstrual trackers, as well as contraceptive microchips, are overwhelmingly headed up by female CEO’s, and seeing women in these kind of leadership roles is no doubt inspiring a new generation of young workers to enter our field.

The gender divide within health technology

Here at Radar Healthcare, our gender split is around 60/40 in favour of males across the company, but with females much more likely to be working in customer facing or marketing roles as opposed to their male counterparts, who dominate the more technical roles.

I believe there are a number of reasons behind why women are less inclined to be applying for roles within the sector at present. Firstly, it might not feel like the most accessible industry to step into without any previous experience, when in fact there is a huge abundance of progression available in order to help place suitable candidates into roles in which they will flourish.

Some of the female employees here at Radar Healthcare have joined the company after previously working within more traditional healthcare settings. One notable member of staff previously worked in a care home and was already working on certain elements of auditing prior to her career changes. This previous experience helps her to understand the Radar Healthcare products more thoroughly, as she has the ability to grasp precisely how the end user will be benefitting from our software and systems.

Secondly, the A-Levels and University choices associated with the health tech sector are more alligned with subjects more likely to have been considered male focused. Therefore, when female graduates see roles advertised they may feel less confident in their ability to apply, or focus on elements of the job they feel they won’t be able to do, rather than the ones they know they can.

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Advice for those looking to work in health technology

There are definitely some key points to bear in mind if you are looking to change career paths and feel like health technology might be a good fit for you.

First of all, research and actively look for organisations that are going to give you the opportunity to carry out varied training and that look to promote individuals in entry level roles to more senior roles internally, rather than recruiting externally. Here at Radar Healthcare, we’ve seen employees join the company as customer support specialists that have now progressed to become project managers and customer success managers.

When hiring for a role in an industry like health tech, it’s a really good sign if a candidate is able to demonstrate a passion and purpose behind why they’ve chosen to work and build a career within the sector. This is especially true when hiring for entry level or junior roles, as experience is likely to limited among the majority of applicants looking to fill the role, so explanations surrounding why one is interested in the role and evidence of any networking they’ve undertaken prior to the interview is always welcome.

Have any previous personal circumstances or life events drawn you to want to work in our sector? Or have you been inspired by a particular mentor or elder relative to follow their path? Providing the background to your interest in health tech will help recruiters piece together how well you’d fit into an organisation and how the hire could be mutually beneficial.

I also really appreciate it when candidates come to interviews armed with their own specific questions for us about the role and what will be expected of them should they be offered the job. This shows that someone has really thought about how the job offer will mutually benefit both them and the organisation hiring for a position.

I’d also strongly recommend that you tailor your CV and application/cover letter for each organisation you apply for. Trust me, as someone who has seen her fair share of CV’s and job applications over the years, it’s instantly obvious which candidates have taken the time to adjust these vital documents to fit in with the role in question. They will highlight your passion for wanting to work in the health sector, and it will help the company know you are really dedicated to work for them and build a career, rather than seeing it as merely a job.

Finally, it’s worth thinking about what your personal interests or volunteer opportunities say about you when hiring for roles within the healthcare sector, as well as any external efforts you’ve made to build connections within the industry. These are things that will all lead towards helping you stand out within a pile of CV’s.