Skip to content
Close menu


Empowering Women in Health Tech Innovation leadership Programme

22 June 2021

NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) SBRI Healthcare, the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Invention for Innovation (i4i), and the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care award (AI) programmes were delighted to host a group of women leaders this May for the Empowering Women in HealthTech Innovation Leadership Programme.

This unique programme had clear learning objectives; to enhance women’s entrepreneurial capabilities as leaders, and to develop future leaders who will empower and drive female inclusion and representation within the workplace.

Over three online sessions, 37 participants gathered to interact with expert guest speakers and each other to help develop their leadership style and skills, whilst forming a powerful network of women leaders.

''Your energy as a leader comes from where you are as an individual and your personal objectives. You have to ask yourself 'what do I want to change?' and the answer to this question affects your role as a leader in an organisation.”

Sonita Alleyne, Master, Jesus College, University of Cambridge

Participants from the fields of Med and Health Tech were encouraged to explore their own experiences as leaders, whilst building abilities to foster innovation and enable change.

Along with each session of the programme, participants shared their unique leadership stories and common challenges, forming relationships and deriving new solutions.

"Setting the strategic direction was fantastic and was a side of leadership that I had not considered before!”

Julie-Ann Moreland, Participant

The participants ended their three week exploration of leadership with a panel discussion, showcasing the diversity of innovative scientific leaders. Both the human elements of leadership, the importance of maintaining networks, being authentic, and taking the time to practise strategic thinking stood out as highlights from the final day.

“I loved the networking section. The panel speakers were really inspiring. Really appreciated the questions to ask ourselves when making a change.”

Alice Davis, Participant

Mike Lewis, NIHR i4i and NHSEI SBRI Healthcare Joint Programme Director noted “NIHR and NHSEI are strongly committed to supporting equality and inclusiveness. We believe that initiatives such as this are integral to developing the most effective leaders in our sector, entrepreneurial in spirit, authentic, and assured in their leadership approach.”

‘’The most important part of your story as leaders is the 'why'. Why have you chosen Life Science and HealthTech as a career?”

Irene Bejenke-Walsh, Founder MessageLab

Do you have an inspirational leadership story to share with the health tech community? What do you think are the greatest challenges to inclusive and entrepreneurial leadership?

Share your thoughts via our social channels.


Subscribe to the SBRI Healthcare newsletter and receive the latest competition information & latest news updates.