Celebrating Rockstar Women Leaders in Health Tech: CEO Take

Sarah Wilkinson
Mar. 6, 2024
8-minute read

Time flies when you’re having fun, as I celebrate two years this week as CEO of Dr.Bill. It's been an incredible journey filled with growth, countless moments of joy, and of course, challenges and learnings.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, I can’t help but reflect on the journey that brought me here and the amazing women leaders who have been by my side every step of the way. Beyond their professional accomplishments (though those are certainly impressive), I am endlessly grateful for the support, camaraderie, and sense of purpose that they’ve shown and I’d like to commend them for not only positively impacting my time here at Dr.Bill but also making their mark on our team of growing talent.

At Dr.Bill, being inclusive isn’t just a box we check - it’s a true attribute of who we are. Women make up 59% of our team and 55% of that number are BIPOC women. Women also fill 52% of leadership positions, of which 32% are BIPOC women. Because of this, I’m especially proud to say that we walk the talk about embracing diversity, growing our teams and appointing leaders based on their passion and talent, and the value they bring to the table, regardless of gender.

Today, I would like to thank some of the incredible women who bring a new level of energy, creativity, and smarts to the table here at Dr.Bill.

Megan Halstead - Director of Operations

With over 15 years in healthcare, technology, and customer experience, Megan is the brains behind our operational excellence. Passionate about cultivating employee experience and culture, she has created an environment where women feel empowered, respected and supported at Dr.Bill. Today, 90% of the people managers on the Operations team are women.

She believes that the challenges women face in health technology are no different than what they face in any industry - trying to get a seat at the table. Beyond that, to be heard and not spoken over, quieted, or dismissed. To that end, her advice to aspiring leaders starting in this space is to understand that knowledge is the key to success. Because health technology is a broad and complex space, Megan believes in finding interest in a branch of the industry and absorbing all available information like a sponge.

"In technology especially, having enthusiasm for lifelong learning is key,” Megan shared with me. “Specialized knowledge is powerful, and that’s as true for women just starting out in tech as it is for leaders with decades of experience."

Stephanie Detrinidad - Chief of Staff & Director of Strategic Initiatives

With over a decade of experience working in healthcare, Stephanie is the mastermind behind Dr.Bill’s strategic initiatives, managing governance and overseeing its People Operations and Finance functions. Her knack for strategy has been crucial in the continued scaling of Dr.Bill, as we have grown from a scrappy startup to a full-fledged healthcare technology company, integrated within RBCx and the RBC ecosystem.

In tune with the possibilities that technology offers, both at the micro and macro level, she is always on the lookout for how we can leverage digital tools to alleviate the burden physicians take on. Stephanie is also a champion of health technology related to women’s unique needs - Femtech - and believes that while women’s health needs are not new, many of the companies that cater to them are. I am in awe of her keen awareness of the challenges that the founders of these companies face to succeed, and to me, that speaks volumes about her dedication to women’s health and what we at Dr.Bill can do to help advocate.

Stephanie’s go-getter personality and passion for her work were clear when she proclaimed “Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves, get your hands dirty, and just go for it! You have something unique to offer.” when I was chatting with her about how to inspire new leaders. A relative newcomer to the health technology space herself, she believes that technology, like any other industry, needs people with all kinds of backgrounds and skill sets.

Michelle Woodruff, Director of Client Strategy & Expansion

A rockstar at relationship building and one of the most empathetic individuals I’ve had the pleasure of working with, Michelle plays a key role in developing and deepening relationships with Dr.Bill’s key clients, helping busy physicians and healthcare professionals unlock the true value of our services. Specializing in digital innovation, business operations, and project management, Michelle has over a decade of experience working in the technology space, scaling businesses, and optimizing processes through strategic execution and creative problem-solving.

Always putting the customer first, Michelle draws inspiration from client feedback and the impact that Dr.Bill can make. Listening to physicians talk about how technology can transform their day-to-day lives and give them time back to focus on patient care galvanized her to find more ways to give physicians the bandwidth to ensure people are receiving the care they deserve.

When I spoke with her about what she thinks are some of the challenges women face in the health technology industry, her honest opinion is that women in this space are no different from those working in other technology spaces and all strive for the same thing - to be well-represented and acknowledged for their accomplishments. Her positivity is contagious when she talks about her leadership experiences at Dr.Bill and ever a people-person, her biggest advice for aspiring leaders in the field is to focus on networking and meeting as many people in the health tech space as possible.

Maris Lush - Director of Sales & RBC Integration

Our all-round sales superstar, Maris is the genius behind Dr.Bill's market expansion, forging partnerships with existing and potential customers alike while ensuring revenue growth for the team. Being in the thick and thin of Dr.Bill’s business development, she often has front-row seats to the challenges that the Canadian healthcare system faces and is motivated by how technology and digital innovation can help address them. She also believes that policy, industry innovation, strategic partnerships, and strong leadership are invaluable inputs to seeing impactful structural and institutional change in the system.

Maris’ experience has shown her that health technology is not immune to gender biases and underrepresentation in technological innovation and business leadership. With healthcare as a profession dominated by women, she believes that we need more women in the health technology space, especially those who understand the problems based on real-world experiences - a sentiment that I echo. It is because of this that she advises aspiring leaders looking to make their mark in health technology "to approach their careers with the same values as the healthcare system, people, and communities they are trying to serve." Ever a realist, she also encourages leaders to focus on solving real-world problems in collaboration with the people in the system and most importantly, to not be afraid to fail.

My tribute to these amazing, powerful women would not be complete without me mentioning our entire team of inspiring, talented women at Dr.Bill who are giving their all every day, from coding to customer service. They are the heart and soul of our company, and we couldn’t be where we are today without them.

Beyond Dr.Bill, what’s even better is that we’re not just celebrating women leaders within our own four walls. We’re also passionate about celebrating all of the women entrepreneurs, physicians, and professionals out there - who are innovation champions for the benefit of the broader health system and patients.

As we continue to champion women within and outside of Dr.Bill, let’s recommit ourselves to fostering an environment where every woman can thrive, succeed, and shatter every glass ceiling in their path. Here’s to the past, present, and future of women's leadership - may it shine brighter with each passing year!

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