International Women's Day at Zava
We're celebrating women in STEM at Zava and beyond
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and maths, and STEM-related fields are careers built around these subjects.
Women make up just 23% of people working in STEM-related fields, 5% of which are in leadership positions.
We want to celebrate the women in STEM at Zava and beyond, who are defying the odds.
Theresa (our Social Media Manager) and Gemma (our Recruitment Marketing Manager) sat down with a few of our colleagues and asked them what motivates them, how they got where they are, and what they do on a day-to-day basis in their roles at Zava.
Victoriya Denisyuk, iOS Engineer
"The most satisfying part of being an iOS Engineer is the moment when I get to hold a finished product in my hands. Not just because I have accomplished something, but because of what it offers our patients", explains Victoria who has been with us for 6 months and has 10 years' experience in the app development industry. “At Zava, it’s about healthcare so I’m creating something that has genuine value.”
Victoria works closely with our UX team. After a deeper analysis of what an app should be delivering and what functionalities our patients would like to see, she works with the UX team to put the app to the test. Only after passing the test criteria will the app be published.
Katharina Kreisel, Customer Support Manager
Patients are at the heart of everything we do. Nobody knows this better than our Customer Support Manager, Katharina, who’s been with us for 5 years.
What does she appreciate most about Zava? “I started as a Customer Support Advisor but have been given all of the support and training needed to allow me to grow with the business. I’m really thankful for being where I am today.”
And we’re really thankful to Katharina too because she devotes herself to the success of Customer Support, always going above and beyond to make sure our patients have a positive experience.
“I’m not shy of investing energy and hard work into creating a seamless process for our patients. I don’t want to just solve problems, I’d much rather put measures in place to prevent problems even arising.”
Today, Katharina manages a team of 9 and makes sure that the Zava spirit is being kept alive. “We take care of each other, not just on a professional level. I believe it's important that everyone feels comfortable because this has a noticeable impact on the contact with our patients.”
And that’s true, our patients feel safe and sound in the hands of Katharina and her team – just take a look at some of the amazing Trustpilot reviews our Customer Support team has received.
Sara Abdelal, Infrastructure Cloud Engineer
Sara has been with us for 5 months and in her role as Cloud Infrastructure Engineer, supports our whole engineering team.
Her role is to maintain and build the infrastructure supporting the whole company to ensure seamless integration between in-house and client-focused systems.
Sounds complex, right? But as Sara tells us: “I'll keep it simple. It’s basically all about finding solutions and it’s great!”
Sara and her team are creating the environment that our frontend and backend engineers use.
“It’s great to have them sit alongside me, this allows me to test solutions on the spot – a very satisfying part of the role here at Zava.”
All their efforts go to managing and supporting the application system holding all prescriptions of the patients, for the pharmacists and the doctors.
Sara had been working in Egypt, supporting the DellEMC elite customers. She says “It was time for a change in my career and to move forward”.
She moved from Egypt to London while pregnant and now works part-time, which allows her to keep a healthy work–life balance.
Oloma Nwodu, Clinical Chief of Staff
Oloma trained as a Community Pharmacist but after a chance encounter in the world of digital healthcare she realised that she was after something a bit different.
Enter Zava. “After meeting our CEO, David, I was really interested. I liked his idea of making healthcare more accessible by offering an online service but it was a very new concept and I wanted to know more about the safety aspects as a pharmacist. I decided to join the pharmacy team on a trial basis, and I loved it! I quickly realised I could use my knowledge as a Community Pharmacist to help guide the ship in the best direction, ensuring we work above and beyond guidelines to keep our patients safe.”
Fast forward 5 years and Oloma has had several different roles. Most recently, she was appointed as our Clinical Chief of Staff.
“My new job is all about enabling our doctors to do the best job possible, providing high-quality patient care. I represent our doctors, making sure they’re understood by the non-healthcare professionals within our business whilst also helping them to support business requests. And, because I’m one of the longest-standing Zava employees, I’ve had great exposure to some of the more commercial and technical aspects of the business. Combine this with my clinical background, it means I’m in a great position to represent the Clinical team. I love being the person to help figure things out and that there’s not always a very clear answer in this rapidly developing field.”
Kayleigh Hartigan, Chief Commercial Officer
Kayleigh is often asked what it’s like to be the only woman currently sitting on our management team. It’s a question that she carefully considers before answering.
“I’ve worked in male-dominated industries for many years so I’m fairly used to being the only woman in the room. It's slightly more balanced in tech then in finance – but not much. I have genuinely enjoyed working with my male colleagues throughout my career but it's not always easy to be the ‘only’.
I have managed in various ways. Over the years I’ve learnt how to adapt my communication style to ensure my voice is heard amongst different audiences. I also think there’s a lot to be said for working together with male colleagues to drive change.
Supporting men to advocate for women and to teach other men about everyday, seemingly small, challenges. I am happy to say there are several of these individuals here at Zava.
And then there are the women I have met in my career – not necessarily the ones I talk to at women’s events but the ones that ring you up to give you heads-up on the market, look over your projects, put you forward for opportunities, and pour you a glass of wine. Without them I would not be where I am today.
And this leads me to one of the biggest challenges I face as a member of a Senior Management team: it is often both my professional and personal responsibility alone to ensure women’s voices are consistently listened to. This is not a task I take lightly and the pressure can, at times, feel significant.
I am answering this from the perspective of a woman in support of International Women's Day but I genuinely don’t believe we should just be focusing on gender inequality. We should be looking at diversity as a whole.
We need to create working environments with different people, from different backgrounds that think and tackle problems differently.”
Kayleigh has spent 15 years working in the healthcare sector through private equity advisory and roles in the NHS. She started her Zava journey 8 months ago, when she joined us as our Chief Commercial Officer.
“I know the healthcare market pretty well but I hadn’t spent much time looking at technology. I wanted to explore this further to better understand the opportunities in the world of digital healthcare.
Zava seemed like the perfect place to do this. And I haven’t been wrong. I love that Zava focuses on addressing unmet needs, using technology to make healthcare more efficient, and supports doctors rather than replacing them.
In my role as Chief Commercial Officer, I’m responsible for the growth of the business across our self-pay and partnership services. It’s a great role and we have some extremely exciting things planned this year – especially in Germany.”
Ruth Keiry, Head of UX
Ruth has always been fascinated by human beings: what they say, what they do and how they think. She's turned this fascination into a passion by creating digital products and services that provide meaningful experiences to users.
Thanks to the encouragement and support of two strong, supportive, influential women, also called Ruth, she’s carved out a successful career in user experience (UX).
“It sounds like I made it up, but I really did meet and work with two fantastic Ruths at different key stages of my career. They both coached, mentored and inspired me. I’ll always be grateful to them for helping me develop a career that I love.”
Ruth joined Zava last year, moving all the way from New Zealand to help us in our mission to make healthcare more accessible and dependable.
She initially joined as UX Design Manager but it was clear that Ruth was the right person for our Head of UX role.
“As Head of UX, I’m responsible for a team of UX researchers and UX/UI designers. It’s my job to empower the team, provide support so that they can all achieve the best outcomes and thrive.
Our work makes a difference to human beings, so everything we do involves understanding our users. You can’t design anything useful if you haven’t figured out who you’re designing for, what they want and why they want to use it.”
And, what does Ruth love most about working at Zava? “I love the people. We have an environment of openness, equality and trust where you can just be yourself and speak honestly.
We have teams of people from all over the world. Everyone has a different story. Everyone brings a new perspective. As a designer I find that really inspiring.”