International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated each year on March 8, bringing a global focus to social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. With roots as far back as 1911, IWD aims to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and create a world free of bias and stereotypes; a world that is diverse, fair, and inclusive.
The theme for #IWD2023 is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. This theme is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
IWD is particularly special to Medic. Our work is driven by frontline health workers and community-based care teams, a large majority of whom are women. These health workers, in turn, provide care to mothers, young women, and girls, all who need a trusted and consistent care provider. While Medic builds digital health tools for everyone, our values based in solidarity guide a particular focus on female community health workers and the women to which they provide care, ensuring CHT tools are designed with and for the communities who rely on them.
However, supporting women goes beyond our end users. While the technology sector, and the ICT4D field in particular, is characterized by significant gender disparities, we prioritize diversity and inclusion in the makeup of our global team – across all genders, races, cultural heritages, and differences that make our team and global society wonderfully unique.
Sixty percentof our CXO team self-identify as women and 47% of our senior leadership self-identify as women. This is an important measurement to ensure our values are demonstrated in our organizational structure and helps keep us accountable to building a team that boldly represents women in the healthcare sector, women in tech, and broadly reflects the users and communities where Medic and CHT are leveraged.
This year, we’re spotlighting eight Medic teammates who are championing technology to advance equitable access to health. These women represent our global team, are from different departments, and are located across six continents. We invite you to learn more about their roles, dreams, and reflections on why our work is so crucial as we celebrate #IWD2023.
As a technology professional at Medic, my role is to contribute to building accessible, relevant, open-source digital tools that serve the underserved, and ultimately support the health workers delivering equitable care that reaches everyone. Our team is committed to using our passion for tech to serve community health workers and ensure that universal health coverage becomes a reality. This is particularly close to my heart as a high percentage of health workers are women and I am truly happy to contribute building tools tailored to their needs and that empower them to deliver the much-needed care to their communities.
Andra Blaj, Engineering Manager
Technology is changing the world as we know it. Direct to client messaging places the health of clients in the palm of their hands, giving them a platform to get prompt responses to their concerns and questions. Working with women and community health volunteers to co-design and develop applications that work for them is a truly enlightening experience. Their improved digital literacy also means that they can do even more with the devices they would otherwise not have access to, or would not know how to use. I am honored to be part of a team that responsibly uses technology to create amazing, meaningful, client health experiences.
Everlyn Waweru, Senior Researcher
My work as a Technical writer ensures that people are able to access essential information that is easy to understand and up-to-date. The resources provided are open-source thus everyone can access them and use them to enhance their knowledge of digital health tools.Through my work, people can build digital health applications that ensure everyone can receive health care and eliminate inequalities resulting from differences in health and in overall living conditions.
Esther Mariachana Moturi, Technical Writer
As a software engineer, getting to know CHWs is the best way to continuously discover their needs, pain points, and desires that matter most to provide care. It is a process where we observe and read things that are not yet voiced. The more we can understand where community health workers are in health equality, the more we create opportunities for them to access health care.
Jennifer Quesada, Software Developer
Innovation and technology have the power to transform healthcare delivery, and at Medic, we are harnessing that power to support the achievement of health equality across the world. By leveraging mobile and web tools, we are improving healthcare access and outcomes for underserved communities and demonstrating the potential of technology to drive positive social impact.
Joviah Tuhaise, Project Manager
As a woman, Medic’s mission feels deeply personal to me. Because our work is centered around the empowerment of Community Health Workers — the vast majority of whom are women — their spirit is always at the core of my work. CHWs are a force of good, and their commitment to their communities along with an incredible dedication to provide care at the last mile keeps me grounded in the “why” of Medic.
Kaitlyn Neel, Philanthropy Manager
As most CHWs are women, we see their empowerment as essential for gender equality. Medic is proud to support, as an active member of the Community Health Impact Coalition, the professionalization of CHWs so they are trained, paid, supervised and recognized for their work. We are also walking the talk as an organization, with three of five senior-most executives being women and ongoing recruitment and advancement of women throughout Medic.
Krishna Jafa, Chief Executive Officer
Health is a fundamental human right and everyone should have access to it. As an Engineering Manager at Medic, I work closely with Ministries of Health and NGOs in sub-saharan Africa to understand their communities’ needs regarding their healthcare workflows and evaluate with them the feasibility of their digital solutions. All this is contributing to achieving health equity in remote areas in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Niger – I’m so proud to be servicing communities, through CHWs. I believe that technology is one of the greatest inventions of the world. This has brought innovation in the health care sector. It is facilitating healthcare provision, even in the hardest to reach areas and it’s dematerializing the caregiving process. This is amazing!