As March comes to an end, we want to highlight the efforts and leadership of women across Curative. These women have pushed the boundaries in their respective fields to enhance health equity and build a healthier tomorrow.
Healthcare is an industry that surpasses others in female representation, where women account for three-quarters of full-time, year-round workers. However, women of color remain underrepresented in leadership positions across all levels of the industry. While representation is more favorable in healthcare than other industries, according to McKinsey’s recent study, women occupy a large number of entry-level healthcare roles, but still only account for 42% of Vice President roles, 31% of Senior Vice President positions, and 30% of C-suite executives.
These numbers are critical as women represent a significant patient population — 57% of patients who visit an emergency department are women, and most are women of color. Clinical outcomes and healthcare confidence are correlated to a diverse workforce and representation in staffing. In the biotech, device, and pharmaceutical industry, women representation in developing and marketing solutions for health conditions that disproportionately impact women ensures more successful outcomes. Ultimately, women’s strength, resilience, and compassion brings unique and invaluable contributions to the healthcare industry.
At Curative, we are dedicated to empowering women on our team into leadership roles. Below are just some of the extraordinary women we get to work with every day. We asked them what it means to be a woman leader in healthcare. From data to communications to lab operations — read what they have to say below:
“What does it mean to you to be a woman leader in healthcare?”
Lara Ortiz-Luis, MBA, MS
Product Design Lead
“Being a woman in this industry affords me a unique perspective to investigate, empathize, and problem-solve in service of health equity. I see it as my responsibility to bring social determinants of health into every conversation through human-centered product design.”
Jody De Souza
Licensed Vocational Nurse
“At times, we navigate stressful situations, and, as a nurse in a women-dominated field, I am left with a sense of camaraderie as we ‘get it done’. Working with other women and seeing how we conquer challenges time after time is very empowering.”
Chelsea Williams, MPH, CCPH Communications Manager
“To me, being a leader in healthcare means doing my part to create equitable access for all. By addressing the social determinants that challenge good health in minority and underserved communities, we can change the narrative and create a legacy of health.”
Alex Smith, PhD
Director of Operations, D.C. Lab
“Being a woman leader in healthcare has been a great adventure. With an increasing yet still limited number of women holding executive or leadership positions in healthcare, it can be difficult to find a mentor. I hope to pave the way for other women so they know it is possible. Working with Curative, what I bring to the table as a woman is greatly utilized, and I feel grateful to work for such a company. If my role as a Director of Operations makes one single woman believe in herself, then I feel honored to be a woman leader in healthcare.”
Divna Lazic, PhD
Director of Systems Engineering
“Being a leader in healthcare for me is honoring, yet humbling. I am grateful that last year I served patients during the pandemic, and this year I have an opportunity to help improve the healthcare system and bring other types of testing to everyone in need.
Being a woman leader and immigrant (I came from Serbia a few years ago) gives me confidence that people are valued based on their potential, skills, and accomplishments, and not based on gender or origin. I know that I am with the company that puts quality first, and I always felt that I had a fair chance.”
Director of Vaccine Distribution – Texas
“It is so very humbling that each day I have the opportunity to work alongside such amazingly dedicated and talented women who are doing the work to get us all back to a new normal. I am so proud to work on the vaccine launch in Texas and to be trusted to build those relationships that will last forever.
Being a part of a monumental time in history has been extremely humbling and a memory I will never forget. It has been amazing to see the world come together to fight this battle as a team. I am proud to be a woman in the healthcare field at Curative.”
Carmelita Torres, MS, MBA
Director of Quality Assurance
“For me, being a woman leader in the healthcare industry has been a fulfilling journey and opportunity to serve and contribute my talents, skills, and education to make a difference in people’s lives. When I started my career, I knew I wanted to improve the quality of people’s lives. Since then, having worked in the healthcare industry for several years with diagnostics, pharmaceutical, and medical device companies, from the laboratory to management, I have witnessed firsthand the impact working in healthcare has on all our lives. Now, as Director of Quality Assurance at Curative, I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to use my healthcare experience to help the fight to end COVID-19 pandemic.”
Arlayn M. Ladson-Castle, JD
HIPAA Compliance and Privacy Officer
“As a woman leader in healthcare for over ten (10) years, I have used my voice & collaborative efforts to bridge the equity gap. Leading cross-functional teams and serving as a leader in Corporate Compliance, Ethics & HIPAA has allowed me the opportunity to mentor & inspire many individuals to look beyond what makes them different and to focus on providing value in ways that impact & change lives.”
Jean Xie, PhD
Head of Illumina Next Generation Sequencing
“To be a women leader in healthcare means the opportunity to contribute my scientific knowledge and experience to the advancements of medicine. It also means the responsibility to be a role model for young scientists, especially young women scientists.”
Siri Kodeboyina, PhD
AD, Compliance & Regulatory Affairs
“Serving in health care during the pandemic and scaling COVID-19 testing has been the most gratifying experience of my professional career. Curative served as a melting pot for innovation through partnership between teams with a variety of life experiences and training. I am delighted to be part of this team and the significant milestones we reached in the past 12 months. Serving in a leadership role, I find the most joy in cross-functional collaboration and the ability to mentor some of the most resourceful, creative, and passionate young people on our teams. We have many inspiring women leaders in the organization, and this year has served as a launching pad for the next set of fierce leaders that will break the glass ceiling.”