Doctor Care Anywhere chief executive Kate Newhouse thinks women have certain advantages in business. Niki Mullin met her at the Global Female Leaders summit in Berlin, an invitation-only economic forum organized by Management Circle AG
Tell me about your line of business. How did you get into it, what attracted you to it, and what is your key role?
Doctor Care Anywhere is a digital healthcare company, at the core of which are virtual and phone GP appointments. So from an international perspective this essentially means, primary care doctor consultations. The key thing is that it is virtual, accessible from wherever you are in the world, 365 days per year. My role was to work out what the commercial business model is, how are we actually going to get this out to customers, and figure out what the optimum user journey is. I look after our main channel partners here in the UK
What are the greatest challenges you have had as a female leader in your industry and how have you overcome them?
Within healthcare in the UK, there is a reasonable split of genders. That said, I do often find myself as the only female leader in a leadership room. Looking internally within our company, it’s not an issue. There is that stark reality of feeling alone. When I walk into external client meetings, if I’m on my own and not with my senior male colleagues, I sometimes feel like they are waiting for the decision-maker to walk in. Now I’m not sure if that is a gender issue, or an age issue. It’s probably the combination. How do I overcome that? I just ignore it.
People often talk about the disadvantages of being a woman in business. Are there any advantages? If so, what are they and why?
Intuition, definitely. There’s a strong empathetic understanding of how people will react due to feelings, the female brain has a better view of that, it is simply more natural for women. And also relationship management, in my experience women seem to be better at it.
What three things do you count as your biggest achievements?
- Growing DCA to where it is now, from a startup to a 30+ strong workforce
- Securing our exclusive relationship as a virtual GP provider for AXA PPP and their customers
- Personally, successfully navigating the switch from a consultant to CEO
If you could give one piece of advice to a young woman starting out in the business world, what would it be?
Have confidence in yourself, don’t rely on others to sing your praises, you have to believe in your own ability, and let others know about it.
We often hear that the business world is still too macho, and male-orientated. Is this fair? To what extent has this changed?
It depends on the sector, from a UK perspective I think it’s only the case in a certain few sectors. And if this does exist, then no it’s not fair! Simple.
Watch out for a major exploration of whether men and women lead differently in the next edition of Dialogue.