Tackling Women’s Health Issues with Healthcare Strategy & Product Leader, Mamta Elias

Despite the fact that women make up 50% of the population, women's health tech startups received only 13.26% of total digital health funding in 2022. This is a quote that's front and center for Mamta Elias, Healthcare Strategy and Product Leader, who's on a mission to bring an empathy-first approach to healthcare innovation. 

We sat down with Mamta to hear more about her work as a Women's Health Advocate, Advisor, and Speaker.

Read more about her career journey, her thoughts on women's health, and her top career advice for mid-career professionals. 

What led you into the field of healthcare?

Growing up, I thought I wanted to pursue a career as a physician. However, as I got closer to making decisions about higher education and my professional path, I had some personal experiences that highlighted major flaws in our broader healthcare system, particularly around access to care.

Those experiences solidified my desire to work in healthcare, but pulled me more towards the policy side rather than direct care delivery.

I felt that healthcare policy would allow me to have an impact on driving the systemic changes needed in our healthcare system, especially when it comes to improving access and affordability. 

Since that initial decision, my career has taken me from policy to industry, but I continue to be motivated by working in roles & companies that are focused on improving access to care, particularly in underserved areas of healthcare. 

You’re passionate about speaking about women’s health. Why is that important to you and what topics would you love to speak on more?

Women's health is a cause that is deeply personal and important to me, stemming from both my own lived experiences, as well as a firm belief that as a society, we desperately need to do better when it comes to addressing the unique health needs of women - who make up half of our population.

The state of women's health is hugely problematic.

From the well-documented gender disparities in research, where women have been historically underrepresented, to the widespread lack of education and awareness around women's health issues. Added to this are the systemic and cultural barriers that disproportionately impact the health of women of color. 

One area I would love to speak more about is the role of digital & virtual care in women’s health. I’m also interested in speaking about the importance of broadening the scope of women’s health beyond reproductive health to include the range of conditions that affect women uniquely, disproportionately, or differently than men.

What have you done to be intentional about navigating your career journey?

First, I’ve prioritized building experiences across the healthcare ecosystem - from policy, to management consulting, to healthcare startups.

My range of experiences gives me a holistic & multi-faceted understanding of our complicated healthcare system, which I think is crucial to making meaningful change.

Secondly, I actively seek out advice & support on my career, whether it’s informally through my network or formally through career coaching (thank you, Jenni!). 

Where do you see your career going in the future? 

I’m excited to continue to build my career in digital health, particularly in companies that are solving problems for underserved populations, including women’s health.

I’ve also found a nice sweet spot in strategic & commercially-oriented product roles, so I’ll continue to seek out leadership opportunities in this space.

Lastly, I’ve enjoyed the agility and culture at smaller companies, so I’d like to stay in the startup ecosystem. 

What resources and advice would you recommend to others navigating their career journey?

I highly recommend others branch out to get advice from peers, mentors, or coaches.

Having an outside perspective on my career has been invaluable for broadening my thinking, identifying blind spots, and being intentional about goals & opportunities.

What trends are you following these days that you feel excited about?

I’m closely following the recent surge of momentum and resources being directed towards women's health.

I’m excited that the stars are finally aligning with increased focus and investment in women's health coming from policy, research, industry players, investors, and the startup world.

 Another trend I find promising is the growing recognition that women's health extends beyond reproductive issues, encompassing a wide range of conditions that only affect women, impact women more than men (e.g., migraines and Alzheimer’s), or present differently in women than men (e.g., cardiovascular health).

Overall, I’m energized by the convergence of activity and attention finally being paid to this crucial area of healthcare that has been neglected for too long.

What’s your favorite piece of feedback you’ve received in your career that you’d like to pass on to others.

One of the most valuable pieces of career advice I've received is to not get overly consumed by any single role or moment, because your professional journey is a marathon, not a sprint.

Instead, create a longer-term view for yourself and use that to identify the skills, experiences, and impact areas that really motivate you. Then be selective about your next steps through that broader lens.

Another great piece of advice I’ve gotten (and have learned to be true the longer I work) is to prioritize who you work with and for, just as much as what you work on. The people you surround yourself with profoundly impact your day-to-day and your growth. 

Learn more about Mamta and connect with her here.

In you're ready to get more out of your career, here are three ways that we can support you. 

1) Join Our Job Search Accelerator Membership. Our structured step-by-step process to clarify, attract, and land your ideal opportunities.

2) Work 1:1 with Jenni. Learn more and book a complimentary call.

3) Work with a Coach in our Collective. Learn more and book a complimentary call.