Are you a woman in NYC Tech and interested in participating in this series? Make sure to read the whole article…
Much has been said and written about the lack of women in the tech sector, be it as investors (or associates), founders, or in management positions at major companies. Is the problem the old boys network – or that success in technology is seen as a young man’s game? In this series, we speak with some of the top women in tech in New York as they discuss the challenges they face, the perceptions that need to be changed and the work that’s being done – or not – to help to promote women in tech.
Today we speak with Sally Poblete, a leader and innovator in the health care industry for over 20 years. The founder of Wellthie, Sally started the company out of a deep passion for making health insurance more simple and approachable for consumers. She had a successful career leading product development at Anthem as well as worked at several health care startups including HealthMarket and Medscape. An entrepreneur at heart, Sally also ran a long-term health care business and is recognized as one of New York Business Journal’s Women of Influence.
What’s your background and how did you develop your career as a female entrepreneur in the NYC tech ecosystem?
I spent over 20 years as a leader and innovator in the health insurance industry, including a successful career leading product development at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, one of the nation’s largest health insurance companies. As a broker and former industry executive I founded Wellthie out of a deep passion for making health insurance more simple and approachable for consumers and small businesses.
Earlier on I received my B.S. in Management magna cum laude from New York University and received my MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, specializing in Health Care Management. Since founding the company, Wellthie has received numerous recognitions as an innovator in the healthcare industry, including “Forbes 10 Healthcare Tech Disruptors to Watch,” “30 Health Tech Startups with the Potential to Change the World,” and “Top 40 Health Care Transformers.” Most recently, I was recognized as one of New York Business Journal’s Women of Influence.
What are the advantages of being a woman in tech?
The advantages of being in tech (for males and females) is the power to create new solutions, solve problems, and change the world.
What can be done to further promote female entrepreneurs and women in tech in New York?
- Start early – instill love for technology and entrepreneurship in elementary school and public school education
- Mentoring – companies can offer internships to young students,
- Sponsorship – companies can offer scholarships or fund the technology education (coding camps, etc.) of young and underprivileged students
- Role models – continue to shine the light and celebrate women in technology so that they can be role models for others
What is diversity to you and do you see it evolving in tech?
Diversity does not simply mean a reference race or socio-economic status. In this sense, there is great diversity in the way people think and the areas where technology can be applied. For example, advances in technology (hardware and software) in the arts are just as powerful as those in the field of medicine.
Why do you think it’s important that women retain, grow, and develop into senior roles within their organizations?
To serve as a role model for others and for these leaders to promote policies that support the growth of women in these fields.
How do you see the future of teams and interactions in a diverse environment and what implications will this have?
Teams that are diverse are strong and effective. Having women on teams adds different ways to solve problems. Teams are also diverse in geography/location, age, lifestyle, education, and socio-economic backgrounds. Technology has allowed teams to come together virtually and instantly to work on projects — and it’s remarkable how much faster and better work can get done. There are so many more opportunities to share skill sets and ideas — thus professionals need to be more agile, flexible and collaborative in their style of working.
How can women rise in the ecosystem and what are the unseen barriers?
They can rise through mentorships, sponsorships as described above and having role models to look to that have come before them.
Please tell us about a few organizations that you are involved with or respect that are promoting women in tech.
Landit is a great new organization empowering women in their careers. Girls Who Code is also very effective in how they focus on helping educate women to get into software development.
What can men do to participate in this discussion?
Men are integral part of the movement – not simply the discussion. Men who are taking on equal responsibilities at home (childcare, housekeeping, etc.) enable women to have more time and ability to pursue their careers in technology.
The team at AlleyWatch believes it’s important to have an inclusive discussion around the challenges facing women in tech along with highlighting the work of the female entrepreneurs that have made NYC one of the best places for women in tech according to some recent studies. That’s why we are running this series that showcases women in tech in New York.
If you are a female founder in NYC working in tech and interested in participating in the series please visit this link or click on the image above.
Please feel free to pass this on to any women in NYC that you feel should be considered for the series. Thank you.