A nurse by profession, Lisa Riley is Vice President of Strategy & Sales (& Deputy CEO) VitalHub UK.
Lisa Riley started her career over 20 years ago in the NHS. She spent several years working in community care, before moving on to the national Emergency Care Intensive Support Team (ECIST). Lisa has supported some of the most challenged urgent and emergency care systems in England, driving the delivery of patient flow enhancements that lead to safer, faster, and improved care for patients. With an extensive background 'whole system' flow, Lisa became synonymous with Discharge to Assess pathways, and more notably as the creator of the nationally recognised Medway Home First Model.
Why do you support Computing's Women in Tech Excellence Campaign?
As a woman who started her career as a nurse, on the ground helping patients, and having worked my way up through healthcare and into a leading role in the health technology space, I think it's extremely important that women are recognised and rewarded for the part they play in improving and diversifying the tech industry.
How did you get into IT industry?
I spent the first few years of my career working in-hospital, but soon recognised that acute care is only a very small piece of a much bigger picture and that, for myself, to truly feel like I could make a difference I wanted to experience other parts of the jigsaw. Whilst working at NHS Improvement I came to appreciate how complicated 'we' make things and that actually, there is a lot of technology out there to support teams, often in some of the most pressured times they will ever experience. By digitising healthcare, we are able to give people the tools they need, when they need them. I was introduced to a research and development company, called Transforming Systems, who were leading the way in improving data integration and visualisation and I agreed to join their team to bring my clinical experience into their technology world. I have since helped drive and lead the company to be successfully deployed across over 66% of the NHS in England and now oversee an additional nine health software companies in the UK.
What you think is the main reason why the IT Industry is mainly male, especially in technical roles and senior positions?
I think historically there has been gender bias in most industries and especially in senior positions, and I think it's a legacy issue that I am glad to say, I think we are seeing change in, especially in tech. When I first started out in nursing it was still at a time when nurses were female and doctors were male, and I was taught that you were never to question a doctor! After the first couple of instances where I saw that doctors weren't always right and that they do make mistakes, I started to speak up as it was the right thing to do for my patients and it personally protected them. Respectfully challenging culture and chipping away at bias so that people are judged on ability and not any other label they may carry is starting to make a difference, and I'm delighted to be part of a new cohort of female echelons, who are leading the way and inspiring the younger generation of women who wish to be involved in the tech industry.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your career?
Don't be afraid to be a rebel; speak up, put yourself out there and know your worth.
What are your three top tips for women looking to start a career in IT?/What advice would you give to young women aspiring to take on leadership roles?
- You don't have to be an expert in technology to be a leader in technology
- Have the confidence to push forward in a male-dominated industry
- Don't be afraid to bring passion to the tech world - all tech needs the human element too