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Women in Tech – Advice for the Next Generation of Women Leaders in Health Tech

Wherever you have diversity, you have better performance.

Maria Pacella, SVP and co-manager of Pender Technology Inflection Fund is joined by Natalie Dakers and Norma Biln, role models for any young girl looking for a career in the STEM disciplines. Natalie is the President, CEO and founder of Accel-Rx Health Sciences Accelerator and Norma is the CEO of Augurex. They discuss how they zoned in on how they wanted to channel their interest in the sciences, and how they made a successful career happen for themselves. They also talk about some of the obstacles they had to overcome, how they have honed their leadership style and other things they have learned.

Key Takeaways

01:52 – Maria asks Norma and Natalie what inspired them both to study sciences in university.

05:29 – Natalie shares that as a first-time CEO she was told the “chances of you succeeding in this role are really low” and how it gave her “great incentive to begin”.

14:25 – Natalie provides perspective on investing in early stage companies and shares that “when you’re investing in anything, the first judgement has to be around people.”

22:52 – Maria asks Norma and Natalie what they think is the most significant barrier for women in a leadership role.

26:48 – Norma remarks that at “no time has it been better to be female in business.”

41:19 – Norma explains what is has been like to have Natalie as Chair of the Augurex Board of Directors.

50:24 – Natalie and Norma each tell Maria one word they would use to describe themselves.

52:03 – Norma shares a few of the books she is currently reading.

Mentioned in this episode:

Maria Pacella, Senior VP, Private Equity and Portfolio Manager

Pender Technology Inflection Fund

Natalie Dakers

Norma Biln



University of British Columbia (UBC)

Neuromed Pharmaceuticals

Abbott Laboratories

Centre for Drug Research and Development (CDRD)

Anthony Marotta




Terry Snutch

The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlich

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands by Eric Topol


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