Liz Ashall-Payne – Founding CEO of ORCHA



“This year’s International Women’s Day is all about celebrating women in leadership in a Covid-19 world. It couldn’t be more apt. The service I founded six years ago, which provides health app libraries for the NHS and 11 other government organisations around the world, has grown massively during the epidemic as more of us have turned to our phones to manage our day-to-day health.”




“I’m lucky to be in the right place at the right time – but they also say that luck is preparedness meeting opportunity. So, my message to entrepreneurial women is aim high, work very hard and care very deeply about what you believe in.”

“The tech industry is still male dominated and sometimes it can be hard to be heard. Women need to be bold, be confident and be themselves. Don’t apologise. You have a right to be in the room. And to the men out there – yes, you can help too by recognising the issue and addressing it head on.”

“It’s strange that in our high-tech world women still encounter some very old-fashioned attitudes. Change will happen if we persist. That starts in schools, with young girls applying themselves and dreaming big dreams. Then young women, just starting out, need to find what inspires them and obsess about it.”

“I started out as an NHS speech and language therapist and my absolute obsession was the fact that I could only see one patient at a time. When health apps came along, I realised this was it. Millions of people could use all these health apps in thousands of different ways to support them with wellbeing, health management and recovery. The big questions was, were those apps clinically safe and safe with our data?”

“I took one step at a time and today 60% of NHS regions have ORCHA app libraries full of high quality, trustworthy apps. So, take one step at a time, surround yourself with amazing people and when you find someone who you feel would be a good mentor – male or female – ask for help. Never be afraid to ask.”