Helius celebrates female leadership

Carmen Doran is the chief executive officer of Helius Therapeutics.

Medical cannabis company Helius Therapeutics has recently celebrated its female leadership on Suffrage Day.

Not only is it New Zealand’s first medical cannabis business to gain a GMP Licence to Manufacture Medicines, but Helius is led by chief executive, Carmen Doran.

“Helius values diversity of thinking, backgrounds and experiences,” Doran says. “This has led to us building a strong team with a very good gender balance at all levels of the business.”

Recent Helius appointments include Joanna Perry MNZM to its board and Mary Alice Simon as chief operating officer.

Helius says that with studies showing that women make 80 per cent of all healthcare decisions for their families, they are determined to ensure females are a key part of New Zealand’s health journey.

Doran is often called upon to present at industry and healthcare events and to speak to secondary schools for girls, including Dunedin’s Columba College Year 12 AgriBusiness class.

“We’re definitely seeing a gender switch in the STEM subjects with more young women taking up science, technology, engineering and maths,” Doran says.

As well as a Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Doran has 15 years’ experience in the global pharmaceuticals and animal health industries.

“New Zealand needs to build pipelines of talent, starting in our primary schools. That is how we will keep moving the dial,” Doran says.