Unlocking Opportunities in Inclusive Healthcare

Women, non-binary people, and other marginalized groups comprise more than half the world’s population, but healthcare in the United States and many places across the globe is woefully inadequate at responding to their needs—especially accounting for additional factors, such as race and socio-economic status.

It’s a major problem. But it’s also a significant opportunity. In partnership with Rachael Kim of Femtech Salon, Fenwick partners Sarah Chambless and Jennifer Yoo hosted our 2024 NextGen Inclusive Healthcare Breakfast Kick Off—where leaders in femtech, including Portfolia lead partner Delphine O’Rourke, Tukes & Company managing partner and LGBT+ VC co-founder Tiana Tukes, CVS Health Ventures investor Krishna Shah, Elektra Health Co-founder and CEO Alessandra Henderson, and special guest Jamie White, came together with fellow founders and investors and exchange ideas for a more inclusive healthcare future. With more than $1.8 billion under attendees’ combined management, there was perhaps no better group to lay the groundwork for a better, healthier tomorrow.

Here are the highlights:

Defining inclusive healthcare. Inclusive healthcare is a standard where individuals at any intersection of race, class, gender, age, ability, and sexuality have access to medical care and treatments that are respectful, dignified, and culturally competent. It advocates closing healthcare gaps through applicable and responsible research, while acknowledging there are no one-size-fits-all solutions.

It’s ready for its moment. Interest is growing as more people recognize the fundamental need for inclusive healthcare. The 2022 U.S. Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision upending the constitutional right to abortion was a recent galvanizing moment. Now, the Biden Administration’s White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research and the World Economic Forum’s Global Alliance for Women's Health are amplifying opportunity and poised to spur investment.

Founders: Find your people. It’s time to get educated about the myriad paths for financing—especially through non-dilutive funding, such as government grants—and strategize accordingly. Inclusive health is having a moment, and many foundations and philanthropy groups are also looking to invest.

Investors: You can make a serious impact. Historically, few are investing in women’s and inclusive health. That’s despite the significant opportunities those areas present. Now is a prime time for women investors to lead by stepping in and fill those gaps.