The WIDH Leadership Program Experience

Alcidion was proud to support the inaugural Australasian Institute of Digital Health (AIDH) Women in Digital Health (WIDH) Leadership program in 2022. Congratulations to Alcidion’s Samantha Townsend and Rhian Sketcher as well as all recent graduates in developing their personal and professional digital health careers.

Here, Sam and Rhian share their experiences in the program, what they learnt about themselves and the digital health industry.

Which of the three pillars of leadership – leading self, leading culture, leading people – did you enjoy learning about the most and how will you be able to apply this to your role? 

Sam: Leading culture resonated with me. The importance of building a strong supportive team and how important it is to foster this at every level of the organisation.

Rhian: Culture has always been a passion of mine, so I really enjoyed this, particularly the topics of diversity, equity and inclusion.

How has the program aided your career progression?   

Sam: The coaching helped me to understand what is important to me professionally and the in-person workshops allowed space to explore different ways of approaching challenging situations. Also, I now have a network of successful women working in digital health, what an invaluable resource!

Rhian: The coaching gave me the opportunity to focus on myself and what is important to me personally and professionally. As you progress through your career the importance of empowering others is pivotal to the success of you and your team.

What were your primary takeaways about the digital health sector? 

Sam: The complexity, the passion and the similarities in challenges across the private and public sectors.

Rhian: The biggest take away for me was the need to better leverage our networks. There is a huge amount of talent and passion, we need to find ways to better tap into this across the industry to solve complex problems and better utilise lessons learnt.

What did you enjoy most from participating in the program? 

Sam: Building relationships across the industry and the experience of professional coaching. I had never had one on one professional coaching and found it quite eye opening.

Rhian: The in-person retreats. It was fantastic to share ideas and experiences with such an intelligent and passionate group of digital health leaders.

Would you recommend this program to other women in the digital health space and why? 

Sam: I absolutely would. I didn’t find it too cumbersome in terms of the time commitment required which was a worry when I applied. The group were extremely supportive and open which made for a great learning environment and everyone was successful in their own right so it was a great opportunity to learn from the people in the room.

Rhian: Absolutely. The combination of in-person retreats, one on one coaching and group project work, over a 6-month period makes it a unique program. Running the program over that timeframe gives you time to reflect on the content, take actions in the work place and build relationships with the other participants.

To learn more about the AIDH WIDH program, visit