Volpara Solutions’ new office may well be in the running for the best work view in Wellington.
From here you feel like you’re on top of the world and when you see the boats and planes going in and out you see how fully connected we are.
Volpara CEO, Ralph Highnam
Volpara set up its home base in Wellington in 2009, borne from Ralph’s breakthrough research in medical physics and artificial intelligence at Oxford University. Because he was so deeply affected by the loss of friends and family members to breast cancer, he decided to apply his findings to breast imaging which has resulted in revolutionary health outcomes for those susceptible to breast cancer.
Today, Volpara has 170 employees globally with around half based in Wellington, and they expect to continue to expand.
Chief People Officer Kat Greene says they’re a global company, with most of their business coming out of the US but having their headquarters in Wellington is deliberate and very much underpins their wider company’s culture and practice. Their space and the work they do is governed by whānau – a sense of family, she says.
“Our offices are set up to facilitate that. We have a large communal space where the whole company gathers every week to celebrate successes and keep up with what all the branches of our family are up to.”
“Aside from that, we have a flexible working style here – it is not unusual for the senior execs to be seen leaving at 3pm to pick up the kids – and lots of opportunities for fun.”
A bigger space for bigger things
Their new space is about three times larger than their last Wellington office and it’s been a welcome reprieve to have more space for their expanding team, she says.
Split over two levels, the open plan office is set up to allow for more collaboration between their teams. There’s also a number of breakout meeting rooms, all named after important people in the breast imaging field, a fitting hat-tip to why they do the work they do.
The lunch room is open kitchen space, where you can eat lunch looking out over the ocean – a beautiful vista to get a break from screens.
But the workspace is just window-dressing compared to the drive of their staff to make a real difference, Kat says.
“One of the key reasons people join Volpara is to be part of our mission. Almost everyone has been touched by cancer in some way and wants to be part of making a difference in that story. Not many companies can truly say that they are out to save lives!”
“As a knowledge-based business our people are at the heart of everything we do. It is only by having experts in their field, and those at the top of their game onboard that we can change the world.”