Biotech Gender Gap


Mind The GapRobin Toft, life sciences executive recruiter, recently wrote an op-ed piece on Xconomy San Diego entitled “An Insider’s Guide to Bridging the Biotech Gender Gap”. She starts by summarizing the sad state of affairs for women in biotech.

Among biotech executive leadership teams, women make up a scant 20.9 percent for small and medium-sized enterprises (between 10-1,000 employees), which drops to 13.9 percent for big biotechs (more than 1,000 employees), according to the life sciences search firm Liftstream.

She then goes on to offer some solid advice for breaking out of middle management roles. It’s intended for women, but it’s good advice for men, as well. Here’s the basic outline:

  1. Identify your desired executive role.

  2. Be seen and heard in the community.

  3. Apply, even if you don’t meet all the qualifications.

Finally, she gives advice to those who are in a position to make a difference.

It’s essential for you to expand your talent pool through mentoring. (And yes, men can and should mentor women.) If your company doesn’t have a mentoring program, create one

…finding the leaders who are really the best for our companies means stretching beyond your own comfort zone.

When seeking out diverse candidates, don’t pretend that unconscious bias doesn’t exist. It does. Unconscious bias can influence the hiring process to favor men in various ways, from the language used in job postings to the way you screen resumes.

Provide career progression through promotions and profile-boosting projects.

Read the full article over at Xconomy San Diego