Does biotech industry have a woman problem?


Article originally posted on LinkedIn:

Recently, I had an interesting conversation with one of the female recruiters working for a large medical device company. She tried to recruit me to one of the executive positions. Of course, before we talked, I went online to see their executive team composition. During our chat, I mentioned to her that their executive leaders (close to 20) are all men with the exception of HR head. In a defensive response, she said that to them, it was more about getting the best person to do the job, not about the gender diversity but they do try to use HR algorithms to maintain a higher percentage of women working for them. Well, to me this was a mind-blowing response. I am sure that in their case, they could not find a single talented woman for their R&D executive team…We are so rare! (no, we are not, pardon my irony).

Dear Recruiters, if you have an executive job for me, you need to know I always go to the employer’s webpage to see their leadership and board teams. If there are no women among R&D leaders, I will not consider that employer. There is always a hidden reason why this is the case, and it has nothing to do with the number of qualified women available to take such a job.

There are pharma and biotech companies, which address gender diversity well, such as Pfizer or Amgen, and there are many more, which do not. I decline membership in companies which have not made any progress in creating gender diversified leadership over years. Maybe some of them have a recent, sudden change of the heart and try to evolve. They should be aware however that any woman, who is seeking to join the ‘white men’s club’ will have significant issues to be recognized and treated as an equal. I am up to many challenges, but to this one, I am saying no, thank you. I will stick to the potential employers who already appreciate what women can bring to their business.

As a bonus, please see the below link to the related article:

“Boston biotech has a woman problem”:


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