Minorities in STEM

Addressing Gender Imbalance in Biotechnology Requires a Change in Recruitment and Hiring Practices

Holding recruiters and hiring managers accountable for increasing women in STEM at all organization levels is an important strategy for making much needed progress.
— By Debra Jenkins

The gender gap in the global biotechnology industry persists, proving the stubbornness and real impact of unconscious and cultural biases. In 1997, a Bioventure Women in Biotechnology Survey reported 15 percent of the top 100 publicly held biotech companies had women in top management and 5 percent had female CEOs. Zooming ahead to 2014, the UK executive recruitment firm Liftstream's survey of 1,500 public companies in Europe and the U.S. found that female-held leadership positions in large companies accounted for 13.9 percent. That is very little progress over 17 years by any measure.

When Liftstream's CEO was asked if there is more interest in recruiting women in biotechnology, he said there is more "consciousness and awareness" at the board level, but ther...

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