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Biotechnology Industry Wants to Diversify Leadership

April 16, 2019
“Continued progress requires an unprecedented level of innovation and problem solving—and this is best achieved by tapping into multiple and diverse perspectives and experiences," said Helen Torley of BIO.

Understanding that diversity is good for the bottom line, The Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) announced on April 16 that it’s taking action on trying to increase gender, racial, ethnic and LGBTQ representation on biotech company boards, in C-suites and in functional leadership positions.

Recent studies, including 2018 Why Diversity Matters report conducted by McKinsey & Company, companies in the top 25% for gender diversity and top 35% for racial diversity are more likely to have higher financial returns than less diverse companies.

To ensure its member companies are seeing those types of returns, the organization, which the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers across 30 nations, created a “Right Mix Matters” campaign.

Associated with this campaign are two new solutions:

  • The new BIO Boardlist is an online portal of curated talent that connects highly qualified diverse leaders with opportunities to serve on private and public company boards.
  • The BIO Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit is a set of practical tools for developing programs, procedures and best practices to build a diverse workforce.

“Our industry is stronger than ever before and there is a collective sense of excitement about the future of biotechnology,” said Helen Torley, CEO of Halozyme and Chair of BIO’s board-level Workforce Development, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.

“Continued progress requires an unprecedented level of innovation and problem solving—and this is best achieved by tapping into multiple and diverse perspectives and experiences. The new tools address specific barriers biotech leaders tell us they face today in building diverse and inclusive teams and boards and will, I believe, lead to improved development and increased visibility of talented, diverse leaders.”

The BIO Boardlist database provides detailed profiles of talented, board-eligible, diverse individuals with extensive experience in the biotech industry. CEOs and/or board members can nominate board-ready diverse candidates for the BIO Boardlist. Once vetted and approved, candidates become part of the BIO Boardlist and can be discovered by CEOs and board members through a search feature.

All leaders, employees and human resources departments of biotech companies around the country will have access to proven tools through the D&I Toolkit which can assist with identifying and developing diverse talent. This includes the top resources from successful programs from member companies.

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