28 June 2019 | News
The new partnership will help change the landscape of life science boardrooms by expanding executive women’s resources and visibility
Executive Women in Bio (EWIB), a committee comprised of senior leaders in the life sciences and biopharma operating within the national non-profit organization, Women In Bio (WIB), is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO). Through this partnership, senior women executives who complete EWIB’s Boardroom Ready program can elect to be listed on BIO Boardlist, a searchable directory of eligible executives in which members can recommend peers and companies can find board candidates that best fit their business needs.
With less than 15 percent of life science company board positions filled by women, increasing equity in consideration for these leadership positions will take a change in thinking across the industry. Motivated by both the moral obligation to give all eligible candidates equal opportunity to advance up the corporate ladder, as well as the growing body of research indicating that diverse boards tend to generate returns above the industry average, EWIB and BIO have developed programs and taken steps to counteract women’s underrepresentation on executive boards.
“Executive Women In Bio established the Boardroom Ready program to help experienced female leadership overcome the hurdles to obtaining a corporate board seat,” said Carolyn Brougham, executive liaison at WIB. ”Adding the program alumnae to the BIO Boardlist furthers the mission of EWIB and Boardroom Ready by expanding the resources, network, and opportunities available for these outstanding life science executives.”
Each year, EWIB’s Boardroom Ready program selects 20 top biotech and pharmaceutical executive women to participate in an intensive board competency-building curriculum to refine each candidate’s understanding of the responsibilities related to serving on both public and private boards. A key benefit of this program is leveraging the extensive network of WIB, experienced board mentors, and supporters throughout the life sciences. To date, program participants have been appointed to 32 board positions.
“It makes more than just common sense, but also business sense, that governing boards of biopharmaceutical companies reflect the diversity seen within the ranks of their scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, and patients,” said Helen Torley, M.B. Ch.B., M.R.C.P, President, CEO and member of the Board of Directors of Halozyme Therapeutics and chair of BIO’s Workforce Development, Diversity & Inclusion (WDDI) Committee. “We have launched the BIO Boardlist, to accelerate gender, racial, ethnic and LGBTQ representation on biotech company boards. We are excited to partner with EWIB to populate this database and showcase the wealth of talent that lies within senior leadership.”
BIO Boardlist is a part of The Right Mix Matters initiative, which recently launched to advance a more globally competitive industry through resources and tools for BIO members and the larger biotech community. This is just one of many ways BIO is working to promote diversity and inclusion in life sciences hiring practices and expand representation on biotech company boards, in c-suites and in functional leadership positions.
BIO is the world's largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers and related organizations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations. BIO members are involved in the research and development of innovative healthcare, agricultural, industrial and environmental biotechnology products. BIO also produces the BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, along with industry-leading investor and partnering meetings held around the world.