Women are well represented in biotech companies, according to a recent industry survey, but there’s still room to grow when it comes to advancing those women into executive roles.
The 2021 BIO survey of around 100 biotech firms found that about half of all employees were women, but women were less represented among executive teams, which reported 34% women. Among CEOs, only 20% were women.
That’s where professional organizations like Women In Bio come in. The volunteer-fueled organization founded in 2002 supports women as they move through the arc of their careers, develop leadership skills and explore entrepreneurship.
As the world celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11, CSL is highlighting its partnership with Women in Bio (WIB). CSL, a global biotech company with more than 32,000 employees, is funding memberships in WIB for interested U.S. employees. The WIB partnership is among several CSL initiatives that support women in their career journeys. The company also works with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), an organization that furthers the advancement and impact of women in the business of health care.
“At CSL, we believe our people can enjoy promising futures, and we invest in programs designed to help them reach their full potential,” explains Elizabeth Walker, Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. “Partnerships with organizations like Women in Bio offer opportunities for our employees to develop new skills and enrich their knowledge and experience, advancing our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, strengthening our company and inspiring innovation.”
The benefits of WIB membership are many, officials say. The organization helps women build strong networks, find mentors and tap resources about working in biotech. WIB has 4,000 executive-level members and is responsible for more than 500 mentor-mentee matchups. Women In Bio defines its membership broadly, including women who work in the life sciences, pharma, academia, philanthropic organizations, law firms, accounting firms and for other service providers. At its core, WIB is about “women helping women” in a friendly, open environment. Here’s how the organization describes its approach:
“WIB aims to help women achieve the highest levels of leadership, influence and decision-making that they desire. We focus our activities on education, mentoring and networking, and on creating opportunities for leadership that can help advance careers.”