BioPharma leaders call for gender diversity

12 January 2017  •  Author: Niamh Marriott, Digital Editor

On January 11, 2017, more than 100 life sciences industry leaders outlined guiding principles and best practices to improve gender diversity throughout industry. The full text of the letter is below.

Click here to sign on to the letter and ongoing efforts to improve gender diversity in life sciences

An Open Letter to the BioPharma Community:

Now that it’s 2017, we are choosing to write this letter to provide recommendations for best practices to establish gender diversity as a priority for the biopharma industry.

Last year’s open letter to the industry sparked a dialogue that led to changes in some company practices, new training programs, regional gender diversity initiatives and much more. But we believe this is just the start of the work to be done.  

Below is the culmination of recent recommendations collected from industry executives for guiding principles and a top 10 list of best practices that we believe will continue the momentum of 2016 into 2017 and beyond.

Guiding Principles for Gender Diversity as a Priority for the BioPharma Industry:

  • We, as community leaders, commit to driving diversity and inclusion in the biopharma industry.
  • Diversity is good for the business performance of our industry.  Research proves that diversity leads to:
    • Better decision making
    • Increased productivity and financial performance
    • Enhanced engagement, recruitment and retention of talent
  • To ensure that the biopharma industry thrives and is sustainable, we, as community leaders, see it as our responsibility to drive diversity as a top priority.
  • Unconscious biases are ubiquitous and difficult to pinpoint and address. Still, we need to make a conscious commitment to eradicate unconscious biases in recruitment, performance evaluation, promotion and decision making in order to improve gender diversity.
  • While we recognise that there are many forms of diversity needed to ensure the future of our industry, there are clear best practices that can be implemented now to increase gender diversity.

Top Ten Best Practices for Increasing Gender Diversity in the BioPharma Industry:

  1. We as executives and board members declare gender diversity as a priority, as a key value and ethos.  We commit to living it visibly at all of our companies and organisations.
  2. We will create opportunities for open dialogue on enhancing gender diversity and ensuring an inclusive environment, both within our organizations and across the industry.
  3. We recognize the importance of formal sponsorship programs to ensure diversity in our executive leadership pipeline and commit to building these programs in our companies.
  4. We also recognize that it is important to provide formal mentorship programs to encourage women to engage with executives, both inside and outside of our organization. We commit to building these programs in our companies.
  5. We will ask our board members to be active sponsors of women who are “board ready” to pursue board appointments. We will endorse and sponsor our high potential female talent to take part in training programs to become “boardroom ready”.
  6. We will measure and track promotion of female talent to senior management positions.
  7. We will seek out and celebrate positive role models within our organisations.
  8. We will review our hiring processes and train our hiring managers on diversity and inclusion as a priority.
  9. We agree with the importance of setting concrete hiring goals to achieve gender parity and inclusion at each level of our organizations and to measure and report regularly on our progress towards goals.
  10. We will support the work of our trade organizations, like MassBio, on industry-wide efforts to improve gender diversity at the macro level.

We, as community leaders, have the responsibility to ensure our biopharma industry can continue to grow and thrive.  We need to take a holistic view on the next generation of leaders to prepare for the future. We believe that diversity and inclusion will deliver better results for our industry and society.  We have the opportunity and the responsibility to lead by example, setting the tone and pace for the biopharma industry.

We invite you to join us, to sign this open letter, and to work to implement these practices to ensure the continued success of our industry.

Click here to sign on to the letter and ongoing efforts to improve gender diversity in life sciences

Robert K. Coughlin
President & CEO
MassBio

Abbie Celniker
Partner, Third Rock Ventures
Interim CEO, Goldfinch Bio

Steve Woit
Director
BioPharma Executive Council

Sarah MacDonald
Executive Vice President
MassBio

David Lawrence Lucchino
Co-founder, President and CEO
Frequency Therapeutics

Kate Bingham
Managing Partner
SV Life Sciences

Terry McGuire
Founding Partner
Polaris Partners

Mike O’Hara
Partner
Deloitte

Christoph Westphal
CEO
Flex Pharma

Annalisa Jenkins
CEO
Dimension Therapeutics

Steve Kafka
President
Foundation Medicine

Travis McCready
President & CEO
Massachusetts Life Sciences Center

William McDermott
Partner
McDermott, Quilty & Miller LLP

Chris Garabedian
Chairman
Xontogeny LLC

Christopher de Souza
Director
Broadview Ventures

Geoff MacKay
President & CEO
AvroBio

James Hoyes
Executive Partner
RxC International

Robert Gottlieb
Principal
RMG Associates

Melissa Bradford Klug
Chief Business Officer
Keryx

Antony Loebel
Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer
Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Alice Pomponio
Vice President, Corporate Affairs
Radius Health

Rick Russell
President & CEO
Stallergenes Greer Inc.

Marina Bozilenko
Managing Director
William Blair

Mark Perrin
CEO & Chairman
InVivo Therapeutics Corporation

Eileen Coveney
Managing Director
L.E.K. Consulting

Arthur Hiller
CEO 
Antyllus Therapeutics

Nancy Lurker
President & CEO
pSivida

Bob Linke
President & CEO
Embera NeuroTherapeutics

Ailis Tweed-Kent
CEO
Cocoon Biotech

Patrice Milos
CEO
Medley Genomics

Jonathan Lewis
CEO
Samus Therapeutics

David Moller
VP, BD, Emerging Technology & Innovation
Eli Lilly & Company

Ed Mascioli
CEO
Karos Pharmaceuticals

Bram Goorden
VP Global Head
Nestle Health Science

Doug Kahn
Chairman and CEO
TetraGenetics

Laurie Halloran
CEO
Halloran Consulting Group

Jim Jensen
CEO
CytoSite Biopharma

Carolyn Green
Director, Strategic Investments
Pfizer

Deborah Dunsire
Principal
Southern Cross Biotech Consulting

Patrick Tricoli
CEO
Nanobiotix

Bruce Rychlik
Managing Partner
Park Square Executive Search

Erik Lundh
Managing Partner
Park Square Executive Search

Tara Schutz
Vice President
Morgan Stanley

John Mendlein
CEO
ATyr

Kathy Williams
Head of Life Sciences
Sunstein, LLP

Chandra Ramanathan
VP and Head of East Coast Innovation Center
Bayer, U.S.

Vin Milano
CEO
Idera Pharmaceuticals

Marianne De Backer
VP, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Janssen Business Development

Sue Dillon
Global Therapeutic Area Head, Immunology
Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceuticals

William Newell
CEO
Sutro Biopharma

Steve Tregay
CEO
FORMA Therapeutics

Vivek Ramaswamy
CEO
Roivant Sciences and Axovant Sciences

Wendye Robbins
CEO
Blade Therapeutics

Elizabeth Franzmann
Chief Scientific Officer
Vigilant Biosciences

Filipe Gaspar
VP R&D
Hovione

John Furey
COO
Spark Therapeutics

Bonnie Fendrock
CEO
Cyta Therapeutics

Glen Giovannetti
Global Biotechnology Leader
EY

Rob Perez
Managing Director, Vineyard Sound Advisors
Founder and President, Life Science Cares

Cissy Young
Partner
Russell Reynolds

Jodie Morrison
CEO and President
Tokai Pharmaceuticals

Susan Windham-Bannister
President & CEO
BioMedical Growth Strategies

David Meeker
EVP, General Manager
Sanofi Genzyme

Michael J. Pellini
Chairman
Foundation Medicine

Phillip Sharp
Institute Professor
MIT

Ann Stanesa
President
Ten Bridge Communications

Lisa Olson
Vice President, Immunology Research & ABC Site Head
AbbVie

Edward Kaye
President, CEO, and Chief Medical Officer
Sarepta Therapeutics

Ivana Magovčević-Liebisch
SVP, Head of Corporate Development
Teva Pharmaceuticals

Suzanne Bruhn
Director
Pliant Therapeutics & Raptor Pharmaceutical

Robert Urban
Global Head
Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Scott Gillis
President
Pericor Science, Inc.

Michael D. Ehlers
EVP, Research & Development
Biogen

Geoff Cox
Principal
Beacon Street Advisors

Lawrence S. Wittenberg
Senior Partner
Goodwin Procter LLP

Kumar Srinivasan
VP, Scientific Partnering & Alliances, IMED Biotech Unit
AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals

Kathleen W. Tregoning
SVP, Corporate Affairs
Biogen

Mark R. Bamforth
President and CEO
Brammer Bio

Robert Ward
CEO
Radius Health

Tina Caporale
Managing Director, Audit
Deloitte

Andrea F. Rabney
President and Chief Executive Officer
Argot Partners

Christopher T. Walsh
Professor 
Harvard Medical School

Marian Nakada
VP, Venture Investments
Johnson & Johnson Innovation

Mike Rice
Founding Partner
LifeSci Advisors

Adam Gridley
CEO
Histogenics

Bob Carpenter
Director
Hydra Biosciences

Alexis Wallace
CEO
Thrombolytic Science

Deniz Kural
CEO
Seven Bridges Genomics

Praveen Tipirneni
CEO
Morphic Therapeutic

Paula Soteropoulos
CEO
Akcea Therapeutics

Philippe Lopes-Fernandes
SVP, Head of Global Licensing & Business Development
Merck KGaA/Merck Serono

Jennifer Wheler
Senior Medical Director 
Novartis

Sheila DeWitt
President & CEO
DeuteRx

Lisa McKerracher
CEO
BioAxone BioSciences

Michael Schopperle
CEO
CureMeta

Leslie Williams
CEO
ImmusanT

Rosanna Kapeller
Chief Scientific Officer
Nimbus Therapeutics

Art Krieg
CEO
Checkmate Pharmaceuticals

Anne Deconinck
Executive Director
MIT Koch Institute

Guy Villax
CEO
Hovione

Mary Thistle
COO
Dimension Therapeutics

Kathy Bowdish
Head and VP Global R&D
Sanofi Sunrise

Jody Rose
Executive Director
New England Venture Capital Association

Ron Renaud
CEO
RaNa Therapeutics

Joanna Horobin
SVP, Chief Medical Officer
Idera Pharmaceuticals

Cat Oyler
VP Strategy and External Innovation
Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Research and Development

Marion Dorsch
Chief Scientific Officer
Blueprint Medicines

Jay Luly
CEO
Enanta Pharmaceuticals

Lynn Seeley
CEO
Myovant Sciences

Alvin Shih
CEO
Enzyvant Sciences

Arielle Jackson
Portfolio Director
Boston Biotech Conferences

John Tagliamonte
Advisor Board Member
WntRx Pharmaceuticals

Jeff Marrazzo
CEO
Spark Therapeutics

Lisa Dalton
Head of Human Resources
Spark Therapeutics

Ana Maiques
CEO
Neuroelectrics

Javier Barrientos
Senior Director, Global Diversity and Inclusion
Biogen

Karl Simpson
Owner & CEO
Liftstream

Click here to sign on to the letter and ongoing efforts to improve gender diversity in life sciences

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