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Women In Life Sciences: The Future Of Diversity

Amy Baxter our consultant managing the role
Posted by Amy Baxter
Published on 6 March 2020

The Life Sciences industries are under quite some pressure now, with healthcare costs, growth expectations, innovation pace increasing and countless other factors. The gender gap exists in life sciences as it does with many other industries and in order to help the industry handle these ever-increasing pressures, there needs to be a strong focus on addressing some of the issues related to the lack of diversity within the industry. There is a strong focus now on empowering women to strive to tackle genders gaps and some companies are doing this particularly well, but we still have a long way to go before there is gender parity.  


Tackling the gender gap in Life Sciences

Women are making headway within the Life Sciences industries but there is still more work to be done to see this gap closer to closing, there are thoughts that gender parity could be achieved by around 2090 for women in Life Sciences, which sounds like a long time but there are certain things that can be done to tackle this sooner. There have been some positive advances with females on executive committees, Pharma's Financial Times Stock Exchange companies almost tripled female representation on executive committees to 26% from 9% in 2018. Some of the usual challenges involving women in management and top-level roles are seeing a higher gender gap than other areas.


A huge step forward for GSK

GlaxoSmithKline or usually known as GSK appointed their first female CEO, Emma Walmsley, back in 2017 she was the 7th FTSE 100 female CEO appointed. This was a huge step towards gender equality for women in Life Sciences but also supporting having women in power in more companies. Walmsley has been at the forefront of many campaigns and initiatives around women in the workplace and diversity. She covered topics from campaigning for equal pay to having diversity within all aspects of the Life Sciences industries.  She gained huge headway in her recent campaign about closing the gender pay gap and awareness around gender gaps, in general, was a common theme throughout the campaign.


The current landscape and meeting its expectations

Taking a look at the current Life Sciences landscape, it is very obvious that this industry is doing well and will continue to grow for the foreseeable future. We are forever learning and gaining more data as it becomes more and more available to us with advances in science. With AI now starting to play a huge role in this by contributing a constant influx of data due to its automated nature, this leaves companies wanting to expand, develop and grow new areas to meet these data findings. Currently new jobs, roles and products are being made every day and we see a great flow of entry-level candidates moving into roles and in this an almost even split of men and women. But where do they go when it comes to progression? CEO of Keryx expressed her concern as it seemed women were just dropping out of the Life Sciences industry altogether. This leaves behind a need for more women to stay in the industry and one of the few ways this can happen will be to create a community for the women in Life Sciences to offer support to each other and to be sure not to drain the industry of the diverse talent they genuinely need. To keep this booming industry moving women need to be involved, it is spoken about a lot that diverse work teams often work at a higher capacity than a group of the most skilled individuals. This means it benefits almost everyone in the business for the team to be as diverse as possible.


Quanta believes in this cause and so do many others, the more we speak about it the more that can be learnt. Thinking about a new job? See what Life Sciences jobs we have live today.

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