Female Front Runners – The Scientist

Categories: News

How to Successfully Surmount the Challenges Women Face in Becoming Biotech Industry Leaders

By Jef Akst | February 1, 2012
Excelling in industry is not easy, especially if you’re a woman. According to a 2010 study of New England biotech firms, females comprised only about 12 percent of biotech founders, despite earning about half of the biological science PhDs. And women are equally underrepresented at the senior management level, holding just 12 percent of senior executive positions in the world’s top drug companies and 22 percent of the senior management jobs in biotech, according to a 2007 report in Pharmaceutical Executive.

“[Women] are just going to hit more hurdles,” says Joanne Kamens, executive director at Addgene, a nonprofit plasmid repository in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “They can even hit outright discrimination. It still happens, and it can be career-debilitating.”

But just because the odds are stacked against women doesn’t mean there isn’t room for success. The Scientist spoke with three women who are thriving in biotech and polled them for advice on excelling in an entrepreneurial environment.

Click here to view the full Female Front Runners article.