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Gender Inequality in Biotech Boardrooms

Through an analysis of nearly 1,500 biotech companies in the US and Europe, executive search recruitment firm Liftstream reports that women are underrepresented among the upper echelon of executives in the sector.

According to the company's report, nearly 60 percent of the boardrooms of small and medium-sized enterprises in Europe and 52 percent of them in the US are all male. Additionally, among companies of that size, 11.2 percent in Europe and 9.7 percent in the US have female directors, and an average 21.7 percent and 20.8 percent of their management team in Europe and the US, respectively, are women.

Among big biotech companies — those with more than 1,000 employees — 19.2 percent have female directors, and an average 13.9 percent of their leadership teams are female.

"The biotech sector faces considerable challenges in meeting its board and executive leadership requirements," says Karl Simpson, the Liftstream CEO, in a statement. "However, this detailed research shows that gender inequality remains a significant problem at the top of companies."

The Liftstream report suggests that CEOs and chairs take a deep look into their recruiting and promoting practices, evaluate the training and support given to female talent, and lead discussions in the boardroom about diversity.