Although the gender gap is alive and well in the life sciences, executive recruiter Robin Toft says companies are truly taking action to improve diversity on their leadership teams, and Toft argues "it's one of the best sectors around for women to land top executive roles." She urges women in the industry to identify the role they want and the skills or experience needed to get there; foster connections with colleagues, mentors and groups like Women In Bio to gain support; and apply even if they think they don't meet all the criteria for their desired position.
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Three sisters -- Dana Dornsife, Erin Miller and Karen Ambrogia -- run the nonprofit Lazarex Cancer Foundation in Danville, Calif., which has operated for a decade, helping almost 3,000 patients access clinical trials around the world. The organization also helps patients pay for travel to participate in trials.
After her successful push to get approval for women's sexual health drug Addyi, Cindy Whitehead sought to channel her "front-row lesson in what it means for women to advocate for themselves and each other," and The Pink Ceiling was born to give women access to business capital. "Women get only 2% of venture funding," she says. "You cannot tell me that 50% of the population has 2 percent of the good ideas."
A study showing that it's possible to manipulate the DNA of a human embryo to prevent disease is interesting because it lays the groundwork for clinical use, says Jennifer Doudna, co-creator of the CRISPR-Cas9 system used in the work. However, she urges her colleagues in the scientific community not to rush to clinical research because "it would be a shame if a powerful technology gets a black eye in the public perception."
As Congress debates whether to cut or increase the NIH budget, innovation stalls because researchers are hesitant to assemble top-notch teams of investigators and begin new projects without funding assurance, said Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn, president of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies. Funding is the engine of scientific research, Blackburn said, but it has been sputtering for some time, even as researchers use scientific advances and new technologies to speed toward cures.
Hormonal changes that accompany menopause may explain the redistribution of body fat women tend to see around midlife, and researchers who blocked the problematic hormone in mice saw the animals burn more calories, reduce abdominal fat and lose less bone density. Dr. Mone Zaidi of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai plans to explore the idea in humans using an antibody to follicle-stimulating hormone.
Nearly 29% of 212 women and 10 men who hold jobs in tech and the life sciences said in an Athena survey they aspired to C-suite jobs, close to 23% said unconscious bias at work was holding them back at work, while almost 22% said "lack of a mentor or sponsor," and close to 18% said "commitment to family" were barriers.
Men continue to earn more than women, with one study finding that women earn $0.76 for every dollar a man makes. However, women continue to receive the lion's share of college degrees, and on average, they have better credit scores than their male peers, statistics that point to a narrowing pay gap.
Many successful people, including Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, have confessed to experiencing feelings of insecurity associated with imposter syndrome, Stephanie Vozza writes. To fight imposter syndrome, identify your strengths and deconstruct "I should" statements that lead to unreasonably high expectations of yourself.
Data from SAT questionnaires revealed that female test-takers were more confident in their writing skills than they were in their math skills, compared with their male peers. An analysis in this commentary showed that 67% of men who scored 700 on the SAT math section ranked themselves in the top 10% in math ability, compared with 56% of women scoring 700 on that section with the same belief.
The 2017 Xconomy Awards recognize people, companies, and organizations working in all life science industries around the Boston area and New England. Women In Bio/Biogen are honored to have been selected as finalists for the Commitment to Diversity Award. The Xconomy Awards will be presented on Sept. 26 at a gala dinner, where attendees will have the opportunity to meet the finalists while celebrating the area's vibrant biotech community.