Pharma & Biotech Research Shows Gap in Gender Diversity at the Top
The severity of the Gender Gap in the Boardroom and C-Suite in the Life Sciences – Pharmaceutical, Biotech & Medical Devices – across 423 publicly held Life Science companies throughout the US, ranging in size from Micro-cap to Large-cap.
This is an important study in that, while most widely published studies on gender diversity in the corporate world focus only on the Fortune 500, FTSE 100, or other lists of exclusively mega-sized enterprises, Epsen Fuller’s study represents a broad cross-section of company size, as defined by market capitalization, in a specific industry sector. As some reports show strides are being made, this study clearly identifies there is still a persistent gap in male and female representation on Boards and in C-Suites in the ever-growing life science sector.
View the Complete Data Here: INFOGRAPHIC
- Large-cap companies have the strongest showing with 20% female board representation, however still short of the global benchmark of 30% as promoted by such organizations as the 30% Club and 2020 Women on Boards.
- It falls off dramatically at mid-cap and small cap companies at 13%, and only 8% for micro-cap companies.
- As an industry, life sciences representation in the Board and C-Suite is far worse than others, indicative of the critical deficiencies of STEM education for women and girls, and should be a resonant call to action.
- Among the industry’s subsectors, gender representation fairs the worst in the medical device sector with less than 10% female board representation, followed by 11.44% and 12.05% for Big Pharma and BioTech respectively.
- The C-Suite paints an even bleaker picture. Whereas Large-cap companies show 20% female representation at the Board level, only 10% of the C-Suite executives are women.
This leads to the question whether women executives, finding themselves locked out of the most senior roles in the larger companies, leave to pursue top-level executive positions, with more lucrative upside, in the Small and Micro-cap sector.
Gender diversity is a crucial factor influencing business differentiation, investment strategies and ultimately financial performance. I believe this is a business imperative we can accomplish as evidenced by our firm’s track-record of 40% diversity placement rate over a 10+ year period. Shining a light on the issue is a critical step in the process, and a big part of what drove us to delve into this data.
Quite frankly, the real work of narrowing that gender gap begins with a decision at the top. No longer can the excuse be a lack of qualified candidates.