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CEO DATELINE – Biotech association seeks to diversify industry leadership

April 17, 2019
By Walt Williams

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The Biotechnology Industry Organization announced the launch of two new tools Tuesday as part of the group’s campaign to increase gender, racial, ethnic and LGBTQ representation on biotechnology company boards and among staff leaders.

The two tools are:

  • The BIO Boardlist, an online portal of curated talent connecting diverse leaders with opportunities to serve on private and public company boards.
  • The BIO Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit, a set of online guidelines for developing programs, procedures and best practices to build a diverse workforce.

“The new tools address specific barriers biotech leaders tell us they face today in building diverse and inclusive teams and boards and will, I believe, lead to improved development and increased visibility of talented, diverse leaders,” said Helen Torley, chair of BIO’s board-level Workforce Development, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.

BIO cited data collected by the management company McKinsey & Co. showing that companies in the top 25 percent for gender diversity and top 35 percent for racial diversity are more likely to have higher financial returns than less diverse companies.

“BIO members know that diverse teams are critical to the long-term success and innovation of any organization,” BIO CEO Jim Greenwood said. “Our members are looking for tools and resources to ensure diversity, from the ground floor to the C-suite and board, and we’re happy to unite biotechnology under one vision.”