Biotech Diversity is Still Lagging but Improving Nonetheless


Here at Pharma Diversity, we do more than just offer access to pharmaceutical job boards. We also do our part to promote diversity in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. As such, we are happy to report that, even though biotech diversity is still lagging, it is improving.

In its second annual report on diversity in the biotech industry, published in the summer of 2021, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) noted improvements in both gender and racial diversity throughout 2019 and 2020. The results were notable given the impact of the COVID pandemic on the industry.

Reading the executive summary of the report, we are encouraged to know that biotech and pharmaceutical companies are actively seeking to improve their diversity. We want to be a part of that by helping diverse candidates use our pharmaceutical and biotech job boards to connect with companies looking to hire.

Growth During the Pandemic

One of the more surprising results in the 2021 report related to growth during the pandemic. During a year in which most industries experience contraction, just over 25% of the sample companies in the BIO report actually grew over the study period. Just over 70% remained flat, which is to say they neither grew nor downsized.

As for growth in diversity, 36% of the surveyed employers increased the number of female employees by at least 5%. Approximately 43% increased female representation within executive management by 5%. Not huge increases in either regard, but increases, nonetheless.

Moving on to racial diversity, BIO reports that 32% of the overall biotech workforce consists of people of color. Meanwhile, people of color make up 21% of the executive workforce and 24% of the total biotech CEOs. Unfortunately, only 13% of the surveyed companies increased racial diversity at the executive level by at least 5%.

Plenty of Room for Improvement

BIO’s second annual report shows that the biotech industry is moving in the right direction. There is obviously a lot more room for improvement moving forward. How companies choose to do that is up to them. But here’s hoping that a third annual report published by BIO later this year will show accelerated improvement.

2021’s data shows that companies are aware of the need to improve diversity in biotech and pharmaceuticals. CEOs and executive management teams recognize that diversity creates better outcomes. They acknowledge that diversity brings different perspectives to the workplace. So when all is said and done, the industry is on the right track. Now we just need to get the train moving a bit faster.

Find Your Next Job Here

In the meantime, we understand that you are looking for a job. You have visited our website because you want to access our pharmaceutical and biotech job boards. We are glad you’re here. We want you to know that we specifically seek out employers looking to hire candidates with diverse backgrounds. We want their jobs posted on our boards.

You should also know that our job boards offer positions around the globe. You don’t have to work in the States if you don’t want to. Just having U.S. working credentials gives you a leg up on all sorts of biotech positions. And if you speak multiple languages, you have yet another advantage.

Biotech and pharmaceuticals still have a way to go before they can be considered truly diverse. We sincerely hope management teams, CEOs, and other policymakers will keep working hard on it. In the meantime, we are here to help you find the pharmacy or biotech job you are looking for. Feel free to use all our tools to your advantage.

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