AusBiotech works to increase diversity and inclusion

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AusBiotech launched its diversity and inclusion statement today, as an important first step in a wider program of work, aimed at attracting the best and brightest talent from diverse backgrounds to biotech careers, and at fostering an inclusive industry culture.

AusBiotech’s CEO, Lorraine Chiroiu, said: “Diversity in all aspects of business operations will optimise the continued growth and success of the life sciences industry. Our commitment follows four principles, and we encourage industry to follow.”

Championing gender diversity and inclusion, AusBiotech is partnering with SBE Australia, and sponsoring Dr Anabela Correia, a female company-CEO to pitch to investors at the Australia Biotech Invest & Partnering 2018 conference on 30 October.

Dr Correia’s company, LiVac, is working to minimise the invasiveness of surgery requiring liver retraction, and to contribute meaningfully to technical innovations in this field. To continue encouraging the inclusion of women in these predominantly male-dominated events, AusBiotech will also be offering SBE life sciences alumnae a discount to present at Australia Biotech Invest and Partnering 2019.

Larisa Chisholm, life science program director of SBE Australia, said: “We are really pleased to partner with AusBiotech in raising gender diversity awareness and promoting opportunities for more female leaders in the life sciences as they seek to raise capital and/or scale their businesses. It is a fabulous opportunity for Anabela as one of our 2018 Springboard Life Sciences Accelerator alumnae.”

AusBiotech, in leading by example, will implement measures and tracking on gender representation in regard to conference programmes and committees as a first step, and strategies to rebalance the scales will be developed. We are committed to embedding the principles and will report progress in the 2019 annual report.

Read the full statement here.

Ms Chiroiu said: “From an unacceptably low base, women have steadily been working towards an equal representation in life sciences and to have their contribution recognised. Recent figures show that efforts to support women in life sciences are reaping results, but we’re not there yet in achieving gender equity.”

AusBiotech’s Sector Snapshot shows that on average, women represent 50 per cent of the workforce across the entire Australian life sciences sector; however, women are under-represented in industry, representing only 33 per cent of the workforce. And this figure dwindles as seniority levels increases.