Embracing equity in the life sciences sector


In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD) this week, more than 520 life science leaders will gather this Friday for AusBiotech’s annual NSW Women in Life Sciences Luncheon, to encourage, support and further develop opportunities to Embrace Equity in the life sciences sector.

Hosted by AusBiotech and Medicines Australia, the Luncheon will capitalise on the IWD 2023 theme Embrace Equity, with two renowned expert keynote speakers and the ‘Big Sisters’ program that helps to facilitate career development for women in the industry.

International Women's Day is held annually on March 8 to celebrate “the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women…[and] marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.” The IWD 2023 campaign theme aims to “drive worldwide understanding why Equal opportunities aren't enough!”

AusBiotech is behind efforts to raise awareness of the importance of gender equity and to inspire positive change in the Australian life sciences sector.

The 2023 Women in Life Sciences Luncheon will feature two high-profile keynote speakers: Gender equality expert and thought leader, Dr Kathryn J Evans, and the CEO of Cochlear, Dig Howitt.

Dr Evans has over 25 years of international management experience working with world-leading life science companies, such as Roche, Cochlear and Sanofi, and is the author of the recently published Advance Australia Fairly: How a Plan for Gender Equality can Drive Australia’s Economic Success. At this must-attend event for the life sciences sector, she will share some evidence-based insights from her research and why Australia needs a national plan towards gender equality.

She will be joined by the CEO and President of Cochlear Limited Dig Howitt. Mr Howitt has been committed to the Champions of Change Coalition's mission to help achieve gender equality and increase the representation of women in leadership since 2018 when he joined the coalition's STEM group.

The luncheon will not only celebrate leadership that nurtures female ambition but provides a practical way of enabling that. The successful ‘Big Sisters’ program has once again invited women advanced in their careers within the sector to sponsor a female student to attend the event and facilitate their networking during the event, with six ‘Little Sisters’ being supported at the 2023 event. The program and luncheon are part of AusBiotech’s broader commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion.