Luncheon to celebrate women in life sciences draws more than 440 leaders

Latest News

In advance of International Women’s Day, more than 440 life science leaders will gather tomorrow for AusBiotech’s annual New South Wales Women in Life Sciences Luncheon. This year's theme, inspire, influence, involve, conveys a movement that is beyond gender, and increasing the number of female leaders in senior positions is a conversation everyone should be participating in.

AusBiotech and Medicines Australia are again joining forces to co-host the day in order to encourage, support and further develop women in the life sciences sector, in a push to create a workplace that is Each for Equal.

The NSW Women in Life Sciences Luncheon will be opened by keynote speaker Kirsten O'Doherty, Former ANZ General Manager, AbbVie; following, a powerhouse panel of six distinguished leaders will share how they have inspired, influenced, and involved others in their push for progress:

  • Julie Phillips,CEO and Executive Director, BioDiem Ltd;
  • Manuri Gunawardena, Founder and CEO, HealthMatch, Forbes 30 under 30, Class of 2019: Featured Honouree in Healthcare and Sciences;
  • Associate Professor Muireann Irish, ARC Future Fellow and Associate Professor of Psychology, School of Psychology and Brain & Mind Centre, The University of Sydney;
  • Dr Sarah McDonald, CEO, Baymatob Operations Pty Ltd;
  • Dr Dharmica Mistry, Co-founder and Scientific Advisor, BCAL, Diagnostics/MedTech Program Manager, Cicada Innovations;
  • Michael Azrak, Vice President and Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, MSD.

The issue of women’s equality is not new, and the approach to addressing it needs to continue to evolve. The 2020 NSW Women in Life Sciences Luncheon will celebrate leadership; leaders that nurture women’s ambition, that elevate, involve and inspire others to achieve their aspirations, and that ultimately influence the new standards and benchmarks in the support of more women reaching senior leadership positions.

Wexford Hayes’ Board Remuneration Report FY2019 reviewed 74 ASX-listed health care and biotech companies, and found that the average representation of women on these Boards remained at 17 per cent, with lower representation across the smaller organisations.

To encourage future sector leaders, AusBiotech’s Big Sisters programme invited women advanced in their careers to sponsor a student to attend the event, and to receive a one-year membership to AusBiotech. Thirteen Little Sisters (women in early stages of their careers in life sciences) are being supported and encouraged at the 2020 NSW event. The programme and luncheon is part of AusBiotech’s broader commitment to increasing diversity and inclusion.