This year’s AusBiotech Women in Life Sciences Luncheons in Sydney (9 March) and Brisbane (16 March) focus on the power of ‘sisterhood’ with the theme, ‘Sisters in Life Sciences’ and how this bond amongst women can further galvanise diversity in life sciences as an underpinning to building a successful sector – a position supported regardless of gender.
The Luncheons provide a forum for women to gather and support one another in their careers in life sciences in order to achieve a more equal standing.
From an unacceptably low base, women have steadily been working towards an equal representation in life sciences. Recent figures show that efforts to support women in life sciences are reaping results, but we’re not there yet in achieving equity. Women represent 33 per cent of the industry and this figure dwindles as seniority levels increases
While pharmaceutical companies are leading the way on 45 per cent female representation, within the industry levels drop to 22 per cent at executive level, 16 per cent for CEOs and managing directors and only 13 percent at board level. This theme was consistent across the life sciences sector, in research institutes, government and regulatory bodies, funding bodies and the services sub-sector.
Become a Big Sister
The ‘Big Sisters’ program invites women advanced in their careers in the sector to sponsor a student to attend the event and meet their network during the Luncheon. Up to 50 women students (30 Sydney and 20 Brisbane) will be sponsored to attend the event and receive a one-year membership of AusBiotech.
Sponsorship of a sister is for the Luncheon only and a practical and tangible way that leaders in the life sciences can provide support and encouragement to a women in early stages of her career in life sciences. Each sponsored place can be secured for $250. Sponsors will be recognised at the event and the sponsored sister seated at the same table. To include this sponsorship please select the checkbox during the registration process.
Sydney will feature speakers and sisters, Drs Jen and Liz Harry who will present a view of the life sciences from their respective successful careers that traverse research and industry - Jen is currently the CEO of biotech company Ondek and a non-executive director on several boards, and Liz is a Professor of Biology and Director of the ithree institute (infection, immunology and innovation) at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).
Brisbane will see Dr Christine Williams, Acting Chief Scientist of Queensland, open the luncheon. feature speakers and sisters, Professor Ranjeny Thomas and Associate Professor Helen Thomas, who will present a view of the life sciences from their respective successful careers that traverse research and industry – Ranjeny is is founder and a director of the spin-off company, Dendright, which is developing immunotherapy for rheumatoid arthritis and Professor of Rheumatology at University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, and Helen is a Senior Research Fellow at St Vincent’s Institute in Melbourne where she is head of the Immunology and Diabetes Unit.