A picture of diversity within biotechnology company’s workforces
At present, companies in the clinical research space do not represent the populations they produce research for. According to an article by bio.org, 70% of executives in biotechnology that are male and people of colour comprise of 21% of an executive team. From this research it seems the higher up the career ladder you go the less diverse the workforce becomes. A factor for this suggested by the ABPI is that a large proportion of executive hires are made through personal networks and people may exist in circles of people similar to them, leading to an unconscious bias within recruitment and upward mobility within the biotechnology industry.
Within the ABPI article, 45% of companies reported basic data collection with no real analysis around D&I data thus the implementation of a D&I philosophy is based on the goodwill of a few individuals rather than an overall statistically backed company approach. Analysing the data we collect allows for the removal of bias when generating a D&I approach and ensures that we are addressing actual needs rather than the perception of an individual. Life sciences prides itself on systematic data approaches in every other facet, why exclude D&I within this.
The conclusion from these articles is that there is a slow-moving shift in the sentiment for D&I within a workforce, however at the moment there is no real analysis done on the workforce to allow for actionable insights within both initial recruitment and producing clear routes for progression.
Benefits of D&I within a workforce
L.E Gomez and Patrick Bennett wrote an article in 2019 reviewing the link between diversity, financial and clinical outcomes within healthcare. Within their meta-analysis they concluded several strong links between executive diversity, overall revenues, innovation outcomes and overall company reputation.
There has also been a school of thought around the need to widen the net of clinical research and therapeutics to historically under-represented populations. According to an article by Chalachew Alemayehu, there is currently a large disparity in clinical research in ethnic minority and developing countries. Having a culturally diverse workforce can work to address these issues, as companies become more representative of the populations they serve. There is also a strong health outcomes initiative with this, as therapeutics produced with populations that are more diverse have the potential to be more effective thus more sought after. As well as producing therapeutics that have the potential to be blockbusters within developing countries with large financial benefits to companies.
How to improve D&I within the workforce:
To conclude, it is evident that the sentiment and appetite for D&I implementation is growing. However, there is still a large amount of work to do in order to harness this. We need to transition from D&I being just the responsibility of HR or an individual professional, to a systematic and fully implemented approach to how companies approach hiring and internal progression.
Written by Danial Ikhwan-McCabe – Senior Partner
Connect with Danial on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/danial-ikhwan-mccabe/
Follow Kapia on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/kapia-io/
Kapia is a boutique organization established just under three years ago with a mission to revolutionize the perception of recruitment. Focusing solely on the scientific and medical technology sectors, Kapia prides itself on a continuous learning and improvement methodology, providing clients with the highest level of service. Employing techniques derived from Miller Heiman Blue and Green sheets, each project is meticulously analyzed and tailored to align with the client’s goals. Kapia distinguishes itself not by being superior, but by being different, with the ultimate aim of contributing to the success of its clients.
To offer companies the opportunity to partner with a recruitment consultancy that places emphasis on the ‘consultancy’ aspect. Kapia is committed to transforming the recruitment landscape and is determined to prove itself right.