Building successful teams in biotech: “The future is female and very colorful”

A panel of experts at LSX World Congress in London, UK discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion in teams and shared advice on how to attract and hire diverse talent.

Millie Nelson, Editor

May 7, 2024

2 Min Read
LSX World Congress 2024

The benefits of having a diverse workforce have been widely discussed across all sectors. Past research has demonstrated that companies with a diverse team are 35% more likely to reap higher financial returns than non-diverse firms, bolster creativity, and increase talent retention.  

“Diverse talent when well aligned [will] produce better results,” Malcolm Silander, managing partner and cofounder of Precision BioSearch, told delegates.

Rosie Rodriguez, senior vice president of growth at Relation Therapeutics, agreed with Silander and said from a “leadership perspective, ensuring that we are all different is important.” She explained how when interviewing a candidate “if it is just going to be five blokes in grey suits, it’s not going to be a very attractive [opportunity]. It starts with us, [you should] make sure the interview panels represent you [and] get them to see the diversity across the company.”

Joao Ribas, principal at Novo Holdings backed up Rodriguez’ point and urged the audience to ask the question “are we looking at diverse pool of talent?” when going through the hiring process and make sure there is encouragement “to look [more] broadly.”

When it comes to director and non-executive director (NED) roles in the life sciences space, there is a diversity gap at senior levels in organizations across the sector. To address this, Jason Mellad CEO and co-founder of Start Codon spoke about how his firm and RBW Consulting have “set up a Diverse Directors Program (DDP), which is not just about gender and ethnicity but [includes] economic background.”

As boards play an integral role in deciphering an organization’s strategy and success, it is important to have diverse members that can bring various skills to the table.

According to Mellad, the program removes the argument of “you have not got a board seat, and therefore you cannot be on the board” and enables the companies to provide training for people and “train the next generation.”

“The future is female and very colorful, you better get on board with that because that’s where we’re heading,” he said.

Last year, the Voices of Biotech podcast hosted a series of conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). The discussions ranged from the role mentorship plays, how organization’s can drive diversity in life sciences, why female role models matter, how diversity is really about humanity, and the demand for community led networking in the space.  

About the Author(s)

Millie Nelson

Editor, BioProcess Insider

Journalist covering global biopharmaceutical manufacturing and processing news and host of the Voices of Biotech podcast.

I am currently living and working in London but I grew up in Lincolnshire (UK) and studied in Newcastle (UK).

Got a story? Feel free to email me at [email protected]

You May Also Like