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In the News - Women in Biotech
If you fancy yourself a science-focused entrepreneurial female, there may be a few more reasons to consider a career in the biotech industry. A recent article published by Slate reported that women are more prominent in biotech firms than any other high-tech firm. The article explains how the biotech industry is relatively new and therefore devoid of an "entrenched boys' club" that could hinder the efforts of women to obtain and excel in management positions. Slate goes on to describe how the lack of hierarchy and establishment of team-based structures has also allowed women to gain more equal footing with their male counterparts when compared to other high-tech industries.
Statistics for women in biotech:
- 20% of biotech firms in New England had at least one female founder.
- 12% of biotech founders overall were female.
- 8% of all biotech startups are formed by women (compared to 1% of high-tech firms).
- 11% of biotech firms in India are headed by women.
- 50% of PhDs in biotech are held by women (compared to 20% in engineering and 27% in computer science).
- Women are 8 times more likely to run independent labs in biotech firms than in universities and large pharmaceutical companies.
- Women in biotech patent at the same rate as men.
There are plenty of opportunities for female advancement in the biotech industry, and KGI prides itself on its ability to train future leaders to take advantage of them. The female faculty members at KGI are accomplished in their respective fields. Professor Angelika Niemz, for example, recently secured a $3.6M grant from the NIH for her research. These women offer their personal experiences in industry as well as their guidance as mentors in order to enrich the learning experience of all KGI MBS students – females in particular. Enrollment gender ratios have slowly been equalizing over the past few years. The class of 2012 is 45% female. We expect that number to surpass the break-even point as more females recognize opportunities available to them in the growing biotech industry.
By Christina Lai (MBS '11)