We recognize that each member of our community, whether reading our stories, attending our events, or delivering a keynote presentation, has unique experiences, perspectives, and viewpoints, and that all these voices are important and necessary to ensure the growth of a vibrant, sustainable and successful bio-economy.
As a starting point, we are aware that there is not equal representation of gender at our events and across our portal:
• At World Bio Markets 2019, 27% of the audience and 28% of the speakers were female.
• In our editorial features, the senior voices commenting on the stories, are in the majority male.
• For our ‘5 Minutes With…’ interview feature, the ratio is better, of the 23 we carried out between January and July 2019, 11 were with female leaders and 12 men
So, we know we have work to do.
As event organisers and news providers, we face the challenge of requiring (in most cases) the most senior person possible within an organisation, as we know this is who you want to hear from. However, we can only do as much as mirror the industry, and at this point it is important to acknowledge there are institutional problems that our industry as a whole has to overcome:
• According to the UNESCO report Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in STEM, only 35% of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students in higher education globally are women.
• A Grant Thornton report from 2019 states that globally only 29% of senior management positions are filled by women, and female seniority is much more prevalent in certain roles such as HR and finance.
• There are just three black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies in the USA, the numbers in Europe are little better.
Much evidence suggests that despite the cognitive and financial benefits of employee and board diversity, many companies are not treating the issue imperatively. Though some might now have a policy and targets, they are not taking the crucial step of measuring progress to ensure accountability. Whether conscious or subconscious, the unfairness begins right at the beginning, during the hiring process and continues through promotions to senior positions. The prevalence of microaggressions further compound the issue by making those on the receiving end (most commonly women, people of colour and LGBTQ) more likely to leave their job.
So, we know there is work for you to do too.
Our plan moving forward is outlined below. It is important to note that none of the below will be carried out at the expense of quality, which will always come first.
Bio Market Insights
• We will continue to ensure our weekly interview series shines a light on female executives but we will also seek smaller, female led companies, as well as start-ups and those from around the world.
• We will deliver practical advice for growing the number of women in senior positions within the bio-economy both at our events and in our publications.
• With our commercial partners who have a free hand in choosing who to put forward for editorial features, we will encourage them to consider all worthy individuals, and highlight the value of new perspectives.
World Bio Markets 2020
• 40% of targeted invites will go to female speakers
• No male only panels.
• Our production team will encourage all companies who we invite or who contact us to consider and propose female speakers or speakers from diverse backgrounds providing they are the right fit for the agenda.
• With our commercial partners who have a free hand in choosing who to put forward for editorial features, we will encourage them to consider all worthy individuals, and highlight the value of new perspectives
• 35% of targeted invites will go to female speakers (with anecdotal evidence that this specific area of the bio-economy is more male dominated the female speaker target is smaller)
• Above points as per World Bio Markets.
In order to ensure that progress is made we promise to continue to measure female representation, and will be looking at other areas where we can promote and provide diversity.
The work is ongoing, so if you would like to share your thoughts or suggestions, please contact Rosie Nixon Co-Founder and COO Rosie@BioMarketInsights.com or Luke Upton Co-Founder and Editor Luke@BioMarketInsights.com
Thanks for your consideration and support.
The Bio Market Insights team.