NEW YORK, April 15, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- LifeSci Advisors, a leading life sciences-focused investor relations consultancy, announced today a comprehensive plan to address the lack of gender diversity in the life sciences industry. The company has partnered with pioneering organizations Women in Bio and Girls Inc. of New York City to provide mentorship and advancement programs for women and girls in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields, created an advisory board of industry leaders on gender diversity, doubled its internal female workforce and taken additional steps to become change agents in increasing gender diversity in the life sciences industry. The plan comes on the heels of criticism received after an industry event the company hosted on January 11, 2016 in San Francisco.
“Our firm is dedicated to transforming itself into a model for promoting gender diversity in our industry. We have a unique opportunity to achieve a positive and lasting impact on an important issue that both our firm and other companies in the life sciences field have largely ignored: the cultivation, promotion and advancement of qualified women leaders in our businesses,” said Michael Rice, founding partner of LifeSci Advisors.
LifeSci has met with SV Life Sciences Managing Partner Kate Bingham and BioCentury Co-Founder & Chairwoman Karen Bernstein, the co-authors of an open letter that criticized the company’s January event, as well as well-known industry leaders, CEOs, management teams, boards of directors, members of the media, leading diversity advocates in the life sciences field and clients throughout the U.S., Europe and Israel to determine concrete steps for moving forward.
The company has partnered with several influential organizations to further its goal of improving gender diversity in the industry and recently became a national sponsor of Women in Bio (WIB), an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership and entrepreneurship for women in the life sciences. LifeSci has made a long-term commitment to partner with WIB and will announce additional gender diversity initiatives in conjunction with the organization.
“Women in Bio is delighted to welcome LifeSci Advisors as one of our new national sponsors. We believe this company has the willingness and the commitment to help us make a positive impact on empowering and cultivating female leaders in our industry,” said Kristi Sarno, National President of Women in Bio.
This summer, LifeSci will support a STEM program for girls in New York City through Girls Inc. of New York City, an organization that is nationally recognized for fostering the empowerment of young girls and encouraging young women at the middle- and high-school levels to participate and grow in STEM programs.
Later this month, the company will also support the Silicon Valley Watermark Conference for Women, which is dedicated to professional and personal development for female executives, including a setting to network and form a community with professional women in biotechnology and other high-growth industries. LifeSci has also committed to partnering with the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) on several of its initiatives to promote women’s careers in biotech.
In addition to these partnerships, LifeSci has created a formal Advisory Board on Gender Diversity comprised of both female and male industry leaders that will counsel the company on an on-going basis in support of its goal of empowering women throughout the life sciences industry. The board will be co-chaired by Knightsbridge Advisers Managing Principal Barbara Piette and Stem for Life Foundation Founder Robin Smith, MD MBA, and includes other industry leaders Renee Gala, CFO, Theravance Biopharma, Annalisa Jenkins MBBS MRCP, President and CEO of Dimension Therapeutics, and Kate Bingham, Managing Partner at SV Life Sciences, among others.
“We have assembled a talented and dynamic group of leaders who are prepared to advise LifeSci as it further evolves into a leading voice in advancing gender diversity. We are looking forward to the critical work ahead,” stated Barbara Piette, Co-Chair of LifeSci’s Advisory Board on Gender Diversity.
Internally, LifeSci has more than doubled the number of women working on its staff, welcoming Moran Meir-Beres, LifeSci’s second female Managing Director, and Ashlee Bennett, Ph.D., Research Analyst, as well as several other senior female personnel, to its team.
The firm has also launched an initiative to help its clients diversify their respective boards of directors, with the goal of adding 15 highly qualified women to the boards of its clients and other healthcare companies by year-end 2017. Long-term, LifeSci plans to facilitate the ease with which these companies identify and recruit qualified women to join their boards.
About LifeSci Advisors, LLC
LifeSci Advisors is a unique investor relations consultancy founded to provide companies in the life sciences a comprehensive solution to investor communications and outreach. With local presence in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Geneva, the firm provides the highest quality service for its clients through its deep sector specialization. Our roster of Ph.D.s enables us to better understand our clients' R&D, regulatory, and commercial strategy, and our team of financial services, investor relations, and public relations specialists help our clients effectively communicate their strategies to the marketplace. This combination of life sciences, financial services, and investor relations expertise allows us to provide a valuable and unique service offering to our clients.
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