Closing the Opportunity Gap: How Inceptor Bio Supports Women Leaders

Pictured: A diverse collection of faces/courtesy of Getty Images

Pictured: A diverse collection of faces/courtesy of Getty Images

Women are often at the forefront of innovation, making up nearly half of the life sciences industry despite a shrinking but persistent wage gap.

Inceptor Bio is working to close these gaps and power outcomes through a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). 

Power of Community 

Peggy Owens is a senior director at Inceptor Bio. She serves as head of quality at a manufacturing site in Gainesville, Florida, and has more than 20 years of leadership experience.  

Owens told BioSpace that when climbing the ladder throughout her career, she never experienced the support she now has at Inceptor Bio.  

Peggy Owens_Inceptor Bio [square]
Peggy Owens

“All employees are treated with trust and respect,” Owens said. “Everyone, regardless of their role or position, is encouraged to speak up and share their experiences, suggestions and questions and are not judged for any of these.” 

Owens said this is illustrated by the community engagement and DEI initiatives the company has implemented.

One of those includes Inceptor Bio Cares, a quarterly employee-driven initiative to support a local charity, which has included domestic violence organizations, community food banks and U.S. veterans shelters.  

She also highlighted an ongoing DEI initiative developed specifically to honor female scientists' influential leadership and influence.

Dubbed "Women in Science Month," the end goal of the initiative was to name all of the company’s conference rooms and break rooms after an influential woman in science.  

Owens said all women working at Inceptor Bio were invited to be part of this decision and they decided on the finalists as a team.  

“I still think the industry at the board level and leadership level needs more evolving growth for women and more opportunities open to women in all fields related to biotechnology,” Owens said.  

Together, They Succeed 

“At Inceptor, we have a resilient and highly committed team," Sumiti Jain, Ph.D., vice president of R&D at Inceptor Bio, told BioSpace. "I am amazed at how much we have accomplished quickly at such early stages of the company. Our culture, leadership values and the team’s work ethic have been integral to our successes."

Sumiti Jain_Inceptor Bio [square]
Sumiti Jain, Ph.D.

The company launched in May 2022 with $37 million in Series A financing to advance its lead CAR-T program into the clinic and continue the development of its CAR-M and CAR-NK platforms. 

Jain is one of the key leaders driving those initiatives. Her ability to be a successful leader is primarily due to the mentorship she has received during her career and the support she has found at Inceptor Bio. That support, she said, drives confidence - which, for many women, is invaluable.  

“I think it is important to trust our instincts and judgment as a leader,” Jain said. “When we have space to show up authentically at work and feel supported, it improves our performance. At Inceptor, we push for excellence, but our leadership also leans into their humanness. It starts from the top - we genuinely focus on people and create space for diversity and inclusion, which is reflected throughout the organization.” 

Jain has also been an active participant in organizations like Women in Bio (WIB) for almost 10 years. She said this helped her gain exposure and learn from different perspectives.

“I’m so grateful for the community and opportunities WIB offered me.” 

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