Top 25 Women Leaders in Biotech: Female Execs Paving the Way for Innovation

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The Healthcare Technology Report announced on Nov. 3 its list of the Top 25 Women Leaders in Biotechnology of 2020. The women who received the honor have led several initiatives to support the development of treatments for complex diseases. Many of them have also played a role in supporting the research and development of potential treatments for COVID-19.

The following women all received the honor: Angela Hwang (Pfizer), Andrea Wainer (Abbott), Ginger Gregory (Biogen), Kimberly Smith (ViiV Healthcare), Joan Sheehan (STEMCELL Technologies), Helen Sheridan (STEMCELL Technologies), Lee Ann Kimak (Bavarian Nordic), Sheila Gujrathi (Gossamer Bio), Angela Huskey (Millennium Health), Alice Chen (GRAIL, Inc.), Marissa Lee Song (GRAIL, Inc.), Cynthia Pointer (ArcherDX), Heather Steinman (The Wistar Institute), Pia Olson (Ora, Inc.), Anne Jones (Genuity Science), Christiane Buisson (Cerba Research), Natalie Bartlett (ZAGENO), Dalia Argaman (EarlySense), Jennifer Burdman (PolarityTE), Irina Sher (Bioforum), Priya Mande (PsiOxus Therapeutics), Li Xu (Transcenta), Laura Ayala (Karius), Terry Crandall (Ironshore Pharmaceuticals), and Veronica Hughes (US HealthVest).

Through their breadth of knowledge, as well as their ability to lead teams, these honorees serve as role models for other women looking to make a difference in the healthcare and biotechnology industry.

While the Healthcare Technology Report recognizes women for their contributions to the sector, Executive Women In Bio (EWIB) helps them grow into the leaders they are today with its Boardroom Ready program.

Boardroom Ready is EWIB’s exclusive development platform, designed to support women’s participation on corporate boards in the life sciences. The 2020 participants join an existing group of program alumnae, who have earned 50 boardroom appointments since its inception in 2016.

“Each year, Boardroom Ready has the honor of selecting leading female executives to participate in a program that is actively changing the landscape of life science corporate boards,” said Shehnaaz Suliman, M.D., President and COO at Alector and Co-chair for EWIB. 

The Boardroom Ready program is designed to be a foundational resource for women interested in serving on corporate boards in the industry. The 2020 program is being hosted on a virtual platform as a result of the pandemic.

“If there is ever a year to reevaluate the status quo and take bigger strides in closing gender gaps, this would be it,” said Matt Fust, board member, Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical. “While it will require effort across the industry to make lasting change, programs like Boardroom Ready, which elevate highly qualified women from the C-suite into the boardroom, are vital to driving much-needed diversification of biotech and pharmaceutical leadership.”

Program participants have been appointed to boards on both public and private life sciences companies, including 10x Genomics, Dicerna Pharmaceuticals and Seattle Genetics.

“It is inspiring to witness the successes the Boardroom Ready program has shown year after year,” said Michael Rice, Founding Partner at LifeSci Advisors and founding sponsor of the Boardroom Ready program. “We are thrilled to be supporting this organization and the program participants for our fifth consecutive year.”

EWIB is a committee comprised of leaders in the biopharmaceutical and life sciences industries. It operates within the membership-based, non-profit organization, Women in Bio. EWIB constantly works to be a go-to place for women in executive roles.

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