Biocom Institute Launches Largest Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Report in California’s Life Science Industry

Biocom Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports life science innovation by strengthening the workforce and leaders of tomorrow, launched its first biennial report, “ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in California’s Life Science Industry .” With more than 350 respondents, this report repre

Dec. 17, 2020 13:00 UTC

Report presents the opportunity for life science companies to establish future DEI initiatives

SAN FRANCISCO, LOS ANGELES & SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Biocom Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that supports life science innovation by strengthening the workforce and leaders of tomorrow, launched its first biennial report, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in California’s Life Science Industry.” With more than 350 respondents, this report represents the most comprehensive diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) data gathered across life science companies in California – providing a framework for the industry to develop an actionable DEI plan. Additional life science organizations Thermo Fisher Scientific, Bayer Pharmaceuticals and Biocom California contributed to developing the report.

“At Biocom California, everything we do begins with our mission - to accelerate life science success,” said Joe Panetta, president and CEO of Biocom California. “To fulfill our mission, we must embrace diversity, equity and inclusion as key drivers of excellence and innovation. It has taken far too long for all industries, including the life sciences, to understand that significant effort must be invested to achieve the goal of a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. This report is a testament to our commitment, and I anticipate strong and actionable steps will come from Biocom Institute and industry leaders across the state.”

“The life sciences industry in California is forecast to continue its rapid growth and we must cultivate and prepare the workforce of tomorrow,” said Karmin Noar, executive director of Biocom Institute. “To sustain this projected growth, the industry requires a strong and diverse talent pipeline. We are hopeful that we can stimulate real change and will use this report as a springboard for helping California life science organizations establish the practices needed for creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry.”

The report includes responses from 335 organizations in the California life science industry gathered from August to September 2020, and it also represents each of the five main subsectors of the industry (biopharmaceutical manufacturing, research & lab services, medical devices & diagnostic equipment, life science wholesale and biorenewables). Notably, 61% of respondents reported that they worked at organizations with fewer than 50 employees, and 28% of respondents hailed from companies with fewer than 10 employees.

The majority of respondents were interested in engaging in and promoting DEI initiatives in the life sciences; however, the data suggest that most companies do not openly communicate about DEI topics nor have formal practices established to promote a diverse workforce. To this point, key takeaways from the report include:

  • 9% of respondents indicated that companies officially recognize DEI in their mission and vision statements, while 13% reported that their companies publicly publish diversity goals.
  • 14% of respondents reported their company has a DEI strategic plan.
  • 12% of respondents stated that their company created or is creating a DEI-specific office, team or position.
  • 71% of respondents shared their companies do not have internships, mentorships, apprenticeships or similar programs for students from communities traditionally underrepresented in STEM.

Biocom Institute is committed to establishing programs that will ensure that California life science organizations have the tools needed for their DEI initiatives, as well as for providing an actionable DEI implementation plan for life science companies of all sizes. Upon publishing this report, Biocom Institute plans to work with firms directly to advance and promote a diversified life sciences workforce through resources, programs and professional development. This includes providing DEI training topics on overcoming unconscious bias, intercultural communication, hiring for diverse teams, teaching leaders how to manage these diverse teams and embedding inclusive behaviors in everyday job activities, to name a few.

“This year has clearly demonstrated many of the inequalities inherent within our society’s systems, and the life sciences are no exception to that,” said Jens Vogel, Ph.D., SVP and global head of biotech at Bayer. “I’m truly encouraged by the willingness of life science companies to participate in the dialogue as we strive to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive industry.”

For more information on Biocom Institute’s DEI data, programs and initiatives, please visit the organization’s website.

About Biocom Institute

Biocom Institute is a 501(c)(3) that accelerates the growth of California’s life science ecosystem through innovative workforce development and STEM education programs and strategies. We identify solutions to address employers’ workforce needs, conduct research and support the current and emerging life sciences workforce through professional development and outreach. With a goal to build a highly skilled and diverse talent pipeline and promote lifelong learning, Biocom Institute supports life science innovation and success state-wide and in our local communities. Biocom Institute is an affiliate of Biocom California, the largest and most experienced advocate for California’s life science sector. For more information on Biocom Institute, please visit our website at and connect with us on Twitter (@BiocomInstitute).


Biocom Institute Media Contact:
Carolyn Hawley
Canale Communications
(619) 849-5382

Source: Biocom