The quest for funding can be a stressful experience for entrepreneurs hoping to launch a biotech startup. The need for seed funding is essential but where are the best sources? And what are the proverbial strings attached to that kind of funding?
At Workforce Genetics we often find that clients and even some junior recruiters we speak with don’t quite understand the difference between Staffing Agencies and Search Firms when it comes to specifics within the recruiting industry.
Last week, we delved into why visual branding is important in helping your life science company stand out from the crowd to attract audiences such as investors and potential talent. We also provided a few tips on how to start thinking about your company’s science and approach differently so that you could create a style that is all your own. With Part 2 of this series, we want to help provide resources and inspiration to up your imagery game.
Studies have found that companies with a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) across the enterprise are more successful than those without. Why is there still a question regarding the value of DEI? If the goal of business is to perform, i.e., generate more revenue, raise share price, have a greater profit than last year, then having a commitment to diversity should no longer be an option. It should be as much an imperative as a strong balance sheet or growing EBITDA.
According to a 2020 report from McKinsey & Co., Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, “companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile…A substantial differential likelihood of outperformance — 48% — separates the most from the least gender-diverse companies. In the case of ethnic and cultural diversity, our business-case findings are equally compelling: in 2019, top-quartile companies outperformed those in the fourth one by 36% in profitability…the likelihood of outperformance continues to be higher for diversity in ethnicity than for gender.”
Life Scientists as a Percentage of All Occupations
This indicator represents the percentage of life scientists in a state’s workforce. Life scientists are identified from standard occupational codes that include agricultural and food scientists, biological scientists, conservation scientists and foresters, medical scientists, and postsecondary teachers in these fields. A high share of life scientists in a state’s workforce could indicate a robust cluster of life sciences industries such as pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing. States in the top quartile for this indicator also tend to contain agriculture-intensive industries.
While some companies really hit the ball out of the park when it comes to their visual presence, most suffer from the same common problems. Use of sky or royal blue color palettes. Arial fonts. Textbook scientific diagrams slapped haphazardly on the side, usually in grainy JPG quality.
One of the leaders in the DE&I biotech space has been Gilead, the parent company of Kite, which launched a robust, action-oriented DE&I initiative in 2019. Gilead and Kite have made concerted efforts to improve workplace culture for underrepresented groups; they currently have programs focused on advancing black leadership, developing diverse talent, building diversity representation goals, establishing pay equity, and working with its partners on DE&I efforts.
A recent panel discussion at Bisnow’s May Mid-Atlantic Life Sciences & Biotech event further emphasized the point that we’ve been hearing time and time again – we need to do more to support and adequately prepare the workforce to fill not only the current life science positions but future needs as well.
Like many of you, I’m a consumer of biotech industry news. Multiple times of day I scour BioCentury, STAT, Endpoints, Fierce Biotech and LinkedIn to track the scientific landscape, company events, and people updates. During the height of the pandemic, these information sources fueled my confidence that vaccines were on the horizon and that our industry – biotech, pharma, and venture – was all the more pivotal. The 2020-21 news put a spotlight on the speed of innovation, the acceleration of company creation, and the ever-tightening competition for talent. It felt like an endless positive-loop of progress and hope and served as a fantastic motivation for my role as Talent Head at Atlas Venture. Despite the difficult life changes the pandemic created (quarantining, social distancing, remote work), the biotech industry raced forward with possibility, and the demand for talent created limitless opportunity for upward professional change.
And then came 2022. The pendulum swing of the biotech news cycle felt swift. Articles stressed the tightening public markets, the drop in venture creation, and tougher regulatory scrutiny with exclamation points of company after company restructurings and reductions in force. By the end of March, Fierce Biotech had a running tally (here) and…
A few years ago, during a conversation with my colleague, HR visionary Dr. Ernesto Marinelli, I asked for his perspective on the global talent market. Not only do the observations he offered then still hold today, but they also resonate louder than ever.
“This isn’t a war for talent,” he told me in so many words. “It’s a talent jungle” where organizations and their HR departments often find themselves at a loss for finding people with the right skills and sometimes may not even know who they should be seeking in terms of skills, qualifications, background, etc.
Dr. Marinelli’s Talent Jungle has only gotten more tangled and difficult to navigate due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its role in shifting the mindset of workers around the world.
Indeed, the health crisis has accelerated the pace of change in talent markets, giving rise to a new set of realities for organizations and their HR departments to recognize and confront to meet the perennial challenge of putting the right people, with the right skills, in the right places at the right time. Let’s look at a handful of those new realities, with suggested steps for how organizations and their HR teams can rise…