- Women-led startups in the US received just 2.3% of VC funding in 2020, yet 40% of US businesses are women-owned. (hbr.org – February 2021). And start-ups with at least one female founder consistently outperform their all-male counterparts!
- An Insider analysis of 182 biotech and Pharma companies revealed that 92% of CEOs are men; men fill more than 9 in 10 biopharma CEO positions. The lack of diversity in the drug industry’s CEO ranks costs women an estimated $532 million a year. (Insider, June 2021)
As a women entrepreneur in the life sciences industry, I feel strongly about my obligation to support, encourage, and advocate for all women that are growing and advancing their entrepreneurial skills in biotech. I am excited by the numbers of people pushing to expand the number of women-owned life sciences companies. More and more women are earning their way to C-suite positions, sitting on Boards of Directors, and obtaining the funding and/or education necessary to achieve their goals, however, we still have a long way to go. Starting a business in a highly competitive and exceptionally complex industry is not easy. It requires substantial support, which is why Assurea has launched a campaign called #rootingforyou to help others pave the way forward – and show them that their world can be as big as their heart desires – the world is our oyster!
So… how can we root for each other?
We must identify and bring onboard the people that are rooting for us. We must recognize the support and guidance available to us. This can come from mentors, organizations, family, and teams – it is very impactful to recognize the positive influences around us, which can make the world we know significantly larger. In September 2022, President Biden launched the Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Initiative to add Biomanufacturing capabilities in the US, which will include a wide range of new investments and resources to advance the executive order. This is an exciting time to grow our global network of support for women entrepreneurs in the life sciences.
Why is a campaign like ‘rooting for you’ important? Because it allows us to recognize we have and can give to others. It can open doors to highlight the various ways and resources that are available.
And getting others involved is equally critical because the larger the community, the partnerships, the teams and the friends, the more each of us can learn, help, and grow with one another. It is astounding what a larger group can do to help everyone become more confident, and more successful – faster, and stronger.
Behind our campaign #rootingforyou:
My Cofounder, Krisha Patel and I established Assurea in 2021 .Within a year, we were able to expand across the pond and develop a core team. The scope and magnitude of what we thought we could accomplish has changed because of people that have been rooting for us throughout our journey. Because of the support we have received as a company, we are honoring the global network that provided us the confidence to do something unique within the biotech industry. We would never be where we are today without the people that challenge us and believe in us. These wonderful people include Vivianne Arencibia, who has helped us with understanding resilience and stakeholder management, ISPE Women in Pharma®, which is a large and highly collaborative global community, UK Women in Pharma (we would never imagine being able to be in a different country and feel at home without these ladies and the Assurea team’s friends and family – each of these people have helped us in ways too numerous to list in a blog. And others have been equally as invaluable – Francesco Cicirello, who gave us our first project, Casey Lavey, who was the first person to put us in a position of high impact, James Canterbury, who encouraged us to explore unknown territories, and James Gannon, who has always been our sounding board when stakes are high, and anxiety is even higher.
How can others get involved?
- Be an ally and show encouragement to those around you that want to build something.
- Spread awareness of who you are supporting within our network and community.
- Join organizations and initiatives (such as the Milipore Sigma start up symposium) that offers great resources to build a network of like-minded individuals.
- Join a Think Tank or causes that are driven to solve problems and gaps in gender equality / lack of funding for women entrepreneurs.
- Do what you can in your own way
Never lose sight of the fact that all things are possible. We’ve come this far – someone out there is always rooting for you just like how we are!