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Women in Biotech: Majority of Employees and Over 50% in Management Positions

In the Spanish biotech sector, 60% of employees are women, yet only 37% of leadership positions in companies are held by women, according to a report by the Spanish Association of Biocompanies (AseBio). The figures show a positive trend, but there is still a need for increased representation and inclusivity at management levels. The data from AseBio is consistent with the latest BioRegion Report.



women in biotech

Women in biotech occupy a majority position, although this presence has not yet been transferred to company management. 60% of the people who work in biotech are women, and more than half of the leadership positions in 37% of the companies in this field are occupied by them.

These are figures corresponding to data from 63 companies collected in the report Participation of women in biotech industry of the Spanish Association of Biocompanies (AseBio).

Those of AseBio are numbers in line with the latest BioRegion Report from Biocat, the entity that coordinates and promotes the biosciences sector in Catalonia, which indicates that between 2019 and 2023 there was a change to 34% of senior management positions occupied by women. This figure represents an increase of five percentage points compared to the 29% between 2014 and 2018.

The Study on investment in the health sector in Catalonia by CataloniaBio&HealthTech, the Catalan employers’ association of biotechnology companies, however, shows some discrepancy.

According to this report, the gender distribution in Catalan biotech is more equal, with 49% women compared to 51% men, and 42% women in the management field. The figures on which this report is based come from the database of the biotechnology association and the consulting firm EY, co-author of the study.

Read more about the number of women in biotech and find the latest business news of the day with our companion app Born2Invest.

Women investors continue to be a minority in the biotech sector, with 9%

Mariona Serra, president of Cataloniabio&HealthTech and director of the biotech company dedicated to the treatment of digestive diseases Goodgut, part of the Hipra group, points out that “equality is still a pending issue” in the biotechnology industry. The president of the association highlights the growing number of initiatives to implement quotas and achieve equal representation objectives , although she also believes that we must go beyond the quantitative approach.

“There is a need to create an inclusive culture and consider the promotion of women to decision-making and senior management positions,” said Serra, who recalls that the number of female CEOs is 31%, a figure that is reduced even further in relation to investors in the biosciences sector, up to 9%. In fact, according to AseBio data, the field of private equity managers is the only one in which women represent less than half of the employees.

Size and parity of the women in biotech

The gender distribution based on the number of employees in the AseBio report does not show any significant percentage: in all the companies that responded to its survey, women are the majority , whether they have less than ten workers, between eleven and twenty, between 21 and fifty , between 51 and 250 or more than 250 employees.

Berta Casañe, director of strategic accounts and pharmaceutical specialist at Randstad, affirms that there is no special concentration of women in larger or smaller companies or in specific positions. “We have been growing for a long time in terms of female employment,” said Casañe, who in turn recalls the important change that has occurred in the health sector in a relatively short time. “Ten years ago we did not see many female managers, while now we already see CEOs and business directors with female employment,” she said.

The number of women in biotech will continue to grow

The data regarding the choice of studies also allows us to be optimistic in relation to the growing number of women in biotech sector. According to the AseBio report, between 2021 and 2022, 62% of the 8,900 master’s and degree students related to this field were women.

A majority that is also seen in the pharmaceutical field, where since the first quarter of 2022 it can be seen how the variable related to female employment begins to be decoupled upwards from that of male employment.


(Featured image by 089photoshootings via Pixabay)

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First published in PlantaDoce. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the articles from the originals. In case of discrepancy, the originals will prevail.

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Eva Wesley is an experienced journalist, market trader, and financial executive. Driven by excellence and a passion to connect with people, she takes pride in writing think pieces that help people decide what to do with their investments. A blockchain enthusiast, she also engages in cryptocurrency trading. Her latest travels have also opened her eyes to other exciting markets, such as aerospace, cannabis, healthcare, and telcos.