Pistoia Alliance launches Women in STEM leadership pilot

Published: 11-Feb-2022

15 companies are involved in the pilot stage, including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck KGaA

The Pistoia Alliance has launched a Women in STEM leadership pilot programme. The life sciences not-for-profit aims to help organisations develop the leadership, mentoring skills and diversity of their life sciences work environment. More than 40 participants spread across 12 countries are brought together under the programme umbrella. 15 companies are involved in the pilot stage, including AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline and Merck KGaA.

53% of the world’s STEM bachelor’s and master's graduates are women, yet they only account for approximately 30% of the world’s researchers. Women are also more likely to leave the STEM career pipeline than men, leading to a wider gap at the senior level. Further, women account for only 16% of managers and 3% of CEOs in this field.

The project will tackle the reasons behind these statistics. The pilot features four diversified groups of 10; each group has a maximum of two men, allowing male participants to experience first-hand being part of a minority group. The participants represent varied areas of expertise, including data science, industry regulation, and drug safety and development research; 45% are based in the US, and the remaining 55% span Europe and China.

The programme’s weekly training sessions will discuss how to develop an inclusive culture with more opportunities and support for women in STEM roles, as well as how to be clearer and more confident when communicating at the senior leadership. It will also provide both internal and external networking opportunities.

“While many companies may have their own DE&I programs, the true value of the Pistoia Alliance is that it’s a collaborative space where best practices and ideas can be shared cross-company and globally,” said Anca Ciobanu, Program Lead. “Interest in this program is significant and early pilot feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and really shows that companies are committed to change. We are excited to open up the waitlist for the next stage of the program, and encourage people from all backgrounds to get involved, including our tech company members.”

The pilot program will end in June 2022, with the alliance aiming to run a series of future projects using feedback and learnings from the pilot.

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