By Susan Windham-Bannister, Ph.D.
It’s no secret that the life sciences industry suffers from a lack of gender diversity at all levels and at all stages of developing new therapeutics and technologies. There is well-documented evidence of the bias that female entrepreneurs face in launching a new company, starting with raising seed-stage money. Research by the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) found that in the last two years only 2.2 percent of total venture capital dollars and less than 15 percent of angel funds went to companies started or led by women. Another eye-opening statistic: From 2011 to 2013, only 3 percent of all venture capital dollars in the U.S. went to companies with a woman CEO, and only 15 percent of the companies receiving venture capital investment had a woman on the executive team.