Lack of Women in Leadership, Still a Problem in 2023?
I'm afraid it seems that way when looking into the 2023 PhRMA report!
The pharmaceutical and life sciences industry still appears to be largely dominated by men, with women holding only 27% of leadership positions as of 2023.
This statistic is concerning, especially considering that women make up 63% of the industry's workforce.
Looking into it further, several factors have come to light and these contribute to the underrepresentation of women in leadership roles within this industry.
Stereotypes and unconscious biases play a significant role, as women are often perceived as less competent in leadership positions, leading to missed opportunities for promotions.
I can't believe I'm writing this in 2023!
Another issue is the demanding work culture and long hours characteristic of the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry create work-life balance challenges, which can make it difficult for women to manage their careers alongside their familial responsibilities.
How can women grow when the lack of mentors and role models deprives them of the guidance and support necessary to navigate the challenges of leadership effectively?
Let's look at the Salary
In 2023, women in the industry earned an average of 82 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues, highlighting the continued disparity in pay. The salary gap is even wider for women of color, with Black women earning around 72 cents and Hispanic women earning approximately 69 cents for every dollar earned by white men. THIS NEEDS TO CHANGE!
'I truly believe several actions can and need to be taken'
Challenging stereotypes and unconscious bias
Companies should actively challenge stereotypes about women's leadership abilities and combat unconscious biases present in the workplace.
Supporting work-life balance:
It is crucial for companies to support work-life balance for all employees, not just women. This includes offering flexible work arrangements and providing paid parental leave.
Providing mentorship and role models:
Adopting programs and ensuring the presence of visible female role models can help women in the industry navigate the challenges they face and develop their leadership skills.
Encouraging companies to adopt pay equity policies:
It is important for companies to adopt and implement pay equity policies that ensure equal pay for equal work between genders.
Offering salary negotiation training for women:
Providing training programs that specifically address salary negotiation can empower women to negotiate for fair and equitable compensation.
Encouraging women to take on leadership roles:
Companies should actively encourage women to pursue and take on leadership positions to provide them with opportunities for career advancement and higher salaries.
Addressing unconscious bias:
Companies should take steps to address unconscious bias in the workplace, ensuring that promotion decisions are based on merit rather than gender.
By taking on board these measures, companies can contribute to the creation of a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.
Our industry plays a vital role in the economy, and it is essential that it becomes as diverse and inclusive as possible. By increasing the representation of women in leadership positions and narrowing the salary gap, it can flourish and thrive.
There are already companies making huge efforts to achieve these goals, such as
These companies have implemented various programs, initiatives, and policies to support women in leadership roles, address pay equity, and create a more inclusive workplace culture.
While progress is being made, continued efforts are necessary to create lasting change and establish a more equitable industry for all.