UK BioPharma to Target Lack of Boardroom Diversity at Liftstream Forum

LONDON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#LDNboardstep–An event aimed at improving diversity in biopharma boardrooms takes
place on 28th March, following a 2017 study by Liftstream
forecasting that the current 1% growth in participation of women would
mean gender imbalanced boards until 2056. The research, spanning 4
years, showed a net increase of just 15 women directors across 177

The Liftstream event, in partnership with MedCity, brings together 200
life sciences and investment executives to discuss intentional solutions
for increasing boardroom and leadership diversity within the industry.
The event will explore the business case of diverse leadership,
including improved innovation, strategic competitive advantage,
financial performance, enhanced company culture and human capital

Leaders implementing the UK’s prominent diversity initiatives aimed at
increasing the participation of women and under-represented groups in UK
business will also share their experience, insights and best-practice to
enact change.

“We are excited to bring this event to the UK for the first time and are
tremendously pleased to partner with MedCity to do so.” said Karl
Simpson, CEO of Liftstream. “Our research highlights the sector’s lack
of boardroom diversity and many of the causes. We have shown there are
strong business and cultural incentives for biopharma companies to
increase diversity on their board of directors. People in the sector are
solution-minded and collaborative, which is why we’re bringing them
together to take decisive action towards increasing diversity on biotech
and pharmaceutical company boards.”

The Liftstream study also revealed evidence showing that diverse biotech
boards outperform their counterparts in terms of shareholder returns by
~28 percent, and that they have stronger and more sustainable cultures
which attract human capital.

Rajesh Agrawal, Deputy Mayor for Business, said: “London is home to some
truly innovative and life-changing scientific companies but it is clear
that much more needs to be done to boost the number of women at board

He added: “Events such as this will help us to develop ways to increase
the participation of women. In the meantime, the Mayor and I will keep
spreading the message to all businesses that it is crucial that they
remove any barriers to women by adopting the highest possible standards
for fair pay, good working conditions and gender equality.”

Sarah Haywood, CEO of MedCity, said: “BioPharma boardrooms do not
currently reflect the real world, and although gender diversity in
science and technology is a hot topic, there is still much to do within
the industrial base. This isn’t an exercise in tokenism; we need to
think hard about ways to encourage and support talented people into
meaningful positions. I hope that by setting an example at the top of
companies, the diverse pool of talent available to choose from will be
expanded and there will be greater opportunity for talented people from
all groups to participate in the leadership of some of our most exciting

The event will feature prominent leaders from across the biotech and
investment sectors with substantial expertise of diverse business

  • Dr Annalisa Jenkins, CEO, Dimension Therapeutics Inc.,
    non-executive director of Ardelyx Inc., Biothera Pharmaceuticals,
    MedCity, Viventia Bio, Inc., Vium
  • Dr Denise Scots-Knight, CEO and Board Director and Co-Founder,
    Moreo BioPharma Plc., non-executive Director of Oncomed and Albireo
  • Dr Stephen Bunting, Chairman, Abingworth LLP.
  • John Berriman, Chairman at Confo Therapeutics, Depixus,
    ReNeuron Group Plc., Autifony Therapeutics
  • Catherine Moukheibir, Chairperson of MedDay Pharmaceuticals,
    non-executive director of Ablynx nv, Zealand Pharma A/S
  • Gerry Brown, Chairman, Novaquest Capital Management
  • Paul George, Executive Director of Corporate Governance and
    Reporting, Financial Reporting Council
  • Prof. Isabel Fernandez-Mateo, Professor of Strategy and
    Entrepreneurship, London Business School
  • Roel Bulthuis, SVP and Managing Director, Merck Ventures
  • Denis Woulfe, Partner and Vice Chairman of Deloitte LLP.,
    Co-Chair of Men as Change Agents and Member of Women’s Business Council
  • Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE, Entrepreneur, Author and Steering
    Committee Member of Parker Review

Annalisa Jenkins, CEO of Dimension Therapeutics, commented: “I am
thrilled to be supporting this important forum and the work of
Liftstream and MedCity. My professional life has strengthened my
conviction that diverse teams are winning teams. That the best male
leaders open the doors for women to grow and shine. And that the next
generation expect us all to create a platform for everyone to make a

The event will take place at the British Medical Association, Tavistock
Square, London from 3pm on March 28th.

To register for the event:

Notes to Editors:

Event enquiries:

Report: Patel, R., Stasiak, L. & Simpson, K. A Public Reality for Women
in Biotech Boardrooms (Liftstream, London, 2017).

About Liftstream

Liftstream is an executive search recruitment practice focused
exclusively on the global life sciences sector. Our clients benefit from
the advanced sector knowledge we possess and the exceptional people
we’re able to recruit for them into positions of leadership. Since 2003,
Liftstream has been recruiting outstanding people to the unique and
complex challenges of life sciences and who have contributed to
innovative new treatments improving global health. Our client
partnerships always focus on strengthening our clients’ teams. We
achieve this through comprehensive searches and rigorous candidate
assessments to identify and appoint the person most suited to our
clients. Liftstream is committed to equal opportunities, diversity and

For more information about Liftstream, please visit:

About MedCity:

MedCity exists to promote and grow life sciences investment,
entrepreneurship, collaboration and industry in London, Cambridge,
Oxford and the greater south east.

From drug discovery to devices, diagnostics and digital health, MedCity
supports life sciences and healthcare companies large and small to do
business in the golden triangle.

Launched in April 2014 by Imperial College Academic Health Science
Centre, King’s Health Partners, UCLPartners and the Mayor of London, and
in collaboration with the University of Oxford and Cambridge University;
MedCity promotes life sciences in the region.

For more information about MedCity, please visit:


Karl Simpson
Tel: +44 (0)20 3178 5864