They are the biotech equivalent of the “missing girls” in countries with a skewed gender ratio: 40 to 50 companies that would have been spun out of research at MIT labs headed by women were it not for …

That’s the multibillion-dollar question: Why don’t women biologists found biotech companies at the same rate as men? For the last year, three prominent Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists have been collecting statistics, questioning venture capital partners, and meeting with leaders in academia, science, and business to find answers.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • STAT+ Conversations
  • Weekly opportunities to engage with our reporters and leading industry experts in live video conversations
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.
  • I own a Biotech business and I have a patent for a medical device. For an entire DECADE, I sought unsuccessfully for investors. I had them say things like, “You’ll never get investors simply because you’re a female.” “If you allow a man to be the CEO, I’ll invest.” “You’re cute, but I just don’t think women are as good as men when it comes to leading businesses.”. I could write a novel. Regardless, now many of them are basking in their regret as one of my devices just hit the market.

  • I don’t know why this is “news”. This has been talked about widely in groups like WEST, HBA, AWIS, Women in Bio etc. for years. I hope they can make a change.

  • Excellent ideas and actions are in this article. Please publicize broadly. More initiatives like this will be helpful to women and men alike since diverse workforces produce better results.
    Juliana

  • The Bio tech, analytical body, must provide more facilities,and wrights, to the Female Bio Engineers, to enhance their quantam inventions, in general, may develop them in future,definitely.

  • If it is more difficult for female founders to receive funding, then the average female founder that receives funding is higher quality than the average male founder that receives funding. As a result I would expect a higher rate of success for female founders that actually receive funding than male founders that receive funding. Is this the case?

    • Eric- I think that quality of the investor is an important key to success. There is a wide range of funders, from experienced VCs to, well, flakier ones. Women or men who have a difficult time getting money often have to fall back on less supportive or more demanding investors, and that does have a negative effect on success.

    • Jeanne- that’s a great point. In that case I think you could account for that by controlling for the investor. Ie. Female founders funded by Investor X have a higher rate of success than Male founders funded by Investor X.

  • I’m impressed with this project and thank you for the article. I applaud the Boston-based efforts and hope that they will have impact throughout the US.

Comments are closed.

Sign up to receive a free weekly opinions recap from our community of experts.
Privacy Policy