On Wednesday 14 June, we held our latest Women in Biotech event at Instinctif Partners. We were joined by Professor Jackie Hunter CEO of Benevolent Bio and Maxine Mackintosh Founding Director of One HealthTech.

The BIA’s Women in Biotech community was set up in 2007 and aims to provide an effective network for women in the life science sector. Our Women in Biotech networking events are attended by a diverse range of delegates from across the sector and feature a variety of engaging speakers from VCs, entrepreneurs and CEOs, to coaches and leading figures from within the industry and associated businesses.

Following welcomes from Sue Charles at Instinctif Partners and BIA CEO Steve Bates, Jackie introduced Benevolent Bio, the London-based bioscience arm of BenevolentAI. Founded in 2013, Benevolent Bio is a technology and drug development company working to streamline the drug development process.

Maxine Mackintosh then gave an overview of her company One HealthTech, a network that supports and promotes women and other underrepresented groups in health innovation. Maxine highlighted that the NHS workforce’s make up is 23% men and 77% women, however, only 16% of the UK technology sector workforce are female and women make up only 25% of board level Directors in the NHS with an informatics role. Maxine also mentioned the difficulty that women have in getting into medical school, compared with men.

Chair of the BIA Board, Dr Jane Osbourn said: “The Women in Biotech events are an excellent way of promoting diversity within the life sciences and have helped to build a supportive community where women in the sector can share and learn from each other’s experiences.

“The BIA champions equality in the sector and as chair of the Board I hope to see that diversity in our sector continues to grow and would encourage all women across our sector to be play an active role in the Women in biotech community and help pave the way for more women to enter UK biotech.”

Following their presentations, Jackie and Maxine took part in a Q&A session with some interesting questions from the predominantly-female audience, during which the presenters shared their insights into why the number of women in biotech has not reached its potential.

Presentation slides from the event will be available on our website shortly. Our next Women in Biotech event will be taking place in London on Wednesday 20 September and will include a presentation from Professor Melissa Hanna-Brown, Technology and Innovation Lead at Pfizer. Further details will be published on the BIA website shortly.