Why are women thriving in the top ranks of biotech?

When FierceBiotech turned out its recent list of the top women in biotech, there was no shortage of candidates. Unlike most other tech sectors, women are well represented in the top ranks of life sciences companies. And even though women don't start biotech companies as often as men--one New England survey found one in five biotechs were started by women--they play a big, and steadily growing, role in the industry.

So why is biotech different than, say, high tech? Slate examined the issue and found that it starts with education. Women receive half of all the PhDs in the field, compared to only 27 percent in computer sciences. As a new industry, unlike pharma, newcomers don't have to contend with an old boy network likely to favor men. And researchers point to the team-based approach to drug development--creating a workplace environment in which many women thrive--as another advantage.

"Biology has a much greater representation of women than other areas of high-tech and so if the CEOS and founders are coming at least in part from a biology training then there are many more of them to participate," MIT's Fiona Murray tells Slate.

- here's the article from Slate

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