GBH: As biotech conference arrives in Boston, Wu launches push to diversify industry

Jun 08, 2023

The following is an excerpt from a GBH story published on June 5, 2023.

Wu unveiled the campaign in a press conference in the front lobby of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, as thousands of attendees streamed in for the BIO International Convention’s first day. She was joined by several other stakeholders with an interest in reshaping the contours of the local biotech industry, including Vertex Pharmeceuticals President and CEO Reshma Kewalramani, Massachusetts Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Lauren Jones, and MassBio President and CEO Kendalle Burlin O’Connell, who said Boston’s new push reflects principles the industry ought to embrace.

“It’s about making sure that our workforce represents the patient population that we serve,” O’Connell said.

“We all want to make sure that Massachusetts stays the best place in the world for life sciences,” she added. “We want to make sure that the innovation that happens here can positively impact patients, sick people, around the globe. And we want to make sure that every person who wants to work in a career in the life sciences has that opportunity.”

While diversity and increased representation have been hallmarks of Wu’s vision for Boston, launching this particular campaign in the midst of an international biotech conference was also an artful exercise in city branding, something Wu seemed to acknowledge directly early in her remarks.

“We are so proud to host this global event,” Wu said. “It’s a powerful statement to kick off this week focusing on our local workforce.”

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