Is the Massachusetts Life Sciences Industry Making Progress on DEI? Let’s Find Out

Mar 14, 2023

By Ross Marshall, Senior Director of Community Engagement, MassBio

MassBio is excited to announce the launch of our Bi-Annual DEI industry survey. This survey is designed to help us gain a better understanding of the diversity of our industry’s workforce, how companies are progressing on their DEI journeys, and identify areas that need further attention. This year we welcome all Massachusetts life sciences companies to participate.

Contributing companies will share various aspects of their workforce diversity, including race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, veteran status, and more. Additionally, we are seeking information about a company’s DEI strategies, successes, and where more work and focus is needed. The survey is anonymous, and the data collected will be used only in aggregate to create a comprehensive report that will be publicly released.

Our inaugural DEI report, published in November 2021, continues to serve as benchmark when discussing diversity of the Massachusetts life sciences. Our findings that gender diversity on Boards improved by 164% between 2017 – 2021 showed that targeted, intentional actions across our community could lead to real, lasting change. Similarly, the report’s finding that only 15% of the industry workforce identify as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, or Indigenous versus 32% of the Massachusetts population showed that we have a lot of work left to do.

But the 2021 survey is also a baseline for us to measure against this time around. The question before us now is: two years later, are we doing better?  Help us find out by completing the survey today.

The survey serves another critical role: it helps companies hold themselves accountable for their diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. By regularly surveying the workforce, companies demonstrate their commitment to creating a more equitable and inclusive workplace. This can also help build trust with employees who may feel more comfortable sharing their experiences with their employer.

However, it’s important to note that while biannual diversity surveys are a tool to track metrics, larger efforts to advance DEI in the workplace are essential to significant and lasting change. To be effective, companies must also take concrete actions to address the issues identified in the survey. This may include targeted recruitment and outreach efforts, awareness-raising events and manager trainings, and more inclusive policies and practices.

Conducting a survey like this on a regular cadence creates accountability, tracks progress, and empowers companies and the industry to strive to be better. When a workforce is diverse, a business is stronger. When equity is a priority, access and opportunity rise. When a workplace is inclusive, a culture of belonging takes hold.

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