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International Women's Day 2020: An Interview with Thomas Hellen

Posted on March 2020

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What role can recruitment play in creating a gender-balanced workforce throughout the life sciences industry? Thomas Hellen, Principal Consultant for EPM Scientific, shares his thoughts for International Women's Day 2020.

The 2020 International Women’s Day theme is that an equal world is an enabled world. What does that mean to you in life sciences?

Women in healthcare currently represent 65% of the workforce - a significantly higher ratio when compared to other key industries (Tech – 26%, Financial Services – 46%). However, female Chief Executives in pharma remain very low, accounting for less than 10% of the top leaders. In 2017, GlaxoSmithKline anointed Emma Walmsley its CEO, making her the first female CEO of a big pharma company. Over two years later, she still stands as lone female CEO among the 25 largest drugmakers by market value. Most recruiters and managers would agree that a diverse team helps companies be more innovative, creative and achieve better results. I believe the Life Sciences industry would benefit greatly from an increase in diversity.

What sort of conversations around gender equality do you have with clients and candidates in your sector?

Companies are making a concerted effort to reverse the gender gap, an issue that extends far past the healthcare industry. As more and more studies have shown that gender equality provides numerous economic benefits to companies, there is a serious movement to create a diversified hiring strategy.

What role can recruiters play in creating an equal world?

Reach out to a broader range of candidates, encourage diverse talent to refer their connections and redact any personal information from a candidates resume to remove bias when screening candidates. We can learn more about diversity initiatives that our clients are implementing, and act as an extension of their team to help work collaboratively toward a more balanced workforce.

What advice would you give to a company trying to create a diverse hiring strategy?

Market your organization to broad audiences, promote an openness to diverse cultures through involvement in diversity themed events, and partner with an agency that invests in diversity and inclusions initiatives.

Thomas Hellen is a Principal Consultant at EPM Scientific, focusing on the Commercial Operations sector. For advice on building a diverse hiring strategy, get in touch with the EPM Scientific team.

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EPM Scientific is a leading specialist recruitment agency for the Life Sciences industry. We were founded in 2012 to give companies and candidates peace of mind that the recruitment process is in experts hands. Today, we provide permanent, contract and multi-hire recruitment from our global hubs all over the world.

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