Subscribe to Newsletter
Business & Regulation Business Practice, Trends & Forecasts

A Battle of the Sexes

A Battle of the Sexes

The Power List is back, but is it a fair representation of the male to female ratio in our industry?

Spring (and controversy) is in the air at The Medicine Maker. As well as celebrating longer (and hopefully sunnier) days, we are also celebrating influential professionals in the world of drug development and manufacture. April is the season of The Power List!

We’ve been busying ourselves with the 2016 Power List since the inaugural list last year. What is the process? First, we ask you, our readers, to submit nominations and then seek the advice of an expert (but anonymous) judging panel, who whittle the names down to 100 – and rank the Top 20. Not all of you will agree with the list, but at the very least, we hope that it promotes both celebration and discussion.

Some of you may be aware that The Medicine Maker has four sister publications across science and medicine, each publishing its own annual Power List. And although the names and faces are clearly different, a common trend runs across all the lists: both the nominees and the final list are heavily dominated by men. In fact, women make up just 18 percent of The Medicine Maker’s 2016 Power List (but more than double the number of women in 2015). So are women simply not being nominated? Or does the List reflect reality?

In the US, female employees make up less than 25 percent of the science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) workforce (1), and in other countries the percentage can be much lower; for example, just over 14 percent of STEM jobs go to women in the UK (2). It’s a recognized problem worldwide, particularly in light of the fact that STEM jobs are considered to pay higher wages. Fortunately, much is being done to encourage more women to take an interest in STEM – a few examples include efforts from organizations such as the European Centre for Women and Technology, the New York Academy of Sciences 1000 Girls – 1000 Futures campaign (US), and the Organization for Women in Science in the Developing World.

Although women only make up a small percentage of the 2016 Power List, four of them made it into the Top 20, which is surely testament to the fact that women can certainly do very well in “a man’s world”. Oh – and I should probably mention that the top two spots are also taken by women! Clearly, there’s definitely no lack of female role models in the industry, and with more focus on getting young women interested in science, I can’t help but wonder what The Power Lists will look like in a decade or two…

Stephanie Sutton

Receive content, products, events as well as relevant industry updates from The Medicine Maker and its sponsors.
Stay up to date with our other newsletters and sponsors information, tailored specifically to the fields you are interested in

When you click “Subscribe” we will email you a link, which you must click to verify the email address above and activate your subscription. If you do not receive this email, please contact us at [email protected].
If you wish to unsubscribe, you can update your preferences at any point.

  1. Executive Office of the President, “Women and Girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM),” (February, 2013).
  2. L. Smith, “Girls in STEM: These figures show why we need more women in science, tech, engineering and maths,” The Business Times (January, 2016).
Register to The Medicine Maker

Register to access our FREE online portfolio, request the magazine in print and manage your preferences.

You will benefit from:
  • Unlimited access to ALL articles
  • News, interviews & opinions from leading industry experts
  • Receive print (and PDF) copies of The Medicine Maker magazine