The biopharmaceutical industry leads in helping women achieve new heights, according to IAM’s diversity 100

The biopharmaceutical industry leads in helping women achieve new heights, according to IAM’s diversity 100.

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“Phenomenal pharma” – that’s how a recent report by IAM described the biopharmaceutical industry’s leadership in inventor diversity. The report accompanied the release of IAM’s Diversity 100 list, which recognizes industries with “the greatest proportion of female inventors named on US patents.” Leading the pack was the life sciences industry, which includes biopharmaceutical companies, medical device companies and diagnostics firms.

America’s intellectual property system – including patents – is the lifeblood of biopharmaceutical innovation, fueling the research and development of new treatments and cures for patients and spurring continued competition that helps lower health care costs and generate more treatment options for patients.

Biopharmaceutical companies invest not only in strong research and development pipelines, but strong and diverse talent pipelines, too. These efforts range from empowering female innovators through mentoring and leadership programs to real-world experiences in the lab that engage girls in the excitement and potential of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) opportunities.

The commitment of these companies has made a difference. Nineteen companies from the life sciences industry – including 14 biopharmaceutical companies – are on the IAM Diversity 100 list, highlighting the strong female leadership in this field. Congratulations to all the companies recognized by IAM and for IAM for bringing attention to the progress to date.


The industry’s sustained commitment to supporting STEM education includes over $200M in financial support over a 5-year period, and PhRMA members have initiated 70+ STEM programs in that same time period. Other key stats about our industry’s work to help women rise to the top of the field include:

  • 7.4 million students and 25,000 teachers have participated in industry-sponsored STEM programs

  • Biopharmaceutical companies and their foundations have awarded nearly 2,500 STEM education grants

  • More than half of the reported STEM education programs are intentionally designed to engage underrepresented populations

Despite this progress, we know our work is not finished. Our industry remains committed to developing and supporting future generations of female inventors. Within PhRMA’s membership, 94% of our companies offer professional development and networking opportunities, and 78% have in place a cross-functional diversity council or leadership team to support and grow more inclusive workplaces.

We take seriously our responsibility to foster change so that we can strengthen tomorrow’s workforce. To learn more about our commitment to growing a more inclusive STEM workforce, visit PhRMA.org/STEM.

Topics: Research and Development, Equity