Connecting and Advancing Women in the Canadian Bio-economy Project

Industry need:

Women constitute over 60% of physical and life sciences post-secondary graduates in Canada, yet as reported in the 2013 “Sequencing the Data” labour market study the number of biotech companies hiring women has decreased 11.5% in the last five years – this represents a significant lost talent pool. With skills shortages and access to talent still impeding the industry it is important women are connected to career opportunities and able to advance within the industry will help address these skills gaps.


The project will leverage the existing network model established by Women in Bio, an international networking organization for women in the biotech industry, which has successfully started a chapter in Montreal and will provide ongoing support to the networks in the long term. Working with project partners, BioTalent Canada will conduct a needs assessment to identify key challenges women face when integrating into the bio-economy, particularly institutional gaps, as well as supports. The organization will develop local networks in in Vancouver, Toronto, and Charlottetown through which women and stakeholders will work in partnership to develop sector action plans. Strategies to be implemented as part of these local plans could include reviews of human resources policies and mentoring. BioTalent Canada will identify and publish the success factors and recruitment profiles of successful women in the bio-economy.

Project Announcements:

Project Timeline:

  • Fall 2014 – Needs Assessment Study to gather perspectives
  • Spring 2015 – Release of report with action plan
  • Summer 2015 – Implementation of action plan

Project Partners:

For more information on this project please contact Pamela Gray, Director of Project Development at