HR Microscope October 2015

Newsletter Date: 
Friday, October 30, 2015

Volume III, Issue VIII, October 2015 - National Biotechnology Week Edition

In Focus

As we start National Biotechnology Week, it is fitting that we reflect on our industry. In order to overcome the business and technical skills-gaps we face, the bio-economy must take full advantage of strategic labour markets like youth, newcomers and Canadian women. As a country and an industry, they represent the most important and growing markets. Just as our educational and venture capital objectives must be met for the industry to remain competitive here and abroad, so must we ensure its human resources, Canada’s foundation of innovation, retains the ability to attract and retain the most valuable people available to it.

BioTalent Canada

New Report Outlines Women’s Experiences of Gender Bias in Canada’s Biotechnology Sector

OTTAWA, October 30, 2015 – A report released today by BioTalent Canada outlines the results of a national survey of women in the biotech sector and reveals the challenges they often face, including gender bias in pursuing careers in Canada’s Bio-economy.  The national survey and report formed part of BioTalent Canada’s project “Connecting and Advancing Women in the Bio-economy” funded in part by the federal department of Status of Women Canada.

Emerging from the national survey are three key findings:

  • Women want to work in the bio-economy, and when they do, they are regarded as vital contributors to companies’ technological and business success.
  • Gender bias has a real and discernible negative effect on women in the bio-economy workforce.
  • Concrete steps can be taken by the sector to make it even more welcoming and supportive of women’s success.


Read the Full Story 

Porter Airlines: Taking the Lead on Gender Diversity in the workplace

What if the Canadian bio-economy could give itself a grade on its gender diversity within the workplace? As a sector, would we ace it…? Not according to BioTalent Canada’s labour market research.

The labour market report, Sequencing the Data, revealed that the number of bio-economy companies who employ women has fallen by 11.5% since 2008. What’s more, the proportion of women in senior and executive positions in biotech companies remains below 20%.

Male hirers surveyed in BioTalent Canada’s 2015 labour market report on women in the Canadian biotechnology, Moving Beyond the Boundaries, felt that overall males and females have about equal qualifications. Interestingly, when male hirers were asked to choose from only one gender, 100% of them chose men.  So, it seems likely that unconscious gender-bias is an issue in biotechnology.

Read the Full Story 

Biotech, the People Behind the Science

Meet Vanessa Grant. Helping biotech firms realize their business objectives through practical legal advice.


Legal life-sciences experts provide cross-disciplinary insight and practical legal advice, so biotech companies can focus on their core business of developing technology that is changing lives for the better.

Name: Vanessa Grant
Title: Partner
Organization: Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP
Expertise: 18 years experience in capital raising (public and private), mergers and acquisitions, and licensing and commercial agreements for the life sciences industry
Recognized in the Lexpert/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada 2015, Biotechnology
Background: Opera singer, loans officer, flight attendant, erstwhile entrepreneur


Read the Full Story 

When Skilled Talent Has Access to Opportunities, We All Win.  Be Part of the Conversation.

BioTalent Canada is hosting three networking events across Canada, to reveal the findings of our latest labour market report, Moving Beyond the Boundaries.

These are great events to network and show that together, we can move the industry beyond the real and perceived boundaries of gender.

Join us to help strengthen Canada’s bio-economy through gender diversity.

Date: Thursday, November 5th

To register for Charlottetown, click here.

To register for Toronto, click here.

To register for Vancouver*, click here.

We look forward to seeing you!


*This event is being held in conjunction with LifeSciences BC’s Blake’s Breakfast, for more information, click here.



According to BioTalent Canada’s 2013 labour market report, 49.2% of bio-economy companies identified “offering more competitive remuneration and benefits packages,” as a strategy to overcome HR challenges.

Through BioTalent Canada’s alliance with Big Benefits & HR Services Inc., we are pleased to announce WiseChoices, an employee benefit program with a focus on cost containment, while offering more choice to employees.

In addition to a comprehensive suite of benefits, WiseChoices offers enhanced features such as:

  • Ability to offer employees voluntary benefits at no cost to your organization
  • Consultation with an HR professional on an as-needed basis
  • Tax and Estate Planning for business owners and executives

For a no-cost evaluation of your plan and information on WiseChoices, please visit or contact Julie Holden at

300-130 Slater Street,
Ottawa, ON
K1P 6E2
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  • CNW Group
  • eSolutions
  • HealthPartners
  • Human Resources Professional Association
  • Porter Airlines



  • BioBusiness
  • Business Improvement Group
  • Gowlings
  • Scotiabank StartRight Program for Newcomers


  • Ag-West Bio
  • BioAlberta
  • BioNB
  • BioNova
  • BioQuébec
  • BIOTECanada
  • Biotech Primer
  • Canadian Renewable Fuels Association
  • City of Mississauga
  • Life Sciences Association of Manitoba
  • Life Sciences BC
  • Life Sciences Ontario
  • Melynda Layton
  • Ontario Bioscience Innovation Organization
  • PEI BioAlliance
  • Stratford Managers Corporation