Organizational Resiliency of Canada’s Biotech Sector During COVID Disruption Sparks Creation of New Resources

OTTAWA, April 18, 2023BioTalent Canada, Canada’s National HR partner for the bio-economy, has launched a set of tools: “Building Workplace Resiliency” resources, which  are now available for use by bio-economy employers.   

 This broad set of resources was developed as part of a  project, Building Resiliency and Sustainability for the Bio-economy to Withstand Disruption, funded by the Future Skills Centre, that examined the disruption and challenges faced by the sector during the COVID-19 pandemic and is designed to help employers with onboarding, retention and recruitment. The end goal is to develop resiliency within an organization and promote a strong talent pipeline through principles of inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility leadership (IDEAL). 

“It’s our hope that biotech organizations will use these tools to strengthen their teams,” says Rob Henderson, President and CEO of BioTalent Canada. “The end goal is to leverage diverse talent from different backgrounds and create more resilient organizations that have a strong bench of talented employees who can better withstand disruptions.”  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, some Canadian bio-economy companies fared better than many other industries despite facing similar challenges. The difference came down to organizational resiliency.  

BioTalent Canada’s research found organizations that embraced IDEAL principles emerged stronger from the COVID-19 crisis. Organizational resiliency refers to the ability of an organization to anticipate, absorb, react and adapt to internal and external disruptions and associated impacts.  

In interviews with bio-economy employers, three major characteristics emerged among resilient organizations: 

  1. They are agile, flexible and adaptable with their operations and internal processes. 
  2. Their employees are engaged with leadership both formally and informally. 
  3. They have empowered cultures stemming from engaged employees. 

What formed the basis for these three characteristics was an awareness of leading with the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility. 

“We are pleased to support BioTalent Canada’s project with a focus on building sustainability in business and resiliency in Canada’s bio-economy,” says Pedro Barata, Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre. “The tools launched today are an important step to preparing an agile and inclusive workforce that can meet our current needs in biotech and manage future change as they come.” 

Diversity leads to more resilient organizations and offers tangible benefits. However, BioTalent Canada’s research has also found that more work needs to be done to build resilient organizations within the bio-economy. Currently, women make up only one-third (34%) of bio-economy workers and visible minorities comprise one-quarter (25%) of the people working within the industry. Other equity-seeking groups have less representation and Indigenous workers are nearly non-existent. 

Benefits of building more resilient workplaces include mitigating talent shortages and increasing stakeholder insights. A more resilient organization can also help to foster sustainability and make organizations and their employees better able to weather economic hardships.  

Read from these resources: 

The Building Workplace Resiliency resources were developed through the project Building Resiliency and Sustainability for the Bio-economy to Withstand Disruption, which is funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.  

Rob Henderson is available for comment. 

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About BioTalent Canada 

BioTalent Canada supports the people behind life-changing science. Trusted as the go-to source for labour market intelligence, BioTalent Canada guides bio-economy stakeholders with evidence-based data and industry-driven standards. BioTalent Canada is focused on igniting the industry’s brainpower, bridging the gap between job-ready talent and employers, and ensuring the long-term agility, resiliency, and sustainability of one of Canada’s most vital sectors. 

Recently named one of the 50 Best Workplaces in Canada with under 50 employees, a Best Workplaces™ for Mental Wellness, Healthcare, and a Great Place to Work® for 2022, BioTalent Canada practices the same industry standards it recommends to stakeholders. These distinctions were awarded to BioTalent Canada following a thorough and independent survey analysis conducted by Great Place to Work®.  

About the Future Skills Centre 

The Future Skills Centre (FSC) is a forward-thinking centre for research and collaboration dedicated to driving innovation in skills development so that everyone in Canada can be prepared for the future of work. We partner with policymakers, researchers, practitioners, employers and labour, and post-secondary institutions to solve pressing labour market challenges and ensure that everyone can benefit from relevant lifelong learning opportunities. We are founded by a consortium whose members are Toronto Metropolitan University, Blueprint, and The Conference Board of Canada, and are funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Program.  

For more information, please visit 

Media Inquiries:
Siobhan Williams
Vice-President Marketing and Communications
BioTalent Canada
613-235-1402 ext. 229
[email protected]