Several weeks ago, we shared an exclusive interview with Edie Stringfellow, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at MassBio, on why she felt the biotech industry needs to place more emphasis on diversity and inclusion. Stringfellow was serving as the moderator during an evening of Diversity and Inclusion at Biotech Week Boston in September. We continued the conversation with Jose Juves, Vice President of Public Affairs at Wave Life Sciences - one of panelists that evening (which you can read here).
Now, in this week's D&I series, we spoke with another panelist - Professor of Medicine and Dean for Diversity and Community Partnership at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Joan Reede.
Informa Connect: What is the one thing you wanted the audience to leave with after attending the Diversity and Inclusion Evening at Biotech Week Boston?
Dr. Joan Reede: Diversity and inclusion is the responsibility of not only leadership or those in human resources or diversity offices. Achieving diversity and inclusion requires engagement of all of us. There is much work going on in this space as we look across sectors from the academy to industry, but little shared knowledge and collaboration. We have an opportunity to learn from one another, to find synergies in our programming and to identify, encourage and nurture the future generation of individuals who will become part of the biomedical and biotechnology workforce.
Informa Connect: When we talk about diversity and inclusion/ diversity and inclusion across an organization, what does this look like? (How do people define D&I issues)
Dr. Reede: Diversity has multiple dimensions, not only those that for some may come to mind more readily such as race/ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, differently able and age. Diversity also takes into consideration differences in culture, socioeconomic status, education, access to opportunity, age, nationality, geography, etc. It is also important to consider intersectionality. Individuals do not fit neatly into a single category but are multidimensional.
Informa Connect: How do you think about D&I as it relates to long term success of an organization?
Dr. Reede: To capture the full benefits of diversity and inclusion organizations need to be about “diversity inclusion”, embedding consideration of diversity and inclusion as they develop, implement and monitor programs, policies and practices; linking diversity and inclusion to their mission and being committed to monitoring and holding themselves accountable for change.