WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Women In Bio (WIB), an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences, today announced the opening day of its inaugural Boardroom Ready program for women executives in the Life Sciences, hosted by George Washington University.  WIB’s Boardroom Ready certificate program was modeled after Biogen’s successful program Raising the Bar: Advancing Women on Boards and is designed to prepare women executives to serve on corporate boards. A unique aspect of the program is WIB’s commitment to assist graduates of the Boardroom Ready program in securing board seats. WIB has also engaged with the broader Life Sciences community to identify coaches and mentors for the program and gain widespread support for achieving greater diversity in the boardroom.

“We are pleased to be welcoming the first class of women executives this week, a group of highly qualified, knowledgeable, experienced women who recognize that the Boardroom Ready program is an opportunity to further hone their skills and broaden their experiences,” said Kristi Sarno, National President of Women In Bio.  “Program graduates will have access to a large and growing network of industry veterans who are dedicated to promoting women leadership, which includes paving the way for more of them to serve on corporate boards.”

The inaugural class consists of two 3-day sessions covering topics including corporate governance, investor relations, financial strategy and policy, crisis management, and legal liability. Academic sessions are led by industry leaders at George Washington University and each candidate is paired with a mentor who can also provide introductions to facilitate board appointments.  Faith Charles, Partner at Thompson Hine and a class participant, commented, “While the role of women in leadership positions has been growing, there is still a considerable gap in representation. Programs that enable more women to rise to top positions, such as corporate boards seats, will lend a broader perspective to the future direction of businesses across all industries. Women In Bio's Boardroom Ready Program is a great example of a new initiative that addresses the need for greater diversity in the Life Sciences and creates even more opportunities for women to contribute to corporate boards and a company’s goals and strategies. 

Speaking to the Boardroom Ready class of 2016, Javier Barrientos, senior director, global diversity and inclusion for Biogen, said, “When we launched our Raising the Bar program in January, 2015, we wanted to create opportunities for more women to advance their careers at Biogen, and at the same time, provide an avenue for them to contribute to the broader industry by preparing them to serve on boards. We are happy to share the key learnings from our program with WIB, and to be an integral part of helping them launch this industry-wide effort that aligns with our mission and extends the opportunity to advance more women leaders.”

WIB, together with and Boardroom Ready founding sponsor LifeSci Advisors, as well as Biogen and MassBio, will host networking events designed to connect graduates with CEO’s, venture capitalists, and experienced board members in the industry, some of whom have already expressed an interest in diversifying their boards.

“This program is at the core of our mission to increase gender diversity in the life sciences field — and specifically to increase the number of women on our clients’ boards of directors," said Michael Rice, President and Co-Founder of LifeSci Advisors. "The caliber of women who applied and were accepted into the 2016 lineup speaks for itself, and we encourage additional sponsors to step up and invest in its continued success." WIB will be holding the Boardroom Ready training program on an annual basis. If you are aware of available board positions, interested in sponsoring this important program, and/or interested in becoming a mentor to one of the class participants, please email boardroomready@womeninbio.org

For more information about the program, please visit http://womeninbio.org/executives/board-ready.

About Women In Bio (WIB) 
WIB is an organization of professionals committed to promoting careers, leadership, and entrepreneurship of women in the life sciences. Each local chapter hosts numerous events throughout the year, that vary from networking events to career development, to professional education, to executive level-focused events. In addition to events, WIB hosts a mentorship program which offers women the chance to mentor or be mentored, a Young Women In Bio program, which offers events and encouragement to middle-school aged girls, webinars, and the support of a large national organization with 13 chapters and growing. As a volunteer organization, WIB offers leadership opportunities at every stage of your career, and a chance to expand your network in a supportive and professional environment. For more information, visit www.womeninbio.org

About Biogen
Through cutting-edge science and medicine, Biogen discovers, develops and delivers worldwide innovative therapies for people living with serious neurological, autoimmune and rare diseases. Founded in 1978, Biogen is one of the world’s oldest independent biotechnology companies and patients worldwide benefit from its leading multiple sclerosis and innovative hemophilia therapies. For more information, please visit www.biogen.com. Follow us on Twitter.

About LifeSci Advisors, LLC (www.lifesciadvisors.com) is a unique investor relations consultancy founded to provide companies in the life sciences a comprehensive solution to investor communications and outreach. With local presence in New York, Boston, Chicago, London, Geneva and Tel-Aviv, the firm provides the highest quality service for its clients through its deep sector specialization. Our roster of Ph.D.s enables us to better understand our clients' R&D, regulatory, and commercial strategy, and our team of financial services, investor relations, and public relations specialists help our clients effectively communicate their strategies to the marketplace. This combination of life sciences, financial services, and investor relations expertise allows us to provide a valuable and unique service offering to our clients.


Contact: Dawn Hocevar, President Elect WIB