A science-centric network for women in senior positions across industry and academia has launched in Denmark to strengthen the life sciences industry and promote talent, diversity and inclusiveness.
Women in Life Science Denmark (WiLD) has received support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, contributing €56,000 ($60,293) over the next three years.
WiLD was co-founded by Lene Gerlach, Partner at life sciences venture capital firm Eir Ventures, alongside ten experienced women form the Life Science Industry including Kirsten Drejer, former CEO of Symphogen.
The initiative was originally set up to address gender disparity at the top leadership level in Denmark, the Nordic country with fewest female top executives. Only 20% of executives in the largest Danish companies are women, while only 14% of these companies have a female CEO.
Now, WiLD hopes to create a professional network of female leaders and entrepreneurs in the industry to inspire the next generation of women to strive for senior positions in corporate and academic institutions.
Changing gender disparity
Since its inception in January 2023, WiLD has attracted over 110 members, including 60 C-level executives and other senior leading figures in the industry.
Kirsten Drejer, Symphogen CEO and co-Founder of WiLD, said: “It has been rewarding seeing how fast WiLD has grown with the continued uptake of very talented, competent and dedicated women from the life science industry. The network is instrumental to challenging society and changing the gender disparity at top leadership levels and helping to create a new generation of powerful, influential women in leadership positions.”
Anne Bloch Thomsen, Board member for Pfizer Denmark and co-Founder of women’s health startup, Freya Biosciences added: “The WiLD forum simply provides a great opportunity to network and meet some truly interesting and highly skilled people, who all happen to be women, and it is nice to get inspired and meet female role models and just talk about science and potential mutual projects or ideas.”