Building a pipeline of diversity and establishing inclusivity as a core organizational value were among the topics discussed by panelists during the last installment of LaunchBio's webinar series, Let's Talk About, for 2020.
The presentation, "The Right Track | Increasing Inclusivity in 2021," was held Wednesday, Dec. 9. Panelists included Jordyne Blaise, J.D., director of diversity equity and inclusion at bluebird bio; Farrah A. Belizaire, MS, associate director of diversity and inclusion at Boston University School of Medicine; Mary Bartlett, director of external affairs at NewYorkBIO; and Irfan Khan, M.D., CEO of Circuit Clinical.
Panelists talked about the importance of setting specific and measurable goals and making inclusivity a core organizational value, not just a box to be checked off.
"It's not a compliance issue," Khan said. "It's a values issue."
Panelist also addressed complaints about hiring and talent pools not being large enough to support diversity by saying that companies need to think beyond the traditional system of educational progression and develop their own talent pipelines. Companies can create internships and mentorships, work with local community and government leaders to identify talent and look within their own organizations to nurture their own employees.
Bluebird's Blaise said that companies must demonstrate their commitment to diversity initiatives. Bluebird makes its inclusivity goals public along with its progress toward reaching them, she said. The company has also completed an effort to ensure pay equity across the company.
Ultimately, Blaise said, it's about consistently committing the time and resources needed and making inclusivity an organizational imperative. There's nothing wrong with letting those most affected lead diversity efforts, but inclusivity is not really a business priority if company leadership is not in the room, too.
LaunchBio's Let's Talk About series aims to inform, educate and provide actionable takeaways for increasing diversity, equity, and inclusivity in the life sciences.