E.D.G.E. White Paper Abstract
Making of E.D.G.E.
“If our goal is to really improve the representation of women in leadership and senior leadership positions... it really requires that we have more information and better insight. The E.D.G.E. study is exactly the kind of tool to provide that understanding and insight.”
— Joseph Mahady
President-Global Business, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
The E.D.G.E. (Empowerment, Diversity, Growth, Excellence) in Leadership Study was the first of its kind in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. It is the benchmark report of best practices for recruiting, retaining, and advancing women to the top ranks of life sciences corporations.
The E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study recommendations can be embraced by any company that aspires to attract and preserve top talent and ensure that their future leadership will be representative not only of the diverse markets they serve, but of the best talent available.
The study objectives were to:
- Develop benchmarks to track the progress of women to senior levels of life sciences organizations.
- Understand corporate attitudes and motivations that act to advance women's careers.
- Understand programs and initiatives that demonstrably impact women's advancement to the executive suite.
- Identify current best practices and develop recommendations that companies can customize to their own circumstances to further advance the careers of valued women recruits and employees.
Study Design and Information Collected
“The life science industry is a competitive industry. The way companies stay ahead and get that competitive edge is to hire the top talent and create diverse teams. One of the ways they're doing that is to bring more women into senior leadership positions.”
— Laurie Cooke
Chief Executive Officer, Healthcare Businesswomen's Association
Prior to the E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study the lack of statistical information specific to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries seriously limited companies' abilities to look objectively at their rosters and identify programs and future actions to attract, advance and retain the next generation of senior women leaders.
To address these limitations, the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) in conjunction with Booz Allen Hamilton worked with 19 of the top 50 pharmaceutical and biotech corporations in both the US and Europe to produce E.D.G.E. Eleven of those leading companies helped to fund it.
The E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study captures critical insights from:
- Eighty-two male and female senior executives who participated in in-depth interviews;
- Two hundred thirty-seven male and female mid-level managers who responded to a comprehensive web-based survey, and;
- Twelve companies that submitted:
- Quantitative human resource data such as the number of women and men in leadership roles, their job responsibilities, compensation and advancement paths;
- Qualitative data such as placement targets for women; work-life balance initiatives; descriptions of programs for recruitment, retention, and advancement; and reasons for executive departures.
The E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study provides an important, ongoing resource for the healthcare industry. The study will be repeated routinely in order to track industry progress and record current industry recruiting and retention statistics. The goal is to provide participating pharmaceutical and biotech corporations an ever improving best practice guide for achieving a diverse and successful workforce.
Information and Tools To Help Your Company Excel
“There is a war on for talent, and it's a very significant war. It's getting harder and more expensive to recruit the best people.”
— Charlotte Sibley
Senior VP - Global Business Research and Intelligence, Shire Pharmaceuticals
The landmark HBA E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study findings are robust and can be applied across the industry. Through the analysis of current corporate culture, including the individual attitudes of both men and women, a clear six-themed road map has been developed. The six best practice components required to create the environment for more women to reach their full potential in leadership roles are:
- Unambiguous senior leadership support for advancing women;
- Merit-based culture to ensure advancement regardless of gender;
- Program metrics to track progress and evaluate success;
- Recruiting techniques that include a diverse team and diversity targets;
- Leadership development programs customized to individual needs; and,
- Career and work flexibility models to retain top talent.
This road map lets leading executives, human resource managers, and diversity directors understand where their corporation currently stands according to industry benchmarks, and helps them use this information to implement proven initiatives and programs to develop top talent at their own companies.
Companies will have different starting points depending where they are in the process. In many cases, companies may have several programs in place, but these are not being utilized to their full potential or endorsed by senior management. In other cases, senior management supports an agenda for women's advancement, but programs and internal cultural support may be lacking.
An individual approach is needed depending on your corporate culture and current status. The HBA E.D.G.E. in Leadership Study white paper provides industry benchmarks, diagnostic guidelines, and practical recommendations to help your unique company excel.