Fierce Women in Biopharma 2016

2016 has been a trailblazing year for women--not just on the political scene, where Hillary Clinton in July became the first woman to snag a nomination for president from a major U.S. political party, but in the biopharma industry as well.

Over at GlaxoSmithKline, Emma Walmsley--whom we featured on last year’s edition of this list--was recently tapped to succeed Andrew Witty as chief exec, a move that will make her the first woman to take the helm of a Big Pharma player.

But while Walmsley may be the first to ascend to a major drugmaker’s CEO chair, she’s far from the first woman to make a major impact on her company, or the industry as a whole. This year, we’re featuring 15 women who are doing just that from a variety of different positions, from CEO to CIO, and everything in between.

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As this year’s diverse slate of nominees shows, women are standing out in the field and providing crucial leadership across the board. They’re leading development efforts, anchoring venture funds and overseeing key functions ranging from legal affairs to computing.

And equally importantly, they’re providing mentorship to female and male colleagues alike, assuring that biopharma continues to become--and stays--an industry that values gender diversity, fosters leadership opportunities for women and, yes, even promotes women to its highest offices.

So while Walmsley may break new ground when she slips into the top spot at GSK next March, we’re certain that sooner or later, plenty of others will follow in her footsteps--and that after you read about this year’s impressive group of honorees, you’ll agree. Want more? Find last year's Women in Biopharma report here, and 2014's here.  -- Carly Helfand