“It took a village to make me.” These words spoken by WeiQing Zhou, who is the cofounder of two biotechs, could apply to almost any of the women on the 2021 Fiercest Women in Life Sciences list.
So many of the women we interviewed for this year’s feature spoke of the mentors that got them to where they are now before they heralded their own accomplishments. We wonder about the number of women they are lifting up themselves, and what that next generation will bring to the Life Sciences world.
This next generation of women will stand on the shoulders of people like Donna Heffner, who jumped to a new pharmaceutical giant in search of something new after 25 years even though she was happy where she was. Or Nia Tatsis, who rarely saw other women in academia during her training but now ensures the next generation will because of diversity programs for women and the LGBTQ community. These women and others like them broke the mold when they began their careers and are smoothing the runway for women to be bold and speak up.
Women are not just demanding space in Life Sciences anymore. They're taking it.
Just think about all the women who will follow in the footsteps of entrepreneurs like Zhou, or Nabiha Saklayen, both of whom forged their own companies rather than follow a prescribed path. There’s also Noraan Sadik and Maneesha Ghiya, who together created a whole new way to invest in women’s health when the model they wanted didn’t exist.
We’re proud to present 20 women who are inspiring, leading and rebuilding the Life Sciences industry from the ground up. If the past almost two years of the COVID-19 pandemic are any indication, we’re going to need every innovative thought and new idea out there. These women are likely to be at the forefront.