March 07, 2022 12:13 PM Eastern Standard Time
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Deerfield Management and Oxeon Holdings joined forces in 2016 to create “Break into the Boardroom,” a program designed to promote greater representation of female healthcare executives in corporate boardrooms. To date, the program has identified and trained more than 220 women healthcare leaders and helped place 56 of its alumni and program affiliates onto corporate boards across the healthcare sector.
“We are extremely proud of the program’s impact to date and heartened by the growing awareness that boardroom diversity is not just cosmetic or politically correct, but actually just good business,” said Leslie Henshaw, a Partner at Deerfield Management. “The success we are seeing is extremely promising, but there is still much work to be done in helping boards source candidates from beyond their existing networks.”
Women make up only about 14% of corporate board seats at publicly held life sciences companies, according to Bedford Group/TRANSEARCH. The worse news is that progress has been less tangible in the private company arena, according to a whitepaper published by Deerfield on gender disparity among venture-backed healthcare companies. Of the 236 privately held companies investigated by Deerfield Institute only 10-12% of director roles are held by women. Given the growing recognition that diverse boards perform better, these numbers need to grow. The supply of talented women executives is not the problem. Connecting them to the right demand is the hard part, and that is precisely the challenge Break into the Boardroom was founded to solve.
“Knowing whether you are ready or not for a board role can be difficult to ascertain,” said June Lee M.D., a Break into the Boardroom alumni who currently sits on the boards of CinCor Pharma, Tenaya Therapeutics and GenEdit. “Break into the Boardroom gave me and my peers the knowledge, awareness, and connections to get started.”
“Having a diverse and balanced board is essential for any business. This is especially true in healthcare, where women make 80% of the care decisions for their families,” said Vincent Bradley, CEO of Advantia Health, a Deerfield supported women’s healthcare services company. “As the CEO of a healthcare company with dozens of Ob-Gyn practices, surrounding myself with women leaders is vital to me personally and to our business. I am incredibly thankful that Break into the Boardroom connected me with a channel for finding this talent. This program and our new board member, Karen Teitelbaum, have already had an enormous impact on our company and we look forward to working together for years to come.”
The program strives, by design, to be practical, concrete, and measurable. With this in mind, Break into the Boardroom’s goal is to ﬁnd qualiﬁed women, enhance their knowledge of governance fundamentals and match them over time with appropriate board roles.
Deerfield is an investment management firm committed to advancing healthcare through investment, information and philanthropy. The Firm works across the healthcare ecosystem to connect people, capital, ideas and technology in bold, collaborative and inclusive ways. For more information, please visit www.deerfield.com.
Oxeon Holdings is a healthcare growth services firm and is the parent company of Oxeon Partners, an invested executive search firm, Oxeon Investments Funds I & II, and Cien Ventures, an internal venture studio. Oxeon seeks to connect its healthcare company partners with the fundamental drivers of business growth—great people, transformational business partnerships, strategic investments, and next generation business ideas, as well as various advisory and other growth-related services.
For more information visit www.oxeonpartners.com