WiLD is a professional network of executive women aiming to leverage the female talent pool and promote diversity, equity and inclusion across the Danish life science sector
A key objective of the Female Leadership Mentoring Program is to elevate the next generation of female talent into senior leadership positions in corporate and academic institutions
WiLD is celebrating the first anniversary of its inception with support from the Novo Nordisk Foundation and The Lundbeck Foundation
28 September 2023, Denmark: Women in Life Science Denmark (WiLD) is pleased to announce the launch of its Female Leadership Mentoring Program for women working in life sciences in Denmark, a year after it was founded.
Formally established on 18 September 2022 with an international launch in January 2023, WiLD aims to inspire women in the Danish life science sector to reach for higher leadership roles by promoting and showcasing female talent, by professional knowledge sharing and networking. Denmark still has a gender equality paradox: despite education and employment rates for women being among the highest in the world, the country is rated low (102nd place) regarding women in upper management layers according to the World Economic Forum Gender Gap report 2023. Moreover, despite the majority of employees in the Danish Life Science industry being women (53%) only 20% of board and senior leadership positions are occupied by women. A key focus area of WiLD is to address the significant barriers that hinder women’s professional growth and advancement.
Over the last 12 months, WiLD has grown into a network of 200 members – all influential women in senior positions who are keen to share their knowledge and insight with others. As a result, WiLD will now launch its Female Leadership Mentoring Program for women who have recently been promoted or who are aiming for higher positions of leadership – a milestone achievement for the WiLD network. The program will support female talent development at crucial career transition points and entail workshops, self-reflection and tailored one-on-one mentoring. Experienced members of the WiLD network with extensive leadership experience will work as mentors to support each mentee. The WiLD Female Leadership Mentoring Program is supported by a generous grant from The Lundbeck Foundation.
WiLD has also expanded the board of directors with three new members – Henriette Dræbye Rosenquist, former President and Managing Director of Pfizer France, now Board member of Gubra; Gitte Lillelund Bech, former Minister of Defence, former member of the Danish Parliament, and former Director of Life Science in the Danish Chamber of Commerce, now Board member in the organisation Financial Stability and CEO in LillelundBech ApS; and Vibeke Bendix Didriksen (she, her, hers), Vice President and Global Head of DE&I, Genmab. The new board members will be instrumental as the WiLD network continues its next phase of growth, which will include influencing the political agenda and collaborating with Danish life science companies and organisations regarding the DE&I agenda to improve gender equality in top management and specialist positions. In addition, WiLD is creating an ambassador role for supporting men and women to reflect WiLD’s commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment across life sciences. To find out more and apply to become a member of the WiLD network, or an ambassador, please click here for further details.
Lene Gerlach, Co-Founder and Chairperson of WiLD said: “The launch of the Female Leadership Mentoring Program is a pivotal achievement for the WiLD network as we celebrate our first anniversary. The program will support and inspire the next generation of talented women in the life science sector to further advance their career, boosting the number of women in leadership positions and improving gender equality. As we continue to grow and expand, I am most delighted to welcome Henriette Dræbye Rosenquist, Gitte Lillelund Bech and Vibeke Bendix Didriksen to the board as we continue our focus on equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for females across life sciences.”
Lene Skole, Chief Executive Officer at The Lundbeck Foundation commented: “Talent development and diversity are high on the Lundbeck Foundation’s agenda as they are a prerequisite for Denmark to be a leading life science nation. We need to ensure a strong pipeline of talented women within life sciences, who want to pursue a career at higher leadership levels, both in the industry and at universities. We know from experience that this does not happen overnight, which is why we support an important initiative like WILD’s Female Leadership Mentoring Program.”
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About Women in Life Science Denmark (WiLD)
Women in Life Science Denmark is a non-profit organization based in Denmark, founded by Lene Gerlach and 10 other experienced women from the Life Science Industry. The organisation is focused on seeking to increase diversity in professional senior leadership positions in life sciences in Denmark for the benefit of society .
The network aims to unfold the full talent potential of women in life sciences by increasing visibility of female role models contributing to value creation through professional knowledge sharing and network activities.
The Initiator of WiLD is Lene Gerlach, PhD, who is a Partner at EIR Ventures and the Chairperson of WiLD. Lene is backed by a strong volunteer board of directors including Vice Chairperson Helle Busck Fensvig, Business Angel and Board member; Louise Lyhne, CEO of Lyhne Life; Ingelise Saunders, Chairperson of Boost Pharma and ISD Immunotech; Mette Rosenkilde, Professor at the University of Copenhagen and serial entrepreneur; Lone Veng, Board member of Mercy Ships; Claudia Blomgren-Hansen, Partner at LIFE SCIENCE PLUS Advokater; Pernille Winding Gojkovic, CEO of Høiberg and Hervør Lykke Olsen, Principal at the BioInnovation Institute, Henriette Dræbye Rosenquist, Board member of Gubra, Gitte Lillelund Bech, Board member in the organisation Financial Stability, and Vibeke Bendix Didriksen (she, her, hers), Vice President and Global Head of DE&I, Genmab.
For more information, please visit us at www.womeninlifescience.dk