Oregon Bioscience commits to diversity, equity and inclusion
July 7, 2020
To our esteemed members, partners and community:
As the novel coronavirus has taken a grip on society, we increasingly appreciate how our individual and collective wellbeing is connected to the wellbeing of our society. The health of our communities has always been at the forefront of our regional bioscience ecosystem, with more than 1,300 firms and greater than 45,000 employees directly or indirectly impacted – each striving daily to manifest hope, health and healing.
We bring new therapies, new research, new devices and emerging technologies forward to create a better world. It’s who we are and what we do. Our mission and our job is to bring together the ingenuity, discovery of therapeutic approaches and the resources of the bioscience community to address the challenges presented by SARS-CoV-2 to the physical and economic health of our communities. We’ve been proud to broadly share those advances during the past 10 weeks.
Throughout the pandemic and now the fight to end racism, we quickly learned we are all in this together. The wellbeing of our communities is also threatened today by a different challenge – racial and ethnic disparity. And although we are employing a growing number of minorities – the private bio sector employment counts 16,094 women (43%) and 8,674 minorities (23%) – we must come together to address disparity where and when we can.
Systemic racial and ethnic disparities are a health problem. Differential access to care, poor urban infrastructure, lack of economic opportunity, and social stressors all contribute to poor health outcomes. The disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on communities of color is adding another painful dimension to this devastating disease. We are working as an industry to ensure equity for patients and partners among the discovery and availability of therapies as well as the access to the opportunities and protections needed to grow and thrive our sector here.
Black lives matter.
And it’s because they matter, we must now use our collaborative resources and talents to provider a healthier, safer and more responsive society for everyone. We must act in our role as business leaders to improve social justice and equity for Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
We believe we can overcome our differences and disparities by enlarging the opportunities available, and that the bioscience, medical device/technology and digital health sectors have important roles to play.
By cultivating these conversations with sponsors, members and peers, we are learning how systemic bias can negatively impact the advancement of scientific knowledge. We must change so diversity and innovation can walk hand-in-hand here in our community.
Ignorance dies by innovation. Opportunity and change override stagnancy. Love stifles hate. Let’s work together to increase educational and work opportunities in the bioscience industry.
Sincerely, Oregon Bioscience Association’s Board of Directors, Executive Director Liisa Bozinovic and Staff #BLM #BETHECHANGE
Save the Date: Thursday, July 30, from 11: 30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Join your peers online for an important, equity conversation through the lens of Oregon’s bio and technology community. Hear/respond to a live panel of local experts who will illuminate discussion and the opportunities and challenges for diversifying our region’s bio science industry. Attend to dialogue with local company and industry experts who can share best practices and insightful conversation. Let’s consider how the bio industry can be a force for change. Learn more here.