Last night, I was in a room with 200 women and, oh, about five guys. I’m sure most men have never been to an event quite like this, especially in the typically male-dominated world of the biotech business.
This was the founding meeting for the Seattle chapter of Women in Bio, an international networking organization that seeks to help women advance their careers in biotech. It’s about building professional networks, seeking out mentorship, and building the confidence it takes to advance in management, ask for a raise, or to start a company.
From the minute I walked in to the Maxwell Hotel lobby on Roy Street, it was obvious there was pent-up demand for a group like this in Seattle. Positive energy was all over the place. Even the organizers seemed surprised at the magnitude of interest. It seemed like three or four women told me something along the lines of “We got 224 RSVPs! Can you believe it?”
The Women in Bio group got started about 10 years ago in the Washington D.C./Baltimore area, and Seattle is now the first West Coast chapter. There’s a 20-person working group of volunteers here that made it happen. I got such enthusiastic invitations from three of them—Cynthia Adkins of Adkins, Plant, Elvins & Black, Adriana Alejandro of Alejandro Consulting Group, and Stacie Byars of the WBBA—that I figured I had to at least stop by.
So for those of you who were there, and other women out there curious about networking with other women in biotech, here are some of the photos I snapped there last night. You can click on the thumbnail file to see a larger version. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.