Fostering and expanding diversity in the workforce in innovation

Priya Kumthekar, Mamta Swaroop

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Technology and innovations are permeating into our society, mitigating obstacles in life. The realm of health care is no different with many surges in biotechnology and medical start-ups over the past decade. Substantial changes in health care reform, legislation, and disruptive transformations have led to advances in health care delivery. Within the past decade, the number of venture funding deals in health care is up over 200% [1]. Despite this modernization, there continues to be a blatant lack of female entrepreneurs, specifically in the medical and biotechnology space. The Kaufmann Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on education and entrepreneurship, showed only 15% of businesses in the biotechnology and high-technology sectors had primary female owners compared to 30% in other sectors. They also found that women founded only 3% of technology firms and 1% of high-tech firms between 2004 and 2007 [2] .These findings suggest a highly male-dominated venture capital industry, which carries with it and insinuates exclusivity preventing both females and possibly other less represented individuals of diversity from readily entering this space. The idea of gender bias in venture capitalist decision-making is not unique to the Kauffman Foundation report. Women entrepreneurs are overall less likely than men to acquire venture capital; a study out of high-tech entrepreneurs in 2001 revealed that only 5% of invested venture capital went to women-owned high-tech or biotechnology firms [3] .Despite our alleged modern society, masculine characteristics still seem to yield more successful entrepreneurs [4] .With these biases interwoven into our culture, one can only imagine the impact of gender bias on entrepreneurial conquest and investment as well as leadership in the biotech arena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMedical Innovation
Subtitle of host publicationConcept to Commercialization
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780128149263
ISBN (Print)9780128149270
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Entrepreneur
  • Entrepreneurial landscape
  • Female
  • Female physician
  • Gender bias
  • Innovation
  • Medicine
  • Technology
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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