LifeSci Advisors apologizes formally for J.P. Morgan cocktail model incident

LifeSci Advisors has formally apologized for hiring cocktail models at this year’s J.P. Morgan healthcare conference, and has committed to “launching a series of concrete initiatives to address these systemic issues.”

modelLifeSci Advisors has formally apologized for hiring that slew of cocktail models at this year’s J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference.

This comes on the heels of an open letter, signed by some 230 top industry players and published in BioCenturyThose signing included a number of venture capitalists, pharmaceutical executives and media stakeholders.

“This isn’t the first time backward looking firms in the securities industry have put women on show for the titillation of their predominantly male clientele. Those events are common knowledge and some are widely shared, if not celebrated, on the internet,” the letter, authored by BioCentury cofounder Karen Bernstein, says. “Really people? REALLY??? Are we still working with people who think of women as chattel?”

LifeSci Advisors, in a statement to BioCentury, apologized for their decision:

“LifeSci Advisors made a serious mistake when we invited female promotional models to our after party following the JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco last month.

“We want to apologize to our female and male colleagues throughout the biotech and bioscience industries. In addition, the open letter that Kate Bingham and Karen Bernstein wrote this week has had a positive impact on us and on our industry.

“As a firm, we now have an opportunity to make a difference and help tackle some of the core issues facing women in our field. Some of those issues include the lack of women in management and leadership positions, the lack of mentors and professional development networks for women that are necessary to cultivate future leaders in our industry and the underrepresentation of girls in STEM programs.

“In the coming days, LifeSci Advisors will be launching a series of concrete initiatives to address these systemic issues. We plan to invest our time, energy, resources and money to help resolve these problems and hopefully play a meaningful role in improving our industry’s track record on diversity.”