The BIO Tech community was treated to several surprises on Wednesday, midway through a week long conference. Governor Jerry Brown gave a short but rousing talk about his committment to BIO Tech develpment in California. He reminded the audience the the state has 4 bio tech hubs; San Francisco, LA, Silicon Valley and San Diego. “The random produces the new. Combine rigor and imagination to get progress and creativity. Be welcoming of change,” were some of the gems from the Governor’s talk.
He finished with a flourish, “Whatever you do, do more of it, do it here and you can be sure you have a friend in California.”
Everyone present was moved by BIO Chairwoman and CEO of Glycomimetics, Rachel King’s story of her company’s journey to IPO. She was riveting on center stage and a treat to listen to.
The Govenor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe and friend to the Clintons, stepped up and gave a brief rundown of Ms. Clinton’s policitcal career, Senator, Lawyer, a run for the presidency, author and Secretary of State and then brought her on stage amind a standing ovation from a very enthusiatic audience.
Secretary Clinton was interviewed in a relaxed and informal style by Jim Greenwood, President of BIO, former colleague and friend. The interview was impressive as Clinton displayed her excellent memory and recall and spoke in detail about the factions in Iraq, gave specifics on various public policies and told stories about her tenure as Secretary State.
As the interview came to an end she told about being at a book signing for her new book, Hard Choices, earlier in the day at La Jolla when a woman told her she was going to her talk at BIO later in the day. The woman asked Hillary to give a message to the audience. So she did. The message in answer to the question, why aren’t there more women in the BioTech industry is that women don’t feel welcome, opportunities are fewer and doors don’t readily open for them.
Hillary Clinton said I am passing on her message. The audience clapped and some added hollars and whistles of approval too. She went on to quote the book, Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg in which she says women always have to work harder than men in the same positions and do the job better. And added, not only do we need to do the job well but we get more criticism about the work we do and our hair, body and makeup. Her remarks resonated with many of the women in attendance who appreciated having such a visibile and powerful spokeswoman for more women not only in BioTech but in all positions of leadership.