Last month, Atlas Ventures investor and blogger Bruce Booth, penned a tremendous analysis of gender inequality in the biotech sector. I recommend you read it here. He made the case for a far greater level of women participation at the C-suite and Board level of biotechnology companies, and openly discussed the perceived shortcomings that Atlas Ventures has in this area of leadership appointments among its portfolio firms.
The article was in response to an examination of the same issue by Rosana Kapeller, CSO at Atlas portfolio firm Nimbus Therapeutics, who asked the question; “Where are the women in biotech today?”. Seemingly the discussion about how to purposefully address the issue of gender has been gaining interest at 400 Technology Square, as today another Atlas Ventures portfolio firm, Padlock Therapeutics, announced a woman as its first independent board director.
Padlock has appointed Adelene Perkins, CEO of Infinity Pharmaceuticals, to its board of directors. Adelene Perkins has served as Infinity’s president and chief executive officer since 2009 and was named chairman of the Board of Directors in 2012. She joined Infinity as chief business officer in 2002 and then served as president from 2008-2009. Previously, Ms. Perkins served as vice president of business and corporate development and was an early member of the management team at TransForm Pharmaceuticals prior to its acquisition by J&J. Prior to TransForm, from 1992-1999, she was at Genetics Institute, now a unit of Pfizer, where she was vice president of emerging businesses and the cofounder and general manager of the DiscoverEase™ business unit. She also formed and served as chief executive officer of MetaMorphix, a joint venture between Genetics Institute and Johns Hopkins University directed at discovering and developing members of the TGF-b superfamily. She joined Genetics Institute in corporate and business development where she led corporate and product strategy initiatives. Ms. Perkins began her career working at Bain & Company, an international strategy consulting firm, where she provided strategic and operational advice to clients in the healthcare industry. Ms. Perkins received a M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in chemical engineering from Villanova University. She is on the Boards of BIO (Biotechnology Industry Organization), the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, and the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council; she is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Project Hope.
Perkins’ meritocratic appointment to the board of directors at Padlock hopefully signals a serious intent by Atlas and its portfolio companies to ensure they are giving serious focus to ensuring candidate identification and selection processes are comprehensive in their inclusion of candidates of both genders. Let’s hope Atlas is charting a a course others will follow.