Get ready to feel a fresh, scalding surge of empowerment: a communications firm that works with biotechnology companies is single-handedly devoting itself to promoting gender diversity. Not by hiring women. Well, kind of by hiring women. Hiring women to come to their parties, anyway.

Bloomberg brings us this delightful story of how LifeSci Advisors, an investor relations and corporate communications firm for biotech companies, decided to address the distinct lack of women in biotech: by inviting models, to “mingle and hold champagne.”


The models, who were all women, were greeted as liberating heroes:

“There are the models!” one man yelled.

Gender diversity’s foot soldiers wore matching short black dresses with shoulder cutouts, per Bloomberg, and they were very necessary for the sake of elevating women in biz, per Andrew McDonald, LifeSci’s founding partner:

LifeSci’s McDonald says it’s just reality that the industry and its investors skew male. That’s why he hired the models.

“When you think about going to a party, when you don’t have any models, it’s going to be 90/10, or even greater, male-to-female,” he said. “Adding in some females changes the dynamic quite a bit.”

They tried hiring male models one time, but it got weird, and anyway, nobody was offended, why are we even talking about this:

McDonald said he got “zero” complaints from anyone offended, and that he’s sensitive to any concerns his clients might have raised. He said there are many women in business development roles in the industry, many of whom asked for invitations. Other clients asked if they could bring their wives. “I made a point to talk to female guests,” he said.

He also said his firm held an event in June when they hired male models in an effort for gender equality. It didn’t go well.

“It was really awkward,” he said. “The male models were just standing around talking to themselves, and they were relatively young relative to the other men at the party. It created a bizarre feeling they didn’t anticipate.”


Inspiring. Bold. A very interesting choice for a firm that specializes in communications. Anyway, the senior team over at LifeSci really deserves some hearty congratulations for their commitment to gender diversity. Thanks to Andrew, Michael, other Michael, Ed, other Ed, Paul, William, Jerry, Adam, David, Joyce (!!), Matthew, Hans, Brian, Chris and Bob.

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