Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Thank you to everyone who came along to SBC for the Cell and Gene Therapy Circle’s Pride panel and workshop on the science of belonging, sponsored by MFX and led by Honeycomb Works, a fantastic organisation dedicated to promoting cultures of inclusivity and innovation.

MFX’s CEO Antoine Espinet and Lindsey Clarke, VP of Commercial, opened the event, explaining the necessity of creating a culture of mutual respect where all employees feel welcome and accepted, regardless of gender, religion, sexual orientation and background.

Antoine Espinet at SBC presenting on science of inclusivity

Panelists James Kusena PhD, VP of Operations at MFX, Sheila Johnson, HR Consultant across the life sciences industry, Pedro Correa de Sampaio PhD, CEO and Co Founder of Neobe Therapeutics, candidly discussed why making time for inclusivity is vital for successful R&D.

Pride panel at SBC

Panel highlights:

  • Creating a culture of belonging from start-up to scale-up: feeling safe to express needs based on a shared respect for one and other, feeling comfortable to show up as your ‘authentic self’ and how this impacts desire to go above and beyond – the space where ground breaking R&D can happen
  • Challenging biased communications: how to address ‘getting it wrong’, apologising if necessary, learning how to adapt language, importance of nuanced one-to-one responses to support human relationships
  • Allyship: why it can be necessary to speak up for those who might not feel heard to make positive changes, recognising that diversity doesn’t always mean inclusivity, reflecting on and addressing unconscious bias

After the thought-provoking panel, guests took part in breakout groups to discuss their approach to creating intentionally inclusive cultures, inclusive recruitment and consequentially measuring input.

Pride Panel networking

We were also delighted to have three students with interests in science careers join us from Hertfordshire for the event. MFX took the trio on a tour of their laboratory and hosted an individual Q&A workshop on health innovation with some of their scientists! We look forward to welcoming more young people to future events.

Pride Panel networking

A fascinating afternoon for all, followed by tea and refreshments  – on what must have been the hottest day of the year!