Life Science Workforce 2021
How Executives Can Prepare For Continued Disruption

sustaining industry momentum

The life science industry continues to fuel breakthrough discoveries providing a profound impact on life saving treatments and improvement in patient outcomes. While its global workforce is undergoing pressure to work through unprecedented times to find new and effective ways to deliver value and stay innovative. Executives continue to navigate these forces to develop and retain the necessary talent to thrive and sustain their business. Building on the success of the industry’s ongoing workforce specializations, life science leaders should be taking steps to help maintain a competitive advantage during this time of disruption. Success will depend on how people of all skill levels in industry adapt and thrive during a time of cultural, and technological change in the workforce. Building on globalization, the future of the workforce will be shaped by advanced technologies impacting the social, and organizational concepts as well as work skills. The industry will need to shed its traditional management/organizational theories and move towards fields driven by automation and digitization of business processes.

The acquisition of digital skills continues to be a prerequisite for specialized industries with highly skilled workers, underscoring new, widespread initiatives to improve cross cultural competency and social intelligence. While global life science workers are being asked to adapt while experiencing social and economic uncertainty, the key priorities requiring a pragmatic core management practice to demonstrate workforce capability will be at the forefront of leadership initiatives. To meet current and future challenges executives will need to lead with a consistent message aligned with the tools and strategies that embrace learning and development incorporated with strategic digital elements.

Source: Brookings Institute

planning for workforce investment

Industry leaders working through the technology integration and upskill of their workforce, will need to account for the variability observed in the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry’s U.S. labor market. Which in 2018 reported a decline of¬†¬†-0.0461%¬† and was attributed to both men and women leaving the workforce at relatively the same rate. Although 2019 had shown less variability a preliminary report from the¬†Bureau of Labor and Statistics¬†a¬†-12.9%¬†decline from 2018-2020 for employed working women was observed. Based on this preliminary report industry leaders will need to pay attention to this trend to see if these estimates hold true. For now executives must pivot quickly to account for the impact of COVID19 on women in the workforce, giving Life Science companies that endeavor to be more inclusive an opportunity to make more of an effort to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to inclusion. By integrating safe working conditions and opportunities that include sufficient training in technology, executives ought to champion the importance of protecting and promoting the psychological health and safety of industry professionals since it is an important risk to resolve now. The move to stay ahead of risks should be done deliberately to secure and maintain qualified candidates. Which will depend on a workforce that not only is diversified but also provides an opportunity to embrace and implement initiatives to create a technology savvy workforce.

Educating and training organizations across the entire enterprise on how technology can complement their work to help reduce waste and drive improvement. Will require leadership’s monitoring and evaluating progress of the workforce plan.¬†Contribution to the programmatic goals should be conducted systematically to ensure integration of risk is assessed and remedied proactively, and adjustments to the workforce is applied continuously. The coronavirus (COVID-19)¬†pandemic although emotional and physically traumatic to the global workforce, oddly has provided a window into how a potential hybrid autonomous workforce could be successful. Allowing for the potential of a highly skilled workforce to successfully integrate technology, effectively reducing duplication and unnecessary workload burnout.


Source/Survey :  Employed РPharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing, Percent of employed by industry, women Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey,  Measure Data Type:Percent or rate, Percent/Rates:Percent of employed by industry Occupation:All Occupations, Labor Force Status:Employed, Ethnicity: All Origins, Race: All Races, Gender:Women, Education or Training: All educational level

shaping disruption into opportunity

Economists, and labor experts have warned for years digital and AI technology would disrupt the workforce. In the past year, the COVID19 pandemic has transformed some of those predictions into reality. With an estimated 42% of Americans working from home, up from the 15% prior to the pandemic. Digitalizing and reorienting the life science workforce while giving the world an opportunity to get behind innovation and speed the adoption of disruptive technologies. Reshaping the mindset of many, technology has become a job creator increasing the demand for an Agile workforce. Disruption gives industry leaders an opportunity to become bold partners for creating opportunity while intimately partnering with their workforce, and customers.

Innovating a workforce of already highly trained and specialized people ie., using technology and agile mediated theories as an element of doing business, is a worthy investment to stay competitive. Including strategies to expand and reinforce social communication and technical literacy to add value to changing work streams. Industry leaders will have an opportunity to partner with their workforce to become more efficient  and ingenious while adopting programs that provide resources for their employees well being. 


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As we renegotiate the human/machine division of labor in the next decade and the effect on the future of the life science workforce. Critical thinking will need to emerge to help skilled workers increasingly needing to capitalize on the amount of data they have at their disposal to successfully manage their work. Executives should balance the risk of disruption from a holistic approach, not forcing automation and digitization but harmonizing the technology while increasing exponentially the training and roles the workforce needs to adopt to be successful. Organizations will need to get a better sense of their order of business to make sense of their marketplace and invest in a workplace that for years to come, technology and a highly skilled workforce will be a source of innovation for the industry. Strategies will likely be built on top of policies and investments from legislators and the demand from global ecosystem to create a technologically skilled, equitable and culturally diverse workforce. 


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