News & Events

Toft Group: Female Board Members’ Choice for Representation

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a measure requiring publicly traded companies headquartered in California to place at least one woman on their board of directors by the end of 2019. The law also requires companies with five directors to add two women by the end of 2021, and companies with six or more directors to add at least three more women by the end of the same year.

As an executive recruiting firm focused solely on the life sciences and digital health industries, Toft Group is always among the first to acknowledge our industry’s gender gap, especially when it comes to boardroom seats. In 2016, women occupied a mere 10.9% of board positions nationwide at public companies. Statistics like this are beyond frustrating. There are qualified women to fill these rolls, depending upon how they are defined and scoped.

In fact, over 40% of Toft Group’s placements each year are women in leadership positions.

Solutions for Companies

This legislation is going to push companies to look deeper into how they can make diversity a key aspect of the hiring process. Companies are constantly telling us that diversity is a priority, but many don’t know how to put diversity into action.

We suggest you make a commitment to diversity a core value from the top down, and when given the choice of two equally qualified candidates, choose diversity.

Below are several ways that you can recruit qualified women for both your c-suite and board of directors:

  • Recognize that unconscious bias exists and implement unconscious bias training for all company executives and hiring decision makers.
  • Hire an Executive Search firm to take you beyond your typical network. According to a National Association of Corporate Directors survey, almost 70% of respondents acknowledged that their boards used personal networking or word of mouth to identify the candidate pool from which their newest director was chosen. (No wonder there is such limited diversity in the board room!)
  • Start earlier! If you’re just getting your privately-held start-up off the ground, make diversity hiring a priority from day one. Work with search firms who specialize in diversity to make sure you have a strong, diverse pool of candidates. Consider a scalable anti-bias and pro-diversity training program for hiring managers and executives. Also make sure that diversity is in your core values as you create them.

Solutions for Individuals

Some people may not be in full agreement with how the bill was written. However, women should grab this opportunity and take full advantage. This is one step towards working to the gender parity in our industry that is long overdue.

  • Understand that change does not happen overnight. This legislation is not perfect, but the correct conversations are finally taking place. As women, it’s important for us to take an active role in this conversation and educate our peers on how to make gender equality a reality in the C-suite, boardroom and beyond.
  • Expand your network and say an enthusiastic “Yes!” to new opportunities. Female executives and board members are in the highest demand yet- embrace this! You bring an invaluable perspective to the table, and that is finally being recognized.
  • Utilize programs such as Toft Group’s WE CAN™ (Women Executives Career Advancement Network) and Women in Bio’s “Boardroom Ready” programs to prepare you for a seat at the table. These programs prepare you for future roles and connect you with peers that share the same vision for equality.

Evidence shows that companies with diverse executive leadership, including Boards of Directors, see a much higher return on investment overall. Authentically embracing diversity is not only a breath of fresh air for our industry but a savvy business decision as well.

Toft Group Completes Executive Search for Vice President, Business Development for Inivata in Research Triangle Park, NC

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Thomas Schlumpberger, PhD, as Vice President of Business Development for Inivata in Research Triangle Park, NC.

Dr. Schlumpberger was previously Head of Diagnostic Business and Vice President, Diagnostics with Singulex. Prior to that, he held leadership positions at Annai Systems and AliveCor. Dr. Schlumpberger served as the Chief Commercial Officer at Invitae (f/k/a Locus Development). Earlier in his industry career, Thomas served with Epocal as Senior Vice President of International Sales and Business Development. He currently sits on the board of DxEconomics and serves as Deal Advisor to CroMedX.

Dr. Schlumpberger holds a PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MS in Electrical Engineering and Information Theory from the Technical University, Munich, Germany.

About Toft Group Executive Search

Toft Group is a global executive search firm fully devoted to life sciences and healthcare, with a focus on innovation-driven companies working at the intersection of biotech and high tech. Toft Group’s targeted, accurate search process translates into exceptional return-on-investment for clients nationwide.  The team’s extensive relationship network and diversity focus enables Toft Group to present more highly qualified and diverse candidates than clients would otherwise meet. Toft Group excels at quickly filling the hardest to hire leadership roles where talent is limited. The company has offices in the three major U.S. biotech hubs: San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston.

About Inivata

Inivata is a global clinical cancer genomics company utilizing a proprietary, industry-leading liquid biopsy platform to transform patient care.  Using a simple blood test (liquid biopsy), the analysis of ctDNA is a new lower-cost, less invasive, highly sensitive method for oncologists to diagnose and monitor cancer progression and treatment. The InVision® liquid biopsy platform is based on pioneering research from the Rosenfeld Lab at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute (CRUK-CI), University of Cambridge, combines industry-leading sensitivity with select multi-gene panels to provide clinically actionable information to clinicians. Inivata has established collaborations with world-leading cancer centers and academic institutions, and is partnering with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.  The Company has a CLIA lab in Research Triangle Park, NC and laboratories in Cambridge, UK.

Toft Group Completes Search for Associate Director, Human Resources for Puma Biotechnology, Inc. (NASDAQ: PBYI), in Los Angeles, CA

Executive search firm Toft Group has placed Laci Mayton as Associate Director of Human Resources at Puma Biotechnology, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA.

Ms. Mayton was previously the Human Resource Manager for GenMark Diagnostics. Prior to that, Ms. Mayton was with Thermo Fisher Scientific as Human Resources Manager. Ms. Mayton is a certified human resources professional with a Six Sigma Black Belt. She holds a degree in political science from Sam Houston State University in Texas.

About Toft Group Executive Search

Toft Group is a global executive search firm fully devoted to life sciences and healthcare, with a focus on innovation-driven companies working at the intersection of biotech and high tech. Toft Group’s targeted, accurate search process translates into exceptional return-on-investment for clients nationwide.  The team’s extensive relationship network and diversity focus enables Toft Group to present more highly qualified and diverse candidates than clients would otherwise meet. Toft Group excels at quickly filling the hardest to hire leadership roles where talent is limited. The company has offices in the three major U.S. biotech hubs: San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston.

About Puma Biotechnology

Puma Biotechnology, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company with a focus on the development and commercialization of innovative products to enhance cancer care. Puma in-licenses the global development and commercialization rights to three drug candidates — PB272 (neratinib, oral), PB272 (neratinib, intravenous) and PB357. Neratinib, oral was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2017 for the extended adjuvant treatment of adult patients with early stage HER2-overexpressed/amplified breast cancer, following adjuvant trastuzumab-based therapy, and is marketed in the United States as NERLYNX® (neratinib) tablets. NERLYNX is a registered trademark of Puma Biotechnology, Inc.