Sexism Irony Brought to You by Kleiner Perkins’ Beth Seidenberg-Top Women in Biopharma 2015
October 28, 2015
Today, FierceBiotech ran a piece titled Top Women in Biopharma 2015 where this part jumped out as glibly inconsistent & contradictory, take a read:
But while at times our 12 honorees have made it look easy, it hasn’t necessarily been that way. Biopharma is still a world dominated by men, which, according to Kleiner Perkins‘ Beth Seidenberg, means women “need to be the champions.”
“It’s a 50-50 world, but we see that 15% of founders or CEOs are women. Only 15% in the 50% that are women have good ideas? Come on,” she says.
For those unfamiliar, Kleiner Perkins the company is best known as a male-dominated* venture capital firm out of Silicon Valley and ironically known for a sex discrimination case by one of their former employees, Ellen Pao.
*Per their site: total team of 63 people all three operating partners are male with a total ratio of 48 men to 15 women-yep no sexism in venture capital
Beth Seidenberg, in her own right, is very accomplished as part of Kleiner Perkins Venture team; and, way too intelligent to miss the irony in her own statement.
While I agree that women need to be champions, let’s take a closer look at the two women at the bottom of the Kleiner Perkins Venture team, on the left is Beth Seidenberg and on the right Arielle Zuckerberg. Hey does that last name sounds familiar, yes as in Facebook #GodsOfFrauds founder & CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s younger sister. And if she’s any talent like the other sister, Randi Zuckerberg, God help us all. (FYI I just typed Randi Zuckerberg idiot into Google, if you really want to entertain yourself later).
It’s clearly and respectfully recognized that Seidenberg has more career experience than A. Zuckerberg where a direct comparison between the two careers isn’t exactly comparing apples to apples; however, what it does help demonstrate is that we need to champion women the right way and not set them up for failure. Seidenberg has a B.S. from Barnard College, her M.D. from the University of Miami and completed post-graduate training at Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and the National Institutes of Health.
In an area of direct comparison A. Zuckerberg has a B.A. from Claremont McKenna College where she studied Philosophy and Computer Science. Outside of Arielle Zuckerberg’s famous last name from her famous billionaire brother and her hopeless addiction to fancy tea her association as a female VC hurts women in the industry. None more so than the proven and accomplished Seidenberg as the association with A. Zuckerberg undermines the credibility of her own work making it easier for an industry full of sexist men to doubt the accomplishments of those who have actually accomplished something. It’s not right, but it happens every single day. The thoughtless actions of a few, who use connections (ahem Zuckerberg) or sex to advance, set back the hard work of every other woman in the industry.
Seidenberg’s inconsistent & contradictory statement regarding sexism of CEOs without also recognizing that sexism exists in the VC world which funds these startup biotech CEOs is a RED FLAG. (Way to place blame without taking any accountability, lady!) It now warrants a deeper look into her impressive background as she could also be employing tactics from The Sociopathic Business Model™, where we’ve met many #GodsOfFrauds but it doesn’t mean there aren’t #GoddessesOfFraud. And I think I know just the place to start: Beth Seidenberg was senior vice president of development and chief medical officer of Amgen, Inc.