At LifeArc, we’re committed to becoming a sector leader when it comes to equity, diversity and inclusion (ED&I).

We aim to foster an environment that is collaborative and inclusive for our people, our partners and our beneficiaries. We want to provide more inclusive solutions and help deliver breakthrough innovations that can benefit as many people as possible.

That is why we have an ED&I strategy to help us reach our goals by 2030. It will help us to achieve a truly diverse, equitable and inclusive organisation that is reflective of the communities we belong to and better enable us to deliver our ultimate ambition: to make life science life changing.

To ensure ED&I is embedded into everything we do, our ED&I strategy is focused on four areas:

1. Inclusive culture

Our goal is to create an inclusive culture at LifeArc, with a workforce that at all levels represents wider society. We want all those in the LifeArc community to have equal access to career development and progression opportunities and feel they are developing within an inclusive, safe and accessible workplace.

We aim to create more inclusive recruitment processes and remove any barriers to career progression. We also want to help staff to better understand inclusive behaviours – actively listening, encouraging constructive challenge and debate and recognising different points of view. It will help us make better decisions and achieve outcomes that ultimately benefit patients.

2. Inclusive funding and advice

As an advisory and investment partner, we want information and access to advice and funding to be equitable and inclusive. This will help diversify research in the wider life science sector.

To ensure access to funding and advice is transparent and accessible to all, we will build a diverse representation on funding panels and ensure ED&I become specific criteria for applicant institutions and partners during the review process.

3. Inclusive engagement

How we engage, select and work with our partners defines the relationship and solutions we want to establish.

We aim to work with organisations that actively share our vision. We will develop a framework to embed ED&I into our partnering activity. ED&I will be built into our partner selection process, so it is clear what we expect of our partners to achieve better outcomes for all.

4. Inclusive science and research

We want patient needs to inform the opportunities LifeArc pursues and the decisions we make. To do this we will work with patients to bring their voice and diversity of experience directly into our thinking and ensure our scientific advisory boards, who help to shape our work, are diverse, particularly in terms of gender and ethnicity.

Collaborating with diverse patient representatives at every stage will enable greater innovation in healthcare solutions and more equitable healthcare outcomes.

How we are making this happen

Our ED&I strategy is supported by a team of volunteers from across the organisation. They help us identify opportunities, develop awareness of ED&I issues and shape plans to improve inclusion across LifeArc.

We will hold ourselves accountable, track our progress and share regular updates with colleagues so that our core ED&I objectives reflect our aspirations both within and beyond LifeArc.

Gender pay gap

As an organisation of below 250 employees, we’re not required to publish information about our gender pay gap. However, we want to be open and transparent and understand and address any differences.

In our 2020-21 financial year, our mean pay gap was 13.2% and our median pay gap was 22%, which puts us broadly in line with the national average. While this is similar to other organisations, we still have more work to do. We want to reduce this gap, and we’re working hard to do that. ​​​​​​​

We are working to eliminate gender bias in pay review rewards and removing barriers to career progression, enhancing our processes to ensure diversity and fairness are at the heart of recruitment, and are investing in future leaders. We’re focusing on ensuring fairness in job offers and promotions.

We know we still have work to do to diversify our pipeline of talent. Since this report, our leadership has become more balanced in terms of gender, with many women on our senior leadership team – with Melanie Lee as CEO, together with three members of the executive team.

We want LifeArc to be the best workplace it can be. Taking action to address the gender pay gap is a key part of achieving this.

Read the summary of our report: LifeArc Gender Pay Gap Report (PDF – 162kb)