Read the Landmark Report Published on the Status of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) in Canada’s Life Sciences Sector

Written by Barbara Brown

July 24, 2023

Pfizer Canada, adMare BioInnovations, Shift Health and Life Sciences Ontario proudly announce the publication of a landmark report–Status of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) in Canada’s Life Sciences Sector.

The report is informed by the findings from a national survey of life sciences organizations and focus groups with diverse individuals working in the sector. With a focus on highlighting differences between small/medium and large organizations, the report uncovers where life sciences organizations have made progress in IDEA, how IDEA initiatives have impacted individuals working in the sector, and, importantly, immediate opportunities and recommendations to guide organizations to make progress IDEA across in four key areas:

  • Talent development. Advancing inclusive and equitable approaches to recruitment, training and performance management.
  • Community and culture. Building a stronger sense of belonging for all employees in the sector.
  • Knowledge. Strengthening understanding and appreciation of the need for and benefits of IDEA initiatives among all employees.
  • Leadership. Catalyzing progress in IDEA by building leadership teams that are diverse, competent in IDEA and accountable to IDEA commitments.

“Inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility are not just buzzwords,” says Dr. Jason Field, President and CEO of Life Sciences Ontario. “They are indispensable pillars for the life sciences sector. By fostering an inclusive and diverse workforce, organizations unlock an unparalleled capacity for innovation, creativity, and excellence. We are hoping that this report serves as a resounding call to action for all organizations, big or small, to embrace the principles of IDEA and harness the untapped potential within their ranks.”

The report also identifies powerful opportunities for sector stakeholders to come together to take collective action to advance IDEA.

Gordon McCauley, CEO & President of adMare BioInnovations, says, “We are an industry driven by data, and the data are overwhelmingly clear: diverse groups make better decisions. Therefore, heeding this report is not only a tremendous cross-sectoral opportunity between industry, academia, government and catalyst organizations to do the right thing, to embrace and accelerate change, it is also a terrific business decision to encourage Canadian life sciences to lead the world.”

A recurring theme in the study was the opportunity for organizations who are further along on their IDEA journey to share knowledge and tools with smaller organizations to help to accelerate progress towards IDEA.

“At Pfizer Canada, through our core value of equity, we believe everyone deserves to be seen, heard, and respected for who they are. In our relentless endeavour to advance science and help transform lives, we wholeheartedly commit to inclusivity, diversity, equity and accessibility,” says Najah Sampson, President of Pfizer Canada. “We are dedicated to empowering other organizations by sharing invaluable knowledge and resources, such as this report. Together, let us use this report as a catalyst for progress and positive change, fostering a future where IDEA is at the forefront of our sector’s priorities.”

The report also emphasizes the immediate need for proactive measures to empower Canada’s life sciences sector by harnessing the diversity of its people.

“This report is a call to action—and the time to act is now,” says Dr. Ryan Wiley, President of Shift Health. “Canada’s life sciences ecosystem will flourish if we empower our single greatest competitive advantage: the creativity, ingenuity and lived experience of our people. IDEA is not a box to tick. It’s not a nice-to-have. It’s an imperative. It’s a human rights imperative. It’s a business imperative. And it’s an imperative of leadership. I know that if we work together as a community, we can build welcoming workplaces that unleash the fullness of human brilliance and potential.”

Shift Health and Life Sciences Ontario extend their sincere thanks to Pfizer and adMare BioInnovations for funding this study. Deep gratitude is also extended to all who participated in the survey and focus groups; their openness and honesty has allowed the life sciences sector to identify important IDEA challenges and opportunities for our sector and establish a baseline for IDEA in Canada’s life sciences, against which we can measure progress in the years to come.

To access the full report and explore its findings, please visit

Media Contact
Lotanna Ifeobu
(437) 247-5459

 About Pfizer Canada 
Pfizer Canada ULC is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world’s best known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. We apply science and our global resources to improve the health and well-being of Canadians at every stage of life. Our commitment is reflected in everything we do, from our disease awareness initiatives to our community partnerships. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or follow on LinkedInFacebookTwitter or YouTube.

About adMare BioInnovations
With a strong track record of globally-competitive scientific discovery, Canadian life sciences are primed to lead the world. To make this a reality, adMare BioInnovations uses its scientific and commercial expertise, specialized R&D infrastructure, and seed capital to build strong life sciences companies, develop robust ecosystems, and foster industry-ready talent. It re-invests its returns into the Canadian industry to ensure its long-term sustainability. adMare currently has 29 portfolio companies that have attracted $2.3 billion of risk capital, have a combined value of $4 billion, and have created over 1,000 jobs in Canada. For more information, please go to

About Shift Health
Shift Health brings a science mindset to strategy consulting for the health research and innovation ecosystem. Working with governments, academia, industry, not-for-profits, healthcare providers and patient partners across Canada and around the world, Shift Health is helping to create the future of healthcare. Scientists by training, our team embodies a science mindset in what we do and who we are. We are deeply committed to embedding inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility in our work environment and to working with our clients, partners and communities in building a health research and innovation ecosystem rooted in the principles of justice, equality and reconciliation. For more information, please contact Soo-Jin An, Executive Assistant at Shift Health at

About Life Sciences Ontario
Life Sciences Ontario (LSO) is a member-driven organization that represents and promotes the province’s vibrant and diverse life sciences sector. LSO collaborates with governments, academia, industry, and other stakeholders to create a supportive environment for research, development, and commercialization of life sciences innovations in Ontario. For more information, please visit

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