Bedford Group/TRANSEARCH Publishes First Annual 2021 Executive Compensation Report Covering the Biotechnology Industry


Subscribe to receive industry-focused thought leadership and insights, delivered right to your inbox Subscribe

Bedford Group/TRANSEARCH Publishes First Annual 2021 Executive Compensation Report Covering the Biotechnology Industry

Report underscores salary inequities across race and genders
June 29, 2021 07:00 AM Eastern Daylight Time

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bedford Group/TRANSEARCH today announced publication of the 2021 Executive Compensation Report in the biotechnology industry. This is the company’s first survey detailing findings from an analysis of compensation composition and earnings for Named Executive Officers (NEOs) and board members of publicly traded pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with market caps below $2 billion, headquartered in the United States.

“As the Environmental, Social & Corporate Governance (ESG) principles grow in prominence in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry in the U.S., we saw the importance of conducting a study focusing on biotech executive and board compensation across genders and race for our 2021 report to serve as a resource that aids companies in developing compensation and talent acquisition strategies,” said Darren Raycroft, Partner and Managing Director, North American Life Sciences & Healthcare with Bedford Group/TRANSEARCH. “While many of the companies researched had specific targets related to diversity and inclusion, our findings revealed that women and members of visible minority groups continue to be under-represented in the industry, even more so than other industries.”

Compensation data from a total of 225 companies across the U.S. were analyzed for this report, including 1,254 individual board members and 760 NEOs. The roles of the NEOs included Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Medical Officer, Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Legal Officer/General Counsel.

Key findings from the analysis found that on average:

  • 52.2% of the corporations that had both male and female board director representation, paid male directors more than their female counterparts within the same organization.
  • 179 (14.2%) of the board members analyzed were female, 5.7% of Board Chairs were female and of 224 CEOs, 13 (5.8%) were female. This is significantly lower than the estimated 20% female board member representation seen in North American public companies more broadly1.
  • 176 (14%) of board members were members of a visible minority* and only 4.3% of Board Chairs were members of a visible minority.
  • NEOs who were members of visible minority groups observed lower levels of total compensation across most market cap tiers.

The 2021 Executive Compensation Report – Biotechnology can be accessed on the Company’s website at

1 Diligent Institute. (2020, March). A Few Good Women. Diligent Institute.

*For the purposes of this report, visible minority is defined as those that were visibly non-Caucasian, based on a visual scan of publicly available images.

About Bedford Group/TRANSEARCH

Bedford Group/TRANSEARCH is one of the Top 10 largest retained executive search firms in the world, with 60 offices in 40 countries. With North American Healthcare offices based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Toronto, Canada, Bedford Group provides premium executive search and talent management solutions to a diverse group of healthcare and Life Sciences clients, including start-ups, multi-nationals, publicly traded and private organizations. In addition to retained executive search, Bedford Group provides services in Succession Planning, Executive & Board Compensation, Culture, Organizational Strategy, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership Assessment and Virtual Onboarding.