Authors write that companies are becoming more deliberate about their DEI policies

SOUTH RIDING, VA. – A year after the tragic death of George Floyd sparked a renewed push for greater racial and social justice in this country, Slone Partners CEO Leslie Loveless and Candace Nortey, the company’s Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), are citing “signs of progress” in the effort to achieve DEI in the life sciences.

In a commentary article published last week by the California Business Journal, Loveless and Nortey write that, “In the life sciences, we have historically struggled with building a diverse workforce as recruiting strategies have been trapped in an antiquated paradigm in which traditional mindsets, policies, and networks have limited the breadth and depth of candidate searches. That is beginning to shift.”

They continue, “Over the past year, the topic of DEI has surfaced as a top priority for our client partners when we open discussions about a search. The company leaders whom we engage in these discussions are increasingly passionate in expressing why diversity is in the best interest of their companies. That is a significant change.”

Loveless and Nortey cite specific examples of DEI leadership in the industry.

“One of our client partners, a small start-up company, has enacted a ‘Racial and Social Pledge,’ one of whose tenets is a commitment to internal education and training,” they write. “A California-based biotech firm constructed a customized employee DEI survey, which 80 percent of the employees completed, providing leadership with the insights they needed to plan a series of internal DEI workshops, which will foster more learning, discussion, and goal-setting.”

The authors maintain that Slone Partners and other companies in the life sciences are becoming more conscientious and deliberate about their DEI policies and practices.

“Most all of us are instigating internal discussions and developing new procedures and programs so that everyone in the organization is informed, inspired, and empowered to create change. Company leaders are intensifying efforts to create a truly inclusive culture where diversity is respected and admired, and where women and people of color are fully valued and supported from day one. Those are the positive trends we are now seeing in the life sciences, and we are optimistic that they will continue in the months and years to come,” they conclude.

Leslie Loveless has served as CEO of Slone Partners, a nationwide life sciences executive search firm, since 2016. Candace Nortey was named Executive Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Slone Partners last year. The company promotes diversity as one of its core values, articulating that “embracing diversity ensures complete representation of ideas and beliefs that will drive future innovation and progress.”


Slone Partners delivers the leaders who build amazing and diverse life sciences and healthcare organizations – People Are Our Science®. Founded in 2000, Slone Partners specializes in delivering world-class C-suite leadership, executive, and upper management talent to the most promising and established biotech, diagnostics, research tools, healthcare, precision medicine, CRO, and laboratory services companies. With national and global clients, Slone Partners uniquely and precisely provides an array of executive search and advisory services, including diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy, to innovative life sciences and healthcare companies. To learn more about Slone Partners’ value proposition and processes, visit or call 888.784.3422.