Scientists may not readily identify themselves as entrepreneurs, but a comparison can indeed be made between the corporate business sector and the scientific enterprise. Are their skills that women in business have that women in science can acquire and benefit from? The intersection of STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering and Math), Innovation, Business and Women were recently addressed on a panel at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Summer Davos meeting in Tianjin China.

The reasons women are lacking in STEM industries and academia are multiple and complex, however one major hurdle we discussed is the lack of business knowledge among female STEM scientists.

The current knowledge economy calls for educated specialists who can leverage their currency across multiple platforms. Scientists by nature are opportunity driven specialists who can, and should, be thriving in the knowledge economy. Running a successful laboratory is very similar to running a startup or a company. Principal Investigators (PIs) need to be good in fundraising, team- and project management, even marketing (e.g lab twitter accounts). Interestingly, the science-business interface can be a good opportunity for women scientists in STEM academia to get more exposure to these tasks and thrive.