How Recursion is Empowering Women Leaders in Utah and Beyond

Written By:
Marissa Saunders
Michaela Hatch
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Recursion believes deeply in the moral and business case for diversity. The research-based evidence is unequivocal that diverse perspectives support better complex decision-making, foster greater innovation and yield greater company success. As a Utah-based company, we aspire to be a diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging role model and leader locally and beyond.

To that end, earlier this year, we launched our Women at Recursion Employee Resource Group (ERG), which joins our Pride ERG as the first two ERGs at Recursion. Our vision is to create a culture where women can thrive, grow and achieve their full potential. We focus on providing opportunities for career development and advancement, addressing common workday challenges, and showcasing the achievements of diverse sets of women.

We’re excited to use the power of this fantastic group of women and allies to maximize the impact of a number of initiatives that are already well underway. One example is an innovative Returnship Program aimed at supporting women returning to the STEM workplace after an extended absence – a program we created in partnership with Talent Ready Utah and BioHive’s Women in Technology and Science (WITS) Committee. Together with a network of companies and state leaders, we’re building the infrastructure to provide project-based work placements, retraining in education, skill updates, mentoring, coaching, and networking opportunities to create a gateway for women to return to the STEM industry, tapping into an under-utilized talent pool in Utah.

The Women at Recursion ERG is also a critical part of Recursion’s intentional work to build an inclusive and equitable culture to unlock the power of our diversity. Last year, we set an ambitious company-wide goal to achieve roughly equal representation of female and male genders (50/50 after considering non-binary representation) for (1) the whole company and (2) Vice President and above by 2030. We view our work as a key enabler to achieving that goal, and have intentionally made Women in Leadership one of our focus areas in order to support the development of leaders internally and help overcome the “broken-rung” problem.

For example, we will build on the success of Recursion’s first-ever Technical Mentorship Pilot Program, which launched last year across our technology organization. The program is designed to equip emerging and future women leaders with the relationships and skills to continue advancing in their careers. In its first cycle, the program created 13 new mentorship relationships, with an emphasis on gender and racially diverse pairings. We’re excited to help this program grow.

We’re encouraged by the recognition that Recursion has already received for our efforts. Earlier this year, Recursion was honored as one of the 100 Companies Championing Women in Utah. We have also committed to the ElevateHER Corporate Challenge through the Women’s Leadership Initiative for 2023-2024 as part of our focus on advancing more women leaders.

From left: Callan Carpenter, Marissa Saunders, and Michaela Hatch accept an award from the Women’s Leadership Institute for Recursion’s commitment to the ElevateHER Corporate Challenge.

We’re particularly excited about the structure of our Women at Recursion ERG, which will allow us to deeply tackle integral issues to support the many different roles that women play in our industry and community. We’ve established Circles centered around dedicated focus areas:

  • Women in Leadership Circle
  • Returners Circle
  • Early Career Circle
  • Minorities Circle
  • STEM Circle
  • Mothers Circle

These efforts are an integral part of how we will leverage the diverse backgrounds and expertise of our team to achieve Recursion’s ambitious mission to decode biology to radically improve lives. We are incredibly excited for the future, and we look forward to building on these efforts with the help of our dedicated team.

To learn more about how Recursion is investing in women leaders, check out our episode of the Utah Women & Leadership Podcast from Dr. Susan Madsen.

If you’d like to connect with us, you can find Marissa Saunders and Michaela Hatch on LinkedIn.