Carol Malnati is one of Medtronic’s inspirational women

Carol Malnati is one of Medtronic’s inspirational women

 March 18, 2019

From being the only female student in her college classes to becoming a company leader in recruiting the next crop of women engineers, Medtronic R&D Engineer Carol Malnati shares her passion for Women in Science and Engineering programs.

As a 19-year-old college student studying electrical engineering in the 1980s, Carol found herself roaming the hallway in the engineering building looking for the ladies’ bathroom.

“I was told it was in another building altogether,” she chuckles. “When they built the building, they didn’t think they would need a women’s restroom!”

During that time, few women ventured into the university’s engineering buildings – let alone declared it as a major. In fact, Carol was typically the only girl in her engineering classes.

“That’s when it hit me,” she says. “I could either walk away and prove them right that I didn’t belong, or stick with it. At that point, I wanted to be someone that encouraged young women to get involved in math, science, and engineering.”

Gender diversity is good business

Today, Carol is living her teenage dream. As a Product Development Engineer in the Medtronic cardiovascular division, Carol has been doing what she loves for more than 25 years.

Carol provided critical technical expertise for the company’s first implantable cardioverter defibrillator and continues to collaborate with engineering teams and physicians to find new ways of doing things.

But on top of her day job, she has taken on another commitment - overseeing the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Initiative at Medtronic.

“I am passionate about encouraging women in the industry and giving girls in high school and college a vision of a career in engineering,” says Carol. “Medtronic has a wonderful mission that can attract talented women.”

Leaders at Medtronic, like Carol, see gender diversity as good for business. It’s why they are actively reaching out to young women through partnerships with universities and R&D leaders, ensuring retention among women engineers remains high, and providing female role models in areas where sometimes women are hard to find.

The Medtronic Mission inspires

"When women hear the the Medtronic Mission - they're inspired," says Carol. "Women are attracted to careers that help people."

Beginning in the spring of 2017, Medtronic introduced another opportunity that taps into an often overlooked talent pool. Careers 2.0 is a “returnship” program designed to provide paid internships for female engineers looking to get back into STEM-related careers.

Research suggests close to 25% of women in engineering careers leave the industry by age 30, citing work culture or family commitments.

“This is a way to bring these talented women back into our technical and managerial ranks,” says Carol. “We are very excited about providing this amazing pool of talent an opportunity at Medtronic.”

Outreach to the next generation continues, too. Medtronic connects with young women through the Freshman Summer Internship program.

It’s a chance to reach students entering, what Carol calls “the critical year,” before college. Currently, only 15% of female students declare engineering as a major when entering college, yet they perform equally well in math, science and technology classes in high school.

From STEM programming to hands-on science projects for grade-school girls, there’s plenty on Carol’s plate. But she remains committed to seeing more women in engineering careers because she believes that “women provide a much-needed perspective that creates more innovative solutions.”

And she’s no longer feeling alone, Carol is surrounded by other women who are making new innovations possible every day.

“Overall, I want to inspire women,” says Carol. “Whatever your passion is; clean air, fighting hunger, or improving healthcare. Behind the biggest challenges of humanity, there’s an engineer working to find a solution.”

Join women like Carol at Medtronic

To enjoy a rewarding career like Carol and inspire other women engineers, apply for roles with Medtronic today.


Find out more

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

Share this page:

Join our women's careers community