Medtronic celebrates Catalyst Award win for diversity efforts

 January 21, 2020

Medtronic has been named as a Catalyst Award winner for its commitment to building inclusion and advancing women. 

"Honored to be recognized by Catalyst and proud of the progress we have made. Our journey doesn’t end until we have gender equality at all management levels, in all countries, across all functional disciplines," says Omar Ishrak, Medtronic Chairman and CEO, who signed the Catalyst CEO Champions for Change pledge on behalf of Medtronic.

“Repeatedly, research tells us how diversity delivers a positive impact on better decision-making," he adds. "Diversity needs to exist at all levels of our organization, including the most senior levels. We need more women in management roles to help us achieve our goals and drive our Mission to improve patient lives."

Medtronic CEO Chairman

The vital role of women at Medtronic

Women play a vital role at Medtronic. From engineers building pacemakers and insulin pumps to sales representatives working in communities around the world, women at all levels of the organization are driving the company’s efforts to transform healthcare.

Women have been instrumental in the development of many of the company’s innovative products, such as an absorbable antibacterial envelope designed to reduce patient infection risks from pacemakers and defibrillators, an award-winning insulin pump, and the world’s smallest pacemaker.

“We are known for innovation, and we need women in the mix,” says Carol Malnati, Vice President of Research and Development for the Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure business at Medtronic. “Attracting and developing women — including female engineers — is a core strategy."

Women Medtronic catalyst

An excellent model for other companies

The Medtronic Mission, written in 1960, calls upon the company to recognize the worth of all employees, a commitment celebrated by the 20 Catalyst Award.

Medtronic was one of three companies to earn the prestigious award, which is given to corporations driving global change by building workplaces that work for women.

“Medtronic’s winning initiative represents a comprehensive and well-integrated effort to build inclusion and advance women,” says Catalyst President and CEO Lorraine Hariton. “It is an excellent model for other organizations."Medtronic's winning initiative... is an excellent model for other organizations.

Medtronic Women's Network

Much of the company’s effort to build an inclusive and diverse workplace has been led by the Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN), one the company's five Diversity Networks.

MWN has 15,000+ members across 68 countries. With a leadership team of 16 Vice Presidents and more than 15,000 employee-members across 68 countries, MWN offers a full suite of professional development, networking, and mentoring programs for female employees. Since 2015, the Network has seen a 585 per cent increase in membership, including the addition of many male allies.

“The numbers have grown, but what’s more apparent to me is that MWN has become part of who we are as a company and who we are as individuals,” comments Sheri Lewis, Vice President for Global Operations for the Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies Group and MWN chair. “It impacts employees around the world. You join the Network because you value giving back and how it can be part of your own development and personal journey."

Women Medtronic

Women in Science and Engineering initiative

Recognizing a need to increase the number of women in science and engineering jobs, MWN played a pivotal role in chartering a groundbreaking initiative called Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). The comprehensive, grassroots effort is designed to:

  • increase the number of women in science and engineering by building an inclusive culture
  • increase outreach to middle school and high school students
  • create development programs and tools for Medtronic women engineers

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Global Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Report

The Catalyst Award selection process includes a rigorous examination of candidates’ efforts as well as intensive onsite evaluations of programs. Winning initiatives — like MWN’s Igniting Women to Lead — must show proven, measurable results that benefit women across a range of demographics, such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and age. 

The Medtronic Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Report provides a more in-depth look at how these initiatives help:

  • close the gender pay equity gap: globally, women at Medtronic are paid 99 per cent of what men are paid, and 100 per cent in several countries, including the United States
  • Promote women into leadership positions: women represent 50 per cent of the global workforce at Medtronic. 38 per cent of global leadership positions are held by women. Collectively, women were directly responsible for $6.8 billion in annual revenue in fiscal year 2019
  • increase efforts to attract and retain women in science and technology roles: currently, women hold about 25 per cent of senior manager levels or above in research and development, exceeding the external industry benchmark of 18 per cent. For all technical roles, female representation is 29 per cent, outpacing the external industry benchmark of 24 per cent.

Work for a company committed to diversity and inclusion

Medtronic has made notable progress in its diversity and inclusion efforts, including programs geared towards women pursuing careers in science and engineering.

If you see your future with this prime employer for women, search and apply for roles today.


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

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