Medtronic celebrates women in STEM across the organization

Medtronic celebrates women in STEM across the organization

 August 12, 2021

As Medtronic grows, so so have their efforts to recruit, support, and celebrate women in science, healthcare, engineering and beyond.

Read about Medtronic's approach to attract, develop, retain, and celebrate women in STEM across the organization. 

Diversity helps Medtronic meet the needs of all patients

Each Medtronic employee contributes an inspiring well of life experiences, perspectives, and talents that advance Medtronic's Mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life for people around the world.

Medtronic knows that the more diverse the team working on developing life-saving technology is, the better able the company will be to meet the needs of all patients.

That effort includes ensuring that women are equally represented within heavily science-based organization and leveling the playing field for women in science beyond its walls.

Signing a pledge to be a Catalyst Champion for Change

CEO Geoff Martha signed a pledge to be a Catalyst Champion for Change dedicated to advancing more women — and especially women of color — into all levels of leadership, because “progress for women is progress for everyone.”

"I talk to a lot of CEOs, and most of them understand that their success and the success of their organization is determined by building inclusive teams with women as senior leaders in order to drive innovation and build equitable workplace cultures," says Lorraine Hariton, Catalyst CEO.

Medtronic was recognized for how the company elevates and celebrates women in STEM. One of only three recipients, the Catalyst Award highlights Medtronic's efforts to build an inclusive workplace that truly works for women.

Achieving 100% gender pay equity in the United States

In 2020, Medtronic reached 100 percent gender pay equity in the United States and other countries - and 99 percent gender pay equity globally. Medtronic won’t stop until it is at 100 percent everywhere.

“Back in the day, you were just one of the guys. And that was fine…then. But looking back, I see it could have been different. And now I’m trying to pay it forward alongside other women in science and engineering," explains Nancy Brainerd, Senior Director, Deputy Chief Information Security Officer at Medtronic.

As Medtronic evolves, so do their gender-equity efforts. From inclusive product design to developing world-changing innovations, women in science offer invaluable insights and perspective every day. Medtronic believes that what you measure, you meet. They have clear goals for things like pay equity and diverse representation and are transparent about their progress. From women representing 50 percent of ts global workforce, 40 percent of management, 100 percent gender pay equity in the United States and 99 percent in other countries to smaller turnover percentages, Medtronic exceeds medical-technology industry averages across the board.

Keeping women connected via Medtronic Women's Network

Medtronic women's network

Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN) is Medtronic's largest Diversity Network, with 19,000+ members and 120+ hubs around the world. MWN offers employees a full suite of professional development, networking, and mentoring programs. Since 2015, the network has seen a 585 percent increase in membership, including the addition of many male allies.

Due in part to virtualization of MWN events in 2020, regional MWN hubs around the world are finding even more opportunities to learn from and support each other. As MWN continues to grow, the passion and rigor of members elevates Medtronic's approach to the way it attracts, develops, retains, and celebrates women in science at Medtronic.

Supporting women's return to work

Medtronic's Careers 2.0 is a six-month, paid returnship program that gives women the space to refresh their technical skills at their own pace while networking with a market leader in healthcare.

After a successful engineering career lasting more than 10 years, Wendyann Jaeck wanted to spend more time with family. During her break, she volunteered as an educational science grant facilitator; started her own STEM education business; and became program manager of a virtual, international math league. When Wendyann wanted to get back into the field, Careers 2.0 was there.

"My favorite part of Medtronic is everyone's willingness to find opportunities for me to use and expand my skill set and knowledge base. Medtronic has employees with many different backgrounds and experiences from around the globe, so there is much to learn every day about the company, the industry, and the world," she says.

Medtronic's Women in Science and Engineering initiative

Medtronic engineering

Born out of MWN, the company's Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) initiative focuses on advancing women in engineering and scientific roles. From building career development toolkits to help women advance to getting involved with local STEM communities, WISE works to foster an inclusive work environment for women in a field that continues to be predominantly male. Through outreach programs, WISE helps young women overcome career hurdles such as a lack of role models or biased gatekeepers. Events at middle schools and high schools also give rise to new, creative opportunities to show young women of color what a STEM career could look like.

To bring more women into engineering and scientific roles, Medtronic offers competitive college and high-school internships. In 2020, Medtronic hired its most diverse group of interns in the company’s history — globally, 61 percent were women. Many participants go on to become full-time employees, where new-hire programs help them grow and connect to opportunities.

“Everyone always asked how they could improve my experience and further help my professional development," explains Eleni, Medtronic Intern from University of Colorado-Boulder.

Developing the Saudi Young Talent program

Medtronic Saudi

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has made increasing women’s representation in STEM a top priority.

In 2018, Medtronic Saudi developed the Saudi Young Talent program, aimed at attracting high-achieving recent graduates — especially women in science and engineering — to internships in technical, commercial, and sales roles at Medtronic. In 2020, 72 percent of interns were women; more than half of those women became full-time employees.

Meet Bre Jacobs, Medtronic Senior Research Program Manager

Bre Jacobs Medtronic

Growing up as a young Black girl with a life-threatening illness, Bre Jacobs found herself in a revolving door of doctors’ offices — but none of the healthcare professionals ever looked like her. To understand her condition, reduce the stress on her family, and take control of her own health, Bre dove into medical journals.

That activity sparked a passion for scientific knowledge that drives Bre to this day. Now a Medtronic Senior Research Program Manager, Bre still can’t help but wonder: "Where would I be if, earlier on, I had met someone like me in this field? What can I do now to encourage more women in science — to help others break down the hurdles that I faced?”

Bre Jacobs commits herself to being the example that could have made a difference in her life earlier, as she worked tirelessly to get her seat at the table and always pulled out a chair for others.

Bre has been awarded 15 U.S. patents and successfully leads award-winning, cross-functional teams to new discoveries. Beyond her day-to-day work, she participates in groups that include the African Descent Network, Black Engineers at Medtronic (BE@M), and MWN and constantly uses her scientific expertise and empathy to encourage and elevate other women.

Expertise and perspective from women in science roles like Bre keeps Medtronic's competitive as a company and improving health for more patients in its global communities.

Medtronic knows that the work toward equity is incomplete and that women continue to face unique challenges. But the more inclusion, diversity, and equity that Medtronic can foster as a company — the more Medtronic can celebrate women in STEM — the greater its impact becomes.

"If you want to develop women, they have to be allowed to show up as who they are," says Bre.

Progress your STEM career at Medtronic

Medtronic is a great place to work for women looking to pursue or to advance their STEM careers.

Find your ideal job role at Medtronic.


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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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