Medtronic has Diversity Networks and Employee Resource Groups

Medtronic has Diversity Networks and Employee Resource Groups

 November 08, 2021

Diversity Networks and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) often begin as platforms for inclusion — to create space for employees to connect based on shared identities. 

But Medtronic Diversity Networks and ERGs do even more.

They help model inclusion and diversity and, through unique partnerships and volunteer efforts, help amplify the company's impact in communities.

Medtronic Diversity Networks

Diversity Networks give employees from underrepresented populations a voice and pave a path toward advocacy, exposure, development, and change empowerment.

Medtronic's CEO and a sponsor from the Executive Committee select a chairperson(s) to oversee each Network. This approach ensures a visible and vocal presence at the top of the organization for Networks and employee resource groups (ERGs).

Medtronic Employee Resource Groups

ERGs represent both local hubs of Networks and additional shared-identity groups at Medtronic.

With more than 26,000 members across 70 countries, these grassroots, employee-led groups help recruit diverse talent and foster belonging within their particular community.

Each group works with allies and partners to advance inclusion, diversity, and equity efforts.

A sampling of ERGs that are empowering change across the company include:

  • ABLED (Awareness Benefiting Leadership & Employees About Disabilities)
  • American Indian Employee Resource Group
  • Christian Employee Resource Group
  • Medtronic Jewish Community
  • Medtronic Young Professionals
  • Muslims and Friends
  • Veterans Employee Resource Group

Creating opportunities to empower change

Medtronic employee networks

Medtronic's five Diversity NetworksAfrican Descent Network (ADN), Asian Impact@Medtronic (AIM) Network, Hispanic Latino Network (HLN), Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN), and PRIDE Network — create opportunities for shared identity groups and allies to empower change. Take Martha Ha.

When Martha was invited to join the AIM, she had just started with Medtronic and was unsure if her participation would have any meaningful impact. What were AIM’s vision and strategic priorities? How did the membership view AIM?

As she became more involved and was selected to co-chair AIM, Martha began to understand the AIM Network’s true capabilities. She realized she had an opportunity to mentor and advocate for inclusion and diversity.

"As I started to get more involved, participate in coaching circles, be on panel discussions, and connect with the AIM membership 1:1, people told me how inspired they were, that I gave a voice not just to female leaders but also to Asian female leaders, as well as to the broader Asian community. I thought — this is where I can make a difference," says Martha Ha, AIM Network Chair, VP, Dept. Corporate Secretary and Chief Counsel, Medtronic.

Accepting more, embracing more, collaborating more

Diversity Networks and ERGs continue to expand. Not only are they growing, they’re becoming even more inclusive by sharing best practices with one another; collaborating to advance a common goal of equity; and elevating the overall focus on inclusion, diversity, and equity.

Every year, new local ERGs emerge, and more allies join Diversity Networks, building a deeper, wider understanding and empowering change in communities. In just five years, the Medtronic Women’s Network has grown five times its original size, with members joining from around the world. Diversity Networks are always looking for more intentional opportunities to increase allyship and intersectionality.

Allyship at Medtronic

Medtroinic's Diversity Networks are open to all employees. Allies join Networks and play a critical role: 

  • Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN) has an ally group called Men Advocating Equity, where men listen and learn about women’s issues, support women based on what they say they need from allies, and help mitigate behaviors and practices that put women at a disadvantage in the workplace.
  • Following protests over racial injustice in 2020, the Bay Area African Descent Network (ADN) hub saw a 310% increase in membership — from all backgrounds. New members quickly accepted the ADN’s challenge to learn more about the social issues facing Black Americans and to be open to new perspectives. Many new members joined and volunteered for event-planning committees, further demonstrating genuine allyship. 

Intentional intersectionality 

Medtronic Pride

Race, ethnicity, and gender are inextricably linked. Everyone can identify with multiple groups at once. Medtronic celebrates these intersections and make sure employees don’t feel the pressure to “choose” one of their identities over another.

Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN) actively recruits leaders from other Networks to make sure the MWN leadership team represents all women.

The PRIDE Network collaborated with Out & Equal, an organization working on LGBTQ workplace equality, to offer webinars on intersectional allyship, and local PRIDE hubs codevelop educational programming with other local ERGs to emphasize intersectional identities within the LGBTQ+ community and among allies.

Promoting diverse leadership

Joining Diversity Networks and ERGs is an opportunity to network with peers, managers, and other divisions of the company. From VPs to new hires, manufacturing to HR, members are given a unique (and influential) audience to build and execute cross-functional teams and projects.

The LIFT program, concepted and piloted by the African Descent Network (ADN), selects high-potential Black talent for a comprehensive sponsorship program, creating a sought-after pipeline of talent. 

The first ADN LIFT cohort gathered in 2017. The program was so successful that other Diversity Networks have developed similar programs

Through coaching, classes, and a capstone business-case project, the nine-month program builds emerging mid-career talent into strong business leaders. Because the model was so successful, the Hispanic Latino Network (HLN) implemented the program for its members; 25% of the people in the first HLN LIFT cohort got a promotion or development opportunity while in the program.

Medtronic's recent Asian Impact@Medtronic Network (AIM) and Women in Sales cohorts are on track to see similar success.

"For me, this work is all about raising up others and it’s important that we have strong representation and pay it forward," explains Denise Baek, Hispanic Latino Network Chair, VP, Human Resources, Patient Monitoring at Medtronic.

Expanding impact

Diversity Networks and ERGs are expanding efforts to show solidarity, support diverse communities, and empower change — even beyond Medtronic.

  • July 2020: The African Descent Network (ADN) supported a companywide day of action to address racial inequities, where employees in 24 countries contributed more than 3,800 volunteer hours.
  • 2020-21: When COVID-19 magnified health disparities facing Black and Brown people, the Hispanic Latino Network (HLN) helped champion a steering committee to focus on addressing gaps in chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, hypertension, and obesity — through representation, interventions in the care pathway, and advocacy for technology access. 
  • February 2021: The PRIDE Network hosted a companywide #LoveisLove campaign surrounding Valentine’s Day and reached externally through Medtronic social-media engagement. 
  • February 2021: Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN) and the African Descent Network (ADN) joined forces to raise awareness of women’s heart health and advocacy. Leveraging the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, the networks developed an internal, international campaign that included information sessions, panel discussions, patient stories, and local hub events. 
  • March 2021: In the wake of anti-Asian violence, network leaders offered listening sessions and resources in solidarity with the Asian community.

"Diversity Networks and ERGs are transforming Medtronic. We want people to see there is no opting out, and that we will do better for our patients, customers, and employees through inclusion, diversity, and equity," comments Malini Moorthy, MWN Co-Chair, VP and Chief Deputy General Counsel at Medtronic.

An unwavering commitment to greater change

Medtronic leaders

When leaders and employees bring their authentic selves to work, and employees learn from each other’s different perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences, they help accelerate the delivery of Medtronic's Mission, both locally and globally. Diversity Networks and ERGs supercharge that effort.

No matter a person’s background, each group is empowering change and presenting opportunities to learn, reflect, and act. In this culture of belonging, employees come together as mentors, advocates, and allies to drive the company and communities toward a more equitable future.

Medtronic knows that working as one, people are stronger together.

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