Medtronic Is Using Diversity and Inclusion to Drive Global Change

With issues of diversity and inclusion being hot topics across all industries right now, many socially-conscious brands are working hard to find ways to open up their human resources to people from all demographics.

Most of us want to see a fairer and more inclusive society in which people are given opportunities which may have historically been closed off to them. Whether that exclusion was along the lines of gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other factor, companies who take the lead in tackling these issues are likely to be more successful in the years to come.

As one of the world's largest producers of medical technology, Medtronic understands the need to embrace diversity and inclusion, and several of its methods have earned the company high accolades.


The Minnesota-based medtech giant Medtronic has long been striving to advance the careers of women (more on this later) and integrating diversity and inclusion processes into its HR scope and business development efforts.

One way in which Medtronic fosters a fair and inclusive work environment is by constantly soliciting feedback from its employees. In asking for their opinions and, more importantly, listening to them, Medtronic can constantly assess and reassess its HR policies and further establish itself as a diverse and inclusive employer.

"We attract and develop employees who are patient-centric, passionate, driven, and who represent the same wide variety of life experiences that our patients do," says Medtronic. "We invest in professional growth and provide intentional development opportunities that help accelerate careers. We seed our culture to foster inclusion, ignite confidence, and build a sense of community so that all our employees can grow and thrive. And to make sure the seeds we plant take root and grow, our managers are expected to ensure their team members are heard, their ideas cultivated and leveraged to make a difference."

Far too many big companies think they know how to run HR and aren't interested in changing their ways. However, the best source of information about your workforce is your employees themselves - the people who are most deeply embedded in your company culture. They are in the optimum position to identify where improvements can be made.


Another way Medtronic fosters a sense of inclusion in its ranks is by encouraging and facilitating volunteering opportunities. They use these opportunities to not only make a difference in the world, but also bring people together into a stronger team.

Most recently, this was demonstrated by Medtronic's Women's Volunteer Group who travelled to Ecuador to help transform a crucial children's center in the region.

The volunteer group is called Aspire and was set up within Medtronic to help bring women together and give them opportunities to bond and work on important projects outside of their normal job roles. With issues such as gender equality and the gender pay gap being at the fore of may HR discussions, anything which helps to raise the profile of women in organizations such as Medtronic is to be welcomed - and if they do some good in the world at the same time, so much the better.

The group tiled the dining room walls to help control the ever-present problem of dampness, which is not safe, especially for children. The dining room was completely renovated with the help of the women from Aspire, who completed the work alongside parents and a local mason.

"I was up for any task I was asked to perform, but primarily found myself doing manual labor tasks," said one Aspire volunteer. "I tiled, painted, sanded chairs, helped feed and change the children, and helped the teachers learn a little English. I learned that a lot can be done in a short period of time, and language barriers only slightly stood in the way. This service program differed from other traveling I've done because I was able to submerse myself within a community for a whole week rather than a small amount of time."

Initiatives such as these are a fantastic way for companies to put traditionally side-lined groups - such as women - at the front and center, giving them ways to learn from one another and inspire others to seek out employment opportunities at organizations such as Medtronic.

Final Thoughts

Diversity and inclusion are so important in today's workforce, and it's great to see companies like Medtronic doing their part to bring people together so they can work towards a common and socially-conscious goal. With big brands leading the way, hopefully, others will follow their lead in the future.

You can hear Medtronic representatives speaking on hot industry topics at HR Life Sciences 2019, taking place this December in San Diego, CA.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.

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