Ruth Klepfer, CRM R&T Director

This International Women’s Day, I #ChooseToChallenge the stereotypes associated with being a woman in a male-dominated role. I have been at Medtronic for over 20 years, most of which has been in research. As the Defibrillation Solutions Director of Research, I was the first female Research Director in Medtronic's Cardiac Rhythm Management operating unit.

I choose to challenge the stereotypes of STEM leaders by being empathetic and building trust, by widening the scope of debate and not being afraid of new voices, perspectives, and challenges. I choose to challenge the idea that only IQ matters in STEM by modeling emotional intelligence (EQ) skills and intentionally developing them in my teams. I choose to challenge the idea that STEM leaders should look a certain way or speak at a certain volume by advocating for leaders who don’t fit the mold. I choose to challenge the idea that women are less valuable in STEM roles by bringing my full self to work each day and still providing great value to my team, my function, and my company.