Herinaina Rabarimanantsoa, Principle R&D Engineer

This International Women’s Day, I #ChooseToChallenge inequity and gender bias because I want everyone to be comfortable sharing their voice, regardless of gender or race. In my role at Medtronic I have been given the opportunity to share my voice as a mother, an engineer, and an African. This has allowed me to advance into leadership positions and be an advocate for diversity within STEM fields.

Over the past few years, I have led a small engineering team, half male, half female, comprised of five different nationalities. This diversity strengthened our team and allowed us to meet goals that we wouldn’t have achieved without this mix of perspectives. For example, we designed a medical device that involved a hub which needed to be held and turned. One of my male colleagues thought the design was fine. But I have smaller hands. When I tried to turn the hub, it was incredibly difficult. So, we redesigned it to work for both male and female hands. This is one good example of how a diverse team can achieve the best design.  The more opinions we get, the more innovative we become while maintaining our true self.