OneTen Pledges to Help Close the Opportunity Gap for Black Americans
December 10, 2020 -- What does equity look like? For Medtronic, it looks like the private sector stepping up and leading, with measurable outcomes, attainable goals and countless opportunities for all.
Announced today, Medtronic’s Geoff Martha has joined other CEOs across different companies, states and industries to take action through OneTen and close the “opportunity gap” that prevents millions of Black Americans from having access to economic opportunities, gainful employment, education and training. Collectively, the founding companies have committed to train, hire, and advance one million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining skilled jobs with opportunities for advancement.
“We have a strong inclusion, diversity and equity foundation in place, and yet we also know we can do more,” said Medtronic chief inclusion & diversity officer, Dr. Sally Saba. “We’re leaning into unique new opportunities, in partnership with other leading employers to change the way we all think of talent and to address systemic inequities that continue to persist. We believe these efforts will help reduce barriers to economic stability for Black Americans.”
The commitment by OneTen companies will require a shift in thinking, explains Saba, such as focusing on a skills-first model. This could mean a departure from the traditional four-year college degree requirements of some jobs, which often create a barrier for many Black and other underrepresented Americans.
Gainful employment is an important societal equalizer and a key driver of access to quality healthcare. Companies like Medtronic, Saba says, have a role to play in supporting a more equitable environment for all community members. While this initiative is starting with Black Americans, the hope is that it will expand over time.
The founding members of OneTen are optimistic about broadening and growing the effort to other organizations and industries. “We are excited to be at the forefront of this work,” Saba said. “We look forward to bringing on even more businesses to help drive more opportunities for economic and career stability in our communities.”
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