Jan 16, 2020

Medtronic Wins Prestigious 2020 Catalyst Award

Efforts to drive inclusion and advance women in leadership roles earn the company global recognition as a “model for others.”

Jan. 16, 2020: Women play a vital role at Medtronic. From engineers building pacemakers and insulin pumps to sales representatives working in communities around the world, women at all levels of the organization are driving the company’s efforts to transform healthcare.

The Medtronic Mission, written in 1960, calls upon the company to recognize the worth of all employees. Announced today, Catalyst, a global nonprofit focused on accelerating progress for women, has recognized that commitment by awarding the company its 2020 Catalyst Award. Medtronic was one of three companies this year to earn the prestigious award, which is given to corporations driving global change by building workplaces that work for women.

“Medtronic’s winning initiative represents a comprehensive and well-integrated effort to build inclusion and advance women,” Catalyst President and CEO Lorraine Hariton said in a letter to Medtronic. “It is an excellent model for other organizations,” she added.

“Repeatedly, research tells us how diversity delivers a positive impact on better decision-making," said Medtronic CEO and Chairman Omar Ishrak. "Diversity needs to exist at all levels of our organization, including the most senior levels. We need more women in management roles to help us achieve our goals and drive our Mission to improve patient lives."

Medtronic's winning initiative... is an excellent model for other organizations.

Lorraine Hariton, Catalyst President and CEO

Diversity Networks Play Pivotal Role in Progress

Much of the company’s efforts to build an inclusive and diverse workplace has been led by the Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN), one of five Diversity Networks commissioned by Ishrak.

With a leadership team of 16 vice presidents and more than 15,000 employee-members across 68 countries, MWN offers a full suite of professional development, networking, and mentoring programs for female employees. Since 2015, the Network has seen a 585% increase in membership, including the addition of many male allies.

“The numbers have grown, but what’s more apparent to me is that MWN has become part of who we are as a company and who we are as individuals,” said Sheri Lewis, vice president for global operations for the Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies Group and MWN chair. “It impacts employees around the world. You join the Network because you value giving back and how it can be part of your own development and personal journey."

The Medtronic Women's Network has become part of who we are as a company and who we are as individuals.

Sheri Lewis, vice president for global operations for the Medtronic Minimally Invasive Therapies Group and MWN chair

Recognizing a need to increase the number of women in science and engineering jobs, in 2016 MWN played a pivotal role in chartering a groundbreaking initiative called Women in Science and Engineering (WISE). The comprehensive, grassroots effort is designed to:

  • Increase the number of women in science and engineering by building an inclusive culture
  • Increase outreach to middle school and high school students
  • Create development programs and tools for Medtronic women engineers

In just three years, 90% of all Medtronic research and development sites worldwide have WISE deployment teams. Currently there are 70 total sites across the company with active WISE teams — 37 in the United States and others in India, China, Japan, Israel, Europe, and Canada.

Women have been instrumental in the development of many of the company’s innovative products, such as an absorbable antibacterial envelope designed to reduce patient infection risks from pacemakers and defibrillators, an award-winning insulin pump, and the world’s smallest pacemaker.

“We are known for innovation, and we need women in the mix,” said Carol Malnati, vice president of research and development for the Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure business at Medtronic. “Attracting and developing women — including female engineers — is a core strategy."

Measurable Results in Action

The Catalyst Award selection process includes a rigorous examination of candidates’ efforts as well as intensive onsite evaluations of programs. Winning initiatives — like MWN’s Igniting Women to Lead — must show proven, measurable results that benefit women across a range of demographics, such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, and age. 

The Medtronic 2019 Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity Report* provides a more in-depth look at how these initiatives help:

Close the gender pay equity gap – Globally, women at Medtronic are paid 99% of what men are paid, and 100% in several countries, including the United States.

Promote women into leadership positions – Women represent 50% of the global workforce at Medtronic. Thirty-eight percent of global leadership positions are held by women. Collectively, women were directly responsible for $6.8 billion in annual revenue in fiscal year 2019.

Increase efforts to attract and retain women in science and technology roles – Currently, women hold about 25% of senior manager levels or above in research and development, exceeding the external industry benchmark of 18%. For all technical roles, female representation is 29%, outpacing the external industry benchmark of 24%.

Click here for more about the 2020 Catalyst Awards. 

Download the 2019 Global Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Report(opens new window) to learn more about our commitment and how we're working to create an enriching work experience for all employees.


*Numbers reflect the latest statistics available and may be different from those in the 2019 Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity report.