Workforce: Accelerating Diversity

Oct. 17, 2012
Medtronic sets in motion increased efforts to boost workplace inclusion and diversity.

"A diverse, inclusive, engaged workplace provides the best environment to ignite innovation and accelerate global growth," Medtronic states in its 2012 Corporate Citizenship Report, released in September.

The company puts actions behind its words. In fiscal 2012 the medical-devices-technology manufacturer implemented a new global inclusion, diversity and engagement (GIDE) strategy.

The GIDE strategy aims to directly support the company’s strategic business objectives, explains Sandy Harris, corporate director of Medtronic’s global inclusion, diversity and engagement office. To that end, Medtronic created the Medtronic Inclusion Advisory Group that oversees the company’s global GIDE strategy. Its members include senior business leaders beyond the human resources function. Indeed, six of the 10 report directly to the CEO.

See Also: Manufacturing Workforce Management Best Practices

The GIDE strategy calls for taking Medtronic’s inclusion and diversity efforts to a more local level. More than 20 "inclusion coalitions" are driving action plans at the local level that reflect the unique needs of a geographic area or business sector. For example, says Harris, India has significant gender-diversity issues. An action plan for the region included an inclusion "road show" to all of the Medtronic locations to better engage women and ultimately increase their ranks in leadership positions.   

Importantly, Medtronic seeks "diversity as an output, not an input," says Harris. The inputs are inclusion and engagement, she says. 

Medtronic’s GIDE strategy furthers an already comprehensive effort by the company to improve diversity and inclusion. Its effort has been recognized. The firm received a 100% rating on the 2012 Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index—its third consecutive year achieving a 100% rating.

About the Author

Jill Jusko

Bio: Jill Jusko is executive editor for IndustryWeek. She has been writing about manufacturing operations leadership for more than 20 years. Her coverage spotlights companies that are in pursuit of world-class results in quality, productivity, cost and other benchmarks by implementing the latest continuous improvement and lean/Six-Sigma strategies. Jill also coordinates IndustryWeek’s Best Plants Awards Program, which annually salutes the leading manufacturing facilities in North America.

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