Diversity in executive roles in the medical device industry is trending more toward parity, with women holding 2% more C-suite roles in 2020 compared to last year.
Just 20% of executives at the 100 largest medical device companies in the world are women, and those companies average 19% female composition in the C-suite, according to an analysis of Medical Design & Outsourcing‘s annual Big 100 breakdown of the top revenue-generating medical device companies in the world.
Those numbers are up slightly from 2019, when 18% of executives were women with an average of 15% of women holding leadership roles at each company.
“I think medtech in general is still lagging in whether or not they have committed to real change in I&D (inclusion and diversity). The stats around women in tech are a bit scary, whether in the rates in which they’re joining or the rates in which they leave after they join,” Sally Saba, Medtronic’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, told MDO. “They’re both metrics that really should be understood and analyzed even further, but I think there’s a great opportunity if they were to lean in and start these programs or strategies. The opportunity is still vast and it’s vast on a global scale.”
Of the 1,037 leadership roles in medtech companies this year, 216 or an average of 19% are held by women, up 4% from the year prior. Just over a dozen of those companies listed no women in executive leadership roles, which is half the amount that had no women in C-suite roles last year.
“The numbers at entry-level and low managerial ranks are encouraging but there is a clear leak as we move up corporate ladders,” Maria Sainz, president and CEO of Aegea Medical, told MDO. “Stereotyping, comfort, the informal networks which are traditionally male-dominated, scarcity of candidates are behind what we see/have.”
Four companies on the list have a female CEO: Silk Road Medical, Paul Hartmann, GN Hearing and Insulet.
Within those four companies, women hold an above-average number of leadership roles — Silk Road Medical at 50%, GN Hearing at 33%, Insulet at 30% and Paul Hartmann at 25%.
The company with the highest percentage of women in C-suite roles is Silk Road Medical with 7 of 14 of its executive roles held by women. The lowest percentage is Henry Schein, with 1 out of 15 (7%) of its executive leaders being women.
Fourteen companies listed no women in leadership roles and 25 companies have only a single woman executive, up one company from last year. The remaining firms have at least one woman in a leadership role — Baxter leads that subset with 11 women executives, up three from 2019.
The following companies listed no women in leadership positions on their websites:
- Dexcom (0/9)
- Smiths Medical (0/8)
- Conformis (0/7)
- Bruker (0/6)
- Carl Zeiss Meditec (0/6)
- Nikkiso (0/5)
- Drägerwerk (0/5)
- Olympus (0/5)
- Agfa-Gevaert (0/4)
- Ra Medical Systems (0/4)
- Siemens Healthineers (0/2)
- Demant (0/2)
- Ambu (0/2)
- EDAP (0/2)
The top 20 medical device companies have a slightly higher number of women in leadership roles than the rest of the list. There is an average of 24% of women in C-suite roles within the top 20 revenue generators, which includes medtech giants like Medtronic, Stryker and Boston Scientific. Ranking the lowest of the top 20 was Siemens Healthineers, which employs 52,000 people and has no women in its two listed executive roles.
“The attention and priority of this topic has been clearly raised. Besides individual company programs, efforts across the industry such as Medtech Women, DxD or those driven/endorsed by AdvaMed, MDMA (Medical Device Manufacturers Association) give me hope that pace of change is accelerating,” said Sainz. “The case for diversity is compelling as a competitive advantage for talent and in the healthcare marketplace.”
A note on our methodology: We use each company’s leadership/management pages on their website to find the executives at each company. We do not include directors and board members in the mix.