There is still a long way to go to close the gender leadership gap in the medical device industry, but hope is on the horizon.
Women still account for less than a quarter of all executive leadership roles within the biggest medical device companies in the world, according to our annual analysis in this Women in Medtech edition of Medical Design & Outsourcing.
Just 21% of the executives in the top 100 medical device companies are women — up one percentage point from last year — and the number of those companies with a female CEO remains unchanged at four.
For comparison, about 40% of the 660,000 employees in the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing industry are women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Ultimately, organizations must make a top-down commitment to meaningful change,” said AdvaMed Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Jen Brearey, who’s also executive director of the association’s inclusion diversity programs. “They must be willing to invest both time and resources into implementing best practices, particularly those with regards to awareness, recruitment, retention and shared commitment.”
Ethnically diverse women make up 51% of the industry’s entry-level female workforce, but only 15% of C-suite women, Brearey said.
“We’ve found that looking at gender alone doesn’t help us identify and address the challenges and that we must take a more holistic approach to truly understand the journeys and barriers that are preventing diverse talent from progressing,” she said.
The industry’s gender disparity extends beyond the executive ranks, as we explore in our analysis of research payments to physicians from the top 20 medtech companies in 2020. About one-tenth of those $3.9 million worth of payments went to women physicians, who represented about 7% of all recipients.
This edition also takes a deeper look at leadership roles with the top 100 medtech companies, and features women executives at some of medtech’s largest companies — Insulet, Hologic and Boston Scientific — who are making big moves, as well as startup founders working on groundbreaking innovations.
In 2019, our first analysis of executive roles in the medtech industry found that 18% of executives were women, a figure that increased to 20% in 2020 and 21% this year.
That’s progress, but slow progress with so much at stake.
“The medtech workforce must mirror the patients we serve,” Brearey said, “if we are going to succeed in delivering innovative technology to populations who need it.”
Medical Design & Outsourcing