4. Industry leaders rally against racism
The killing of George Floyd by police in the Twin Cities struck at the heart of the medtech community. CEOs from large medtech companies issued statements condemning the death and supporting those who continue to push for change.
Kevin Lobo, CEO of Stryker and the chair of AdvaMed, had been pushing for inclusion and diversity at both his company and industry.
“I wrote a note to our employees that was fairly raw and talked about that,” Lobo told DeviceTalks Weekly. “I think the fact that we’ve been talking about this all this time, and it already, it wasn’t a new reaction.”
Boston Scientific similarly had been pushing for progress, including a decades-plus campaign called Close the Gap to increase accessibility to healthcare by people of color, according Camille Chang Gilmore, VP of human resources and global chief diversity officer at the company.
“I have to say, one of the proudest moments of my career at Boston Scientific was when our CEO, Mike Mahoney, and the executive committee wrote an open letter two days after George Floyd’s death that not only took a stance as far as where we stood regarding racism, but also made a commitment to $2.5 million to combat racism, a 400-year old sin,” Chang Gilmore said in an interview with DeviceTalks Weekly.
Medtronic hired Dr. Sally Saba as its chief inclusion and diversity officer in March. On Dec. 10, the company announced it is a founding member of OneTen, a coalition of leading chief executives and companies committed to training and hiring one million Black Americans who do not yet have a four-year degree into family-sustaining jobs with opportunities for advancement over the next 10 years.
“Medtronic needs to play a bigger role in society than maybe we have in the past,” CEO Geoff Martha said in an interview with DeviceTalks Weekly. “We’re an innovation company, and innovation is still a people game. We need to have the best and brightest people working at Medtronic. And the best and brightest people today want to work for a company that stands for something.” – TS