Feb. 24, 2020 -- Medtronic has named Dr. Sally Saba its Chief Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) Officer, a newly created role that strengthens and elevates the company’s longstanding commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity.
Saba most recently served as vice president of equity, inclusion, and diversity at Kaiser Permanente, the nation's largest nonprofit integrated healthcare system. Saba led the organisation's overall I&D strategy and spearheaded key initiatives, including a high-profile supplier diversity program.
Before joining Kaiser, Saba served in leadership roles at global telecom company Vodafone. At Medtronic, she will partner with other leaders to strengthen the company’s I&D strategy. She will also work to advance its inclusive culture, ensuring the company is well-positioned to attract and retain top talent.
The Medtronic Mission — as well as its deep commitment to I&D — drew Saba to the role.
“When I first heard about this opportunity, I thought, ‘this is my dream job,’” Saba said. “This is a company that’s Mission-driven with leaders who really care about what matters in healthcare. And I really believe Medtronic can influence health equity, globally.”
Valuing the voice of all employees is critical to a company’s success, Saba said, adding that she will take a collaborative approach to her new position.
“My philosophy is to listen and learn, and bring people along to co-create the future,” she said. “When employees participate in shaping the future of who they want to be as a company, they are more engaged, and we collectively move faster. Equity, inclusion, and diversity isn’t one big thing you do – it’s a million little things that we all do every day.”
With a track record of leading initiatives that deliver clear and long-lasting results, one of Saba’s biggest successes at Kaiser was the organisation’s commitment to spend at least $1 billion annually with women- and minority-owned businesses.
“Being part of building a strategy that puts an organisation on a new trajectory, and builds a legacy, is so much more exciting to me than one-off splashes in a pan,” she said.
She also always keeps in mind that diversity goes hand in hand with business success. “To me, inclusion and diversity is clearly a business strategy, where innovation and inclusion are synonymous.”
When employees participate in shaping the future of who they want to be as a company, they are more engaged, and we collectively move faster. Equity, inclusion, and diversity isn’t one big thing you do – it’s a million little things that we all do every day.Dr. Sally Saba Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer
Saba holds a medical degree from Cairo University, and an MBA from École Supérieure Libre des Sciences Commerciales Appliquées.
She will start in her new role March 2, reporting to Chief Human Resources Officer Carol Surface. “Dr. Saba brings a rich background of experiences and capabilities to Medtronic,” Surface said. “She has a genuine passion for Mission-driven work and a proven track record for driving a purposeful inclusion and diversity agenda that is closely linked to business and talent outcomes.”
The hiring of Saba follows recent recognition of Medtronic’s approach to I&D. Last month, the company earned the prestigious Catalyst award in recognition of its groundbreaking programs that advance women in the workplace.
“Inclusion and diversity are critical to Medtronic fulfilling its Mission – and to our success as a company,” said Omar Ishrak, Medtronic chairman and CEO. “Dr. Saba’s leadership will ensure we continue to foster a culture that recognizes the personal worth of all employees."
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