A Culture of Belonging that Drives Innovation

How inclusion, diversity, and equity at Medtronic fuel new thinking, more creativity, and better decision-making.

A company's success is determined by its people. Creating a culture where everyone feels welcome is a start, but our goal — a true sense of belonging — is much more profound. When our people feel like they are accepted, safe, and valued, they contribute more fully and with more heart in the game. Innovation comes from free sharing and ideating over new approaches and different perspectives. At Medtronic, our culture of belonging empowers employees to bring their full selves and ideas to the table.

“Our commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (I, D & E) at Medtronic means zero barriers to opportunity and a future where all employees belong, are respected, and feel valued for who they are and for the life experiences that they contribute. We can achieve even more impact improving health in global communities through the power of our diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment.”

–Dr. Sally Saba, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer, Medtronic 

Dr. Sally Saba, Medtronic Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer

Hear from two employees at Medtronic who felt empowered by our culture of belonging and how that empowerment improved our work.

Turning a Passion Project Into Developing Diverse Leaders Across Medtronic

A LIFT cohort connects during a presentation to build emerging mid-career talent into strong leaders.

A LIFT cohort connects during a presentation as part of the nine-month program to build emerging mid-career diverse talent into strong business leaders.

In 2016, Nnamdi Njoku and leaders of the African Descent Network (ADN) wanted to supercharge the potential of rising black leaders. They had an idea to focus on the development of diverse talent. Supported by peers and championed by executives, they created the Leadership Inclusion from Mentorship Toward Sponsorship (LIFT) Program. 

Through coaching, classes, and a capstone business-case project, the nine-month program builds emerging mid-career talent into strong business leaders. LIFT’s sought-after talent pipeline inspired the Hispanic Latino Network, Asian Impact@Medtronic Network, and Medtronic Women’s Network to create their own LIFT cohorts. Now, we’re looking to extend this successful inclusion, diversity, and equity program even further across our company.

“The company’s support for our new idea has allowed us to scale a great program across Medtronic — one that I hope and believe will live on well beyond any of us.”

– Nnamdi Njoku, Chair of the African Descent Network and Operating Unit President, Medtronic

Nnamdi Njoku, Chair of the African Descent Network and Operating Unit President, Medtronic

Turning Personal Experience Into Leveraging All of Medtronic to Address Health Disparities

Baker family

Maribel Baker and her family at the American Diabetes Association Tour de Cure. Photo courtesy of Kim D. West Photography.

Growing up in Panama, doctors told Maribel Baker that there was only one drastic treatment for her leg infection: amputation. She and her family didn’t take that advice; rather, they kept asking questions and advocating for other options — all the way to the Medical Board of Panama. The country didn’t have the level of care required to effectively treat Maribel but, through a grant, referred her to a practice in the United States to receive treatment. Now, it’s Maribel’s life purpose to address health disparities and gaps in care through inclusion, diversity, and equity efforts.

Empowered by our inclusive culture of belonging and her peers in the Hispanic Latino Network, Maribel Baker went straight to the leaders of the diabetes business to find new ways for Medtronic to address health disparities. Maribel’s personal experience battling healthcare disparities led to the creation of a new role at Medtronic: overseeing diabetes health equity programs and developing new strategies to bring access to our therapies to underserved groups.

The team that Maribel leads finds new ways to dismantle healthcare disparities for U.S. diabetes patients through education, anti-bias training, and outreach to underserved groups. From joining the Health Equity Now initiative with the American Diabetes Association to our partnership with the T1D Exchange, Medtronic employees are driving positive change and amplifying our impact through working with others.

Read more about our broader efforts to reduce health disparities.

“I’m at Medtronic, because I think it is critical for people to be empowered to advocate for themselves — and people can’t advocate for themselves if they don’t have good information.”

–Maribel Baker, Director of Health Equity Programs, Diabetes, Medtronic

Maribel Baker is the Director, Healthcare Equity and Community Programs, Medtronic Diabetes

For a Better Medtronic and a Better World

A culture of belonging encourages speaking up with a different perspective or new creative ideas. Our culture of belonging reminds us to stop worrying about fitting in and to embrace standing out. Only when we feel free to be ourselves can we harness the true power of our diversity and direct it to what matters most: living up to our true potential and to the advancement of our Mission.

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