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Inclusion, Diversity & Equity

Advancing women in STEM

As we've grown, so have our efforts to recruit, support, and promote women in science, healthcare, engineering, and beyond.

Growing up as a Black girl with a life-threatening illness, Bre Jacobs found herself in a revolving door of doctors’ offices — but none of the healthcare professionals ever looked like her. To understand her condition, reduce the stress on her family, and take control of her own health, Bre dove into medical journals. Doing so sparked a passion for scientific knowledge that drives Bre to this day. Now a Medtronic Senior Research Program Manager, Bre still can’t help but wonder: "Where would I be if, earlier on, I had met someone like me in this field? What can I do now to encourage more women in science — to help others break down the hurdles I faced?”


The ability to see yourself represented is a powerful push to succeed in a career. Unfortunately, women and certain ethnic groups are historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) positions.1

Each of our employees contributes an inspiring wealth of life experiences, perspectives, and talents that further our Mission to alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life for people around the world. We know that the more diverse the team developing our lifesaving technologies, the better able we can meet the needs of all patients. Our efforts include ensuring that women are equally represented within our heavily science-based organization and working to level the playing field for women in science beyond our walls.


I talk to a lot of CEOs, and most of them understand that their success and the success of their organization are determined by building inclusive teams with women as senior leaders in order to drive innovation and build equitable workplace cultures.”


–Lorraine Hariton, Catalyst CEO

Logo for Catalyst Champions for Change

Our CEO, Geoff Martha, signed a pledge to be a Catalyst Champion for Change dedicated to advancing more women — and especially women of color — into all levels of leadership, because “progress for women is progress for everyone.”

Logo for Catalyst: Workplaces that Work for Women

We received a Catalyst Award in 2020, one of only three recipients. The Award recognizes how we elevate and celebrate women in STEM and highlights our efforts to build an inclusive workplace that truly works for women.


In 2020, we reached 100% gender pay equity in the United States and several other countries — and 99% gender pay equity globally. We won’t stop until we're at 100%  everywhere.


Back in the day, you were just one of the guys. But looking back, I see it could have been different. And now I’m trying to pay it forward alongside other women in science and engineering.”

–Nancy Brainerd, Senior Director, Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, Medtronic
A photo of Medtronic Sr. Director, Deputy Chief Information Security Officer, Nancy Brainerd

Herinaina Rabarimanantsoa, a Medtronic Principal R & D Engineer, worked with a small, diverse team of engineers to develop a new device. Rabarimanantsoa quickly saw just how important diversity was in product design. “We designed a medical device that involved a hub that needed to be held and turned. One of my male colleagues thought the design was fine, but I have smaller hands. When I tried to turn the hub, it was incredibly difficult. So, we redesigned it to work for both smaller and larger hands.”

Like so many others, this story reminds us that we wouldn’t be where we are today without women. As our company evolves, so do our gender-equity efforts. From inclusive product design to developing world-changing innovations, women in science offer invaluable insight and perspective every day.

We believe that what you measure, you meet. We have clear goals for things like pay equity and diverse representation and are transparent about our progress. From women representing 50% of our global workforce to representing 40% of management, we exceed medical technology industry averages across the board.

Medtronic Women’s Network (MWN) is our largest Diversity Network, with 19,000-plus members and 120-plus hubs around the world. MWN offers employees a full suite of professional development, networking, and mentoring programs. Since 2015, the network has seen a 585% increase in membership, including the addition of many male allies.

Due in part to transitioning MWN events in 2020 to a virtual format, regional MWN hubs around the world are finding even more opportunities to learn from and support each other. As MWN continues to grow, the passion and rigor of members elevate our approach to attracting, developing, and celebrating women in science. 

Attendees at the annual Medtronic Women's Network signature event.

Attendees at the annual Medtronic Women’s Network signature event

A photo of Medtronic employees holding MWN Family-Friendly certificate

Chris Lee, SVP and President of Medtronic APAC, and Medtronic Korea employees take a commemorative photograph with the MWN Family-Friendly certificate.

  • Medtronic Chile ranked second in the 2020 LATAM Par Ranking Aequales — a measurement instrument that provides a snapshot of the progress in gender equity at participating organizations in Latin America.
  • MWN Australia recently won the 2020 MTAA (Medical Technology Association of Australia) Women in MedTech company award. This award signals that we are a company that leads and promotes gender diversity in the industry.
  • Medtronic Canada was named to the 2021 list of Best Workplaces™ for Women for the second consecutive year. With active networking and mentoring programs, women account for 55% of the Canadian leadership team.
  • Medtronic Korea earned the title of Best Family-Friendly Management by the Ministry of Gender Equity & Family. Medtronic Korea was recognized for its high employee retention after pre- and post-childbirth leave, flexible working hours, and programs such as family day and “bring your kids to the Medtronic Innovation Center day.”

Returning to work after a significant break in your professional career can be difficult — worsened by the fact that hiring managers are three times less likely to consider a resume with a gap of more than three years.2 In response, we developed Careers 2.0 — a six-month, paid returnship program that gives participants the opportunity to refresh their technical skills at their own pace while networking with a market leader in healthcare.

After a successful engineering career lasting more than 10 years, Wendyann Jaeck wanted a more flexible schedule so she quit her full-time job and volunteered as an educational science grant facilitator; started her own STEM education business; and became program manager of a virtual, international math league. When Jaeck wanted to return, Careers 2.0 was there. She very much enjoys her work for Medtronic.


My favorite part of Medtronic is everyone's willingness to find opportunities for me to use and expand my skill set and knowledge base. Medtronic has employees with many different backgrounds and experiences from around the globe, so there is much to learn every day about the company, the industry, and the world.”

–Wendyann Jaeck, Quality Systems Program Manager, Medtronic
A photo of Medtronic employee Wendyann Jaeck
A photo of a female engineer holding a sign

Jessica Weber, a Senior Continuous Improvement Engineer at Medtronic, attended the Career Fair at the Annual Society of Women Engineers Conference in 2018 in Minneapolis.

Born out of MWN, our Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) initiative focuses on advancing women in engineering and science roles. From building career development toolkits to getting involved with local STEM communities, WISE works to foster an inclusive work environment for women in a field that continues to be predominantly male.

Through outreach programs, WISE helps young women overcome career hurdles such as a lack of role models or biased gatekeepers. Events at middle schools and high schools also give rise to new, creative opportunities to show young women of color what a STEM career could look like.

To bring more women into engineering and scientific roles, we offer competitive college and high-school internships. In 2020, we hired our most diverse group of interns in the company’s history — globally, 61% were women. Many participants go on to become full-time employees, where new-hire programs help them grow and connect to opportunities.


Everyone always asked how they could improve my experience and further help my professional development.”


–Eleni, Medtronic Intern, University of Colorado-Boulder

Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has made increasing women’s representation in STEM a top priority. In 2018, Medtronic Saudi developed the Saudi Young Talent program, aimed at attracting high-achieving recent graduates — especially women in science and engineering — to internships in technical, commercial, and sales roles at Medtronic. In 2020, 72% of interns were women; more than half of those women became full-time employees.

A photo of a young woman inside a lab in front of microscope
Bre Jacobs, Senior Program Manager, Research, in a laboratory

Bre Jacobs, a Senior Research Program Manager at Medtronic

Bre Jacobs commits to being the example that could have made a difference in her life earlier, as she worked tirelessly to get her seat at the table and always welcomed others. Jacobs has been awarded 15 U.S. patents and successfully leads award-winning, cross-functional teams to new discoveries. Beyond her day-to-day work, she participates in groups that include the African Descent Network, Black Engineers at Medtronic (BE@M), and MWN and constantly uses her scientific expertise and empathy to encourage other women.

Expertise and perspective from women in science roles like Jacobs keep us competitive as a company and improve health for more patients in our global communities. We know that the work toward equity is incomplete and that women continue to face unique challenges. But the more inclusion, diversity, and equity we can foster and the more we can celebrate women in STEM, the greater our impact becomes.