Boston Scientific Announces Decisive Steps Toward Greater Diversity & Inclusion

Sep 20, 2018

A message from Wendy Carruthers, senior vice president, Human Resources

Emily relies on a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD) to monitor her heart rate and deliver a life-saving shock if needed, as she races to keep up with her two young children.

Carmen was losing hope for living a “normal life” after nearly a decade of battling uterine fibroids, until uterine fibroid embolization worked for her.

Peter can manage his Parkinson’s symptoms, and his wife Lisa credits his Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) device for “giving my husband back.”

In our business, the stakes for “innovation” are high—it translates into lives changed, and even saved. As we pursue meaningful innovation, we owe it to ourselves, our customers and most of all, our patients, to work together across geographies, cultures and beliefs to deliver our best every day.

It’s well-documented that diverse teams enable high performance, enrich workplace cultures, strengthen customer relationships and, spur innovation in a global economy. At Boston Scientific, our ideation process is built around the need for diverse perspectives to deliver solutions that address the unique needs of the patients we serve around the world. In the past, innovation rested primarily with R&D. Today, it’s embedded in every team and facilitated through open dialogue across global businesses, regions and functions.

We’ve learned three lessons along the way:

  • Innovation demands collaboration. Even the best idea can benefit from additional perspective.
  • Collaboration demands trust. If we don’t feel safe to speak our minds, we can’t push the boundaries of what’s possible.
  • Trust demands transparency. It is critical that we clearly say what we mean, and do what we say.

From targeted recruiting and leadership acceleration programs to training on unconscious bias and ensuring equal pay for equal work and expanding life/work benefits, we have advanced our focus and investment on diversity and inclusion in recent years. We have made real progress, but we can do better and must accelerate our efforts.

Our values and our bottom line demand that we prioritize diversity and inclusion: it is essential that each of our employees feels empowered to bring new ideas and perspectives to work each day.

Our plan to accelerate progress

Moving beyond traditional efforts that target our entry-level pipeline or top-down change, our 10/20/40 plan for the next 18 months will help to reshape our organization’s core by addressing representation at supervisor and manager levels.

Our 10/20/40 goals by 2020 challenge us to make meaningful progress. These are not quotas; instead, they’re intended to serve as mile markers on our journey toward a more inclusive culture

  • Be a “Top 10” recognized leader for workplace inclusion in key focus areas
  • Increase representation of people of color (US and PR) to 20% at supervisor and manager levels
  • Increase global representation of women to 40% at supervisor and manager levels

We understand that meaningful change can only be achieved by challenging our approach to every aspect of attracting, retaining and developing talent in every role. This is not about simply pursuing a set of numbers— it’s about evolving to ensure that we have the right leaders in place to continue to take innovation to new levels. Once we achieve our 10/20/40 goals, we’ll define the next set, and the next, as we continuously work toward greater representation and inclusivity. I invite you to learn more about our plan, and comment below with your own stories and lessons learned.

We know it won’t be easy. We’ll continue to learn along the way, and I invite you to follow our progress. After all, patients like Emily, Carmen and Peter are counting on us.