Boston Scientific: Accelerating Progress for Women by Creating Equal Opportunities for Growth (Practices)Jan 19, 2022
In 2017, Boston Scientific asked employees globally, “Do men and women with equal ability, education, and experience also have equal opportunities for promotion at our company?” The results were telling: Women answered 14 percentage points less favorably than men. Similarly, Black women and men in the US and Puerto Rico responded with lower ratings toward career opportunities compared to their peers of other racial and ethnic identities.
At Boston Scientific, advancing science to bring meaningful innovations to patients around the world requires the diversity of thought, skill, and experiences of every employee. The company’s Creating Equal Opportunities for Growth initiative was a global effort to support the acceleration of career advancement and address barriers that women and multicultural talent faced at the start of the initiative. The multifaceted initiative ignited a cultural shift that continues to this day.
Core elements include improving diversity awareness and inclusion competency skills for all employees, holding leaders accountable for meaningful efforts and results, and increasing transparency and communication about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts and progress.
Every employee is responsible for promoting DEI across the organization. Regardless of role or level, all employees contribute to the betterment of their workplace and communities.
Highlights of the Boston Scientific initiative:
- The company set and made progress toward ambitious goals to increase workplace gender and multicultural diversity. The company’s strategy focused on three key areas: recruitment, retention, and development of talent. This included requiring unconscious bias training, developing robust DEI analytics solutions, and expanding opportunities for sponsorship and mentoring.
- Employees serve as leaders of Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and members of Inclusion Councils, helping elevate employee voices to enact change. ERG leaders meet regularly with Executive Committee sponsors who provide strategic partnership and guidance, and those ERG leaders receive visibility to top senior leadership as part of their role.
- CEO Mike Mahoney took effective steps to increase diversity on the company’s Board of Directors, where there are now three women—two of whom are Black—and one board member of Asian descent. He also engages with employees at ERG events and supports the development and advancement of women of all races and ethnicities among the company’s leadership ranks. Other senior leaders also promote diversity, equity, and inclusion through their involvement on the Global Council for Inclusion and as Executive Sponsors of ERGs.
- Company locations in regions around the world participate in the initiative, incorporating efforts to include people across race, ethnicity, culture, and nationality, as well as other identity dimensions such as disability and LGBTQ+ status.
- Integration extends deeply within the organization into customarily-left-out functions and roles such as sales, clinical trial teams, and product builders in manufacturing roles. Sales and clinical trial teams are trained to understand and discuss the impact of racism and other barriers to equitable health care.
Between 2017 and 2020, women in executive leadership roles reporting directly to the CEO increased from 12.5% to 26.7% (14.2 point increase). Women at director and vice president levels increased from 27.6% to 33.4% (5.8 point increase). Women of color (US/Puerto Rico) in manager and supervisory roles increased from 7.5% to 9.3% (1.8 point increase). The Board of Directors has had two women of color (20% of the Board) since 2017.
About Boston Scientific:
Boston Scientific transforms lives through innovative medical solutions that improve the health of patients around the world. As a global medical technology leader for more than 40 years, they advance science for life by providing a broad range of high performance solutions that address unmet patient needs and reduce the cost of healthcare. The company is headquartered in Marlborough, Massachusetts, with approximately 38,000 employees around the globe. To learn more, visit www.bostonscientific.com and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
To learn more, download the full report on this Award-winning initiative.