Diversity does matter to medtech (we hope), but a recently published list suggests that some companies are doing a better job than others of making diversity and inclusion more than just a box-ticking exercise. In the medical device and diagnostics industry, Medtronic appears to be way ahead of its pure-play medtech peers on this front.
Medtronic ranked third on Thomson Reuters' 2018 Diversity and Inclusion (D&L) Index, jumping ten spots from number 13, which it held in 2016 and 2017 (the D&I Index is in its third year).
"We know that greater diversity inherently drives better decisions — different perspectives enable us to see challenges and solutions from new angles," said Sophia Khan, senior director of Global Inclusion, Diversity, and Engagement at Medtronic. "It’s not only our employees and business that benefit, a stronger and united Medtronic means we’re continuing to drive innovation and devise powerful solutions that help our partners deliver better patient outcomes and contribute to human welfare."
In the medical device industry, gender diversity has long been an issue. As MD+DI has previously reported, the share of women in executive leadership positions in medtech lags behind other industries.
Last year MD+DI spoke with Luann Pendy, senior vice president of global quality at Medtronic, who shared some interesting insights into the company's diversity programs.
While Medtronic was by far the highest ranking pure-play medtech company on the D&I Index, Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis, which has dipped its toes into the medical device waters in recent years with Alcon and Google, came in at number two. Other medical device and diagnostic companies that earned a top 100 spot on the index include Roche at number 12, Siemens at number 24, Johnson & Johnson at number 32, GlaxoSmithKline at number 39, Abbott at number 42, 3M at number 68, Bayer at number 80. Also worthy of a mention because of its Watson Health business is IBM at number 35.
The index ratings are informed by Thomson Reuters environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data, designed to transparently and objectively measure the relative performance of more than 7,000 companies and provide investors with differentiated insight. After ranking the top 100 companies as measured by 24 metrics across four key categories (diversity, inclusion, people development, and news controversies), the index is calculated by weighing each metric based on importance in the market and how each company compares with its peers.
Elena Philipova, global head of ESG at Thomson Reuters, Financial & Risk, said the D&I Index highlights public companies that are leading the way in embedding diversity and inclusion into their company strategy.
“The industry is beginning to recognize the societal and business benefits of investing in diverse and inclusive companies and we are working closely with various investment firms who are looking to develop investable products based on our D&I index," Philipova said. "We remain committed to providing industry-leading ESG data to help investors make smarter investment decisions.”