Developing and maintaining thriving cultures in the workplace is a crucial component of a company’s success and one of the most important responsibilities for our leaders today. At WCG, we are dedicated to helping healthcare businesses thrive by doing our part to support diversity in the workplace. This fundamental belief is why it was an honor to sponsor MedtechWomen’s ‘Creating Cultures that Thrive’ regional event this month. MedtechWomen is an organization dedicated to highlighting women leaders in the medical technology industry. Its focus is on providing opportunities, through conferences and other events, for leaders and innovators to come together to discuss constructive solutions to key issues facing the medtech industry today.
Echoing the high-profile women panelists, which included Luann Pendy, senior vice president global quality at Medtronic; Angie Craig, congressional candidate, senior advisor and former head of global HR at St. Jude Medical; and Cindy Kent, president and general manager at 3M Drug Delivery Systems Division, it is clear that solving gender inequality is not just about analyzing the numbers of women within an organization. It is deeper than that. As leaders, we need to look into the work our employees are doing, the realities they face and how we may improve retention and promotion within every level of an organization.
“Culture is set by tone at the top. Leaders set the tone for the company. Things do run downhill.”
–Cindy Kent, President and General Manager at 3M Drug Delivery Systems Division
Aimed at connecting women in leadership in the medtech community, MedtechWomen’s event brought together industry colleagues and influential women leaders in the Minneapolis area for a night of conversation and networking. Panelists offered effective strategies to create cultures where employees are engaged and the importance of benefiting women’s careers along the way.
Below are the top three takeaways from the inspirational discussion:
#1 – Mentors, and more specifically advocates, will be critical to your success
“There’s nothing more frustrating than when women don’t help other women. We need to stop not supporting one another.”
“We need to advocate for culture too. If you see talent– talk about it. Create the kind of workplace where you talk about good talent.”
#2 – To lead you must be authentic– bring what makes you unique ‘to the table’
“You have to be authentic. Figure out what makes you ‘you’ and figure out how to be that person.”
– Luann Pendy
“We didn’t just decide to work in medtech. We worked in this industry because we wanted to make a difference in this world.”
“When I came to Medtronic, we were trying to get female employees to get something started for women. It was hard. We struggled to get things moving. Now we are saying, ‘Bring your diversity to the table.'”
#3 Creating a thriving culture will take time, ‘Go Slow to Go Fast’
“Pay attention to the cultural context – what gets rewarded – what doesn’t. Be a student of the culture.”
“Intentionally I decided to glow slow to go fast.”
“What happens to a business culture when the world around the business changes? Remember that you have to evolve your culture as the world also makes its changes.”
“We spent a lot of time thinking and talking with employees. We asked, ‘What makes your part of the organization special?’ Through the discussion we defined the company in four key behaviors. We started hiring for these traits and, when needed, training for them.”
We would like to extend thanks to the inspirational panelists and the 60 women that attended the event. Being a part of the conversation among such a talented and diverse group of women was amazing.