We are the largest trade association for medical device manufacturers, and we recognized that industry initiatives in support of increasing diverse talent were struggling without an explicit, clear, effective program to address common awareness challenges and motivate senior leaders to sponsor change by providing them with tools to lead those changes within their organizations.
We formed a committee of industry CEOs as well as a committee of industry inclusion and diversity leaders. Through their collaboration we have:
- Developed a common framework for relating companies’ journeys that can be used to develop company-specific workplans as well as evaluate progress.
- Started working on our framework’s key element of awareness. So far we have:
- Had a facilitated conversation with our board on the role of unconscious bias in our industry.
- Held a summit for 80 senior executives of all genders to review our framework and have meaningful conversations on how we address bottlenecks.
- Promoted and facilitated diversity programming at our conference.
While we’re early on in our initiatives, our efforts are already paying dividends. At The MedTech Conference 2019, AdvaMed honored its first woman Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. We hosted the second annual MedTech Color breakfast which doubled in size to 150 attendees versus the prior year. We held our first LGBTQ+ reception. We talked about inclusion and diversity on our conference’s largest stage, and we made gender diversity a priority for our speaker selection criteria. As a result, 96% of our 128 panels included women. Overall, we estimate that 40% of the 3,300 executives in attendance were women—a 33% increase over last year.
Jennifer Brearey; Chief Financial Officer and Executive Director, AdvaMed Advance
The goal of AdvaMed Advance is to connect industry stakeholders to share best practices, exchanges ideas and collaborate on ways to make the medtech industry the most diverse, the most inclusive, and the most innovative in the world. Only if our industry is as diverse as the patients we serve will we be able to truly meet their needs.