(l to r) Robbie Robinson, VP and General Manager, Orthopaedic Instruments, Stryker and Tristan Moss, Senior Director of Sales, Flex Financial, Stryker
‘People’ is a core value that drives employees every single day at Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies.
That is why Stryker is deeply committed to diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I). During an unprecedented year that saw social unrest boil over amidst a global pandemic, Stryker turned to its workforce to collectively examine and continue advancing the company’s own DE&I efforts.
“We are a growth company that can only continue to grow with high-performing, diverse and inclusive teams,” says Rob Fletcher, Stryker’s VP and chief legal officer. “We are proud of our Stryker culture and our employee resource groups are critical to ensure that our culture is welcoming and inclusive for all people.”
One such group is Stryker’s African Ancestry Network (SAAN). Co-led by established Stryker leaders Tristan Moss and Robbie Robinson, SAAN aspires to make Stryker a career destination for Black employees and has expanded its reach nationally.
“I am honored to serve as SAAN’s executive sponsor,” Fletcher says, “and excited to continue working with Tristan and Robbie as they set the strategic direction for our SAAN national steering committee.”
Here, the two leaders share their perspectives on Stryker’s DE&I focus and the MedTech industry’s continuing evolution.
The events of 2020 forced us all to address a topic that typically makes people so uncomfortable that they often avoid talking about it. “Don’t talk race, politics or religion at work” is advice that most people give. I was curious to know what was different after George Floyd’s death, because it seemed that people at work and in normal social settings were suddenly willing to discuss racial inequity.
I was impressed with how our leaders responded. We created a safe place for our Black employees to share their positive and negative experiences in our Days of Understanding sessions. Additional sessions for both Black employees and our allies resulted in healthy conversations that helped us grow together. We shared those results with leadership, informing our strategy to ensure that this be not only a moment, but a movement that will lead to significant change. One way we’re doing this is expanding our recruiting practices to explore new talent pools. Stryker is a founding member of OneTen, a coalition of leading CEOs and companies committed to train, hire and advance one million Black Americans over the next 10 years. We are fostering a culture that makes room for all our current and future employees to be themselves at work and allow their talent to lead them to new career opportunities.
While I’ve often been the “only” throughout my 17-year career in MedTech, it’s amazing how welcomed I’ve been by our customers. I’ve also noticed how meaningful it’s been for a nurse, technician or surgeon when a Stryker representative walks through the door and looks like them. The surgical care environment is a diverse place, and when our customers
see that the companies who help support them understand the importance of having a workforce that represents the communities they serve, it sends a powerful signal. It’s crucial that MedTech companies do their best to mirror the world around them. Having a racially, culturally and gender diverse workforce creates greater empathy for the recipients of our technologies and likely means a greater degree of trust – from company to caregiver to patient.