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Career Advice: Erich Spencer – The Importance of Being Authentic

Are you finding it difficult to rise up the leadership ranks?

Erich Spencer, Senior Director of Global Inclusion Diversity and Equity and GIDE Business Partners at Medtronic (No. 2  on Fair360 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list) said being authentic can help employees grow as leaders.

“We are all leaders, either in our family roles, workplace roles or community roles,” he said. “We are practicing how we connect with others and communicate with others every single day. How you channel that into the situation right in front of you is the reflection point. How do I take that and make it fit for this situation, for this audience that is looking for me to do it, but in a way that’s authentic to me?”

Spencer said employees shouldn’t view intersectionality as something the workplace needs to overcome.

“I really encourage people to reflect and define yourself and recognize the power in that,” he said. “Then celebrate that and channel it into your work in a way that gets you ahead in ways that are productive to you, but also that you don’t lose yourself. I think a lot of times we’re pressured to assimilate in a workplace culture. I think the more we can be celebratory of our differences, the more we’ll open up the space to truly be authentic.”
2024 Top 50 Companies


Rank 2

Medtronic maintained its No. 2 spot on the list this year. Women make up 51% of the company’s workforce worldwide and occupy 44% of managerial positions globally.

Geoff Martha
Chairman and CEO

“As the world grapples with new and evolving healthcare challenges, Medtronic remains steadfast in our focus of creating life-transforming technology, empowering patient-centric, insight-driven care and providing experiences that put people first to deliver better outcomes for our global community. Quite simply, we can’t achieve these aspirations without diverse perspectives challenging our ideas, contributing to innovation and driving durable shared value”

Dr. Sally Saba
VP - Global Chief Inclusion & Diversity Officer and President of the Medtronic Foundation

“Our unwavering commitment to ID&E means zero barriers to opportunity within Medtronic and a culture where all employees belong, are respected and feel valued for who they are and the life experiences they contribute. We know equity starts beyond our workplace, and we must play a role in addressing systemic inequities in our communities if we hope to have a long-term sustainable impact.”

Matt Walter
Chief Human Resources Officer

“Our commitment to ID&E is critical to building upon our rich history of innovation that has been, and will continue to be, powered by our people. Whether it’s by fostering a culture of belonging, ensuring pay equity or removing barriers to career opportunities, we continue to prioritize ID&E because we know it makes us stronger and helps us further our mission.”

From the Company

Today, women represent 51% of our global workforce and hold 44% of global management positions at Medtronic. Ethnically diverse talent currently represents 40% of our U.S. workforce and holds 28% of leadership positions, demonstrating great progress toward our representation aspirations.

This year we rolled out research-based effective practices and behaviors (things like inclusive hiring practices and ensuring equitable access to development and sponsorship opportunities) to ingrain inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) throughout our company. These practices support our leader-led model and ensure our efforts to reflect the communities we serve are effective and locally relevant.

In 2023, we leaned further into removing barriers to opportunities and advancing ID&E in an effort to drive real impact.