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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.”
2023 Top 50 Companies For Diversity


Rank 2

Medtronic moved up eight spots on the list this year. Women make up 51% of the company’s workforce worldwide and occupy 43% of managerial positions globally.

Geoff Martha
Chairman and CEO

Our ability to serve more patients is dependent on bringing diverse thinking to the table and, together, engineering extraordinary solutions. Powered by our Mission and our people, we are more determined than ever to help create a more equitable, healthier world. ID&E empowers us to solve health inequities faster. Systemic socioeconomic, racial, geographic and even generational factors all contribute to a person’s ability—or inability—to achieve good health and reach their full potential as a contributing member of society. Our commitment to ID&E compels us to urgently address barriers to education, diagnosis and treatment.

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

We are advancing inclusion, diversity and equity at Medtronic to achieve zero barriers to opportunity. This means we are building a culture where all our people belong, are respected and feel valued for who they are and what they contribute. We are moving faster toward a future where we more fully leverage all our collective strengths—from our Mission to our people, from our buying power to our influence—to remove barriers to equity in our workplace, across healthcare and within the communities we serve.

From The Company

In 2022, we leaned further into removing barriers to opportunities and advancing inclusion, diversity and equity (ID&E) in an effort to shape outcomes.

We accelerated the pace of change with an evolved global strategy, fully transitioned to a leader-led accountability model, and advanced our representation and inclusion goals.

We shaped outcomes through differentiated development opportunities, more equitable career pathways, cutting-edge benefits to meet the need of our unique workforce and pay equity achievements.

We amplified our impact beyond our walls by creating economic opportunities through our global supplier diversity program, engaging in unique partnerships to advance diversity in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and addressing health disparities that have persisted for far too long. As the global leader in healthcare technology, we are building a future where Medtronic will more fully use all its assets as a company to advance equity in our workplace, industry and communities.

Today, women represent 51% of our global workforce and hold 43% of global management positions at Medtronic. Ethnically diverse talent currently represents 39% of our U.S. workforce and hold 27% of leadership positions, demonstrating great progress toward our new goals established in 2021.


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