Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) announced today that the company joined OneTen in an effort to promote diversity and inclusion.
CEO Geoff Martha joins CEOs from different companies, states and industries with OneTen as they seek to close the “opportunity gap” preventing millions of Black Americans from access to economic opportunities, gainful employment, education and training, according to a news release.
The founding companies of OneTen are committed to train, hire and advance 1 million Black Americans over the next 10 years into family-sustaining skilled jobs with opportunities for advancement.
Dr. Sally Saba, who joined Medtronic in March as its new — and first — chief inclusion and diversity officer, said in the release that the OneTen commitment will require a shift in thinking and potentially a departure from the traditional four-year college degree requirements for some jobs, which often form a barrier to Black and other underrepresented Americans.
Saba added that Medtronic and companies like it have a role to play in supporting a more equitable environment for the community and, while the initiative starts with Black Americans, there is an eye on expansion over time.
“We have a strong inclusion, diversity and equity foundation in place, and yet we also know we can do more,” Saba said in the release. “We’re leaning into unique new opportunities, in partnership with other leading employers, to change the way we all think of talent and to address systemic inequities that continue to persist. We believe these efforts will help reduce barriers to economic stability for Black Americans.”