Embracing diversity: 5 ways Stryker's ERGs foster collaboration worldwide
At Stryker, our mission is rooted in enhancing healthcare and this effort begins within our organization. Our products touch people from all walks of life around the world, underscoring the significance of evolving our workforce to mirror the diversity of the communities we serve.
As a global leader in medical technology, our teams comprise of individuals from diverse backgrounds, each offering unique experiences and perspectives. Embracing these differences fosters growth and learning, enhancing collaboration. Understanding the varied norms, values and communication styles of our team members creates a more inclusive and collaborative environment.
Diversity extends beyond national origin, race and sexual orientation; it encompasses traditions, values, and communication methods within our teams.
During our 2023 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) Summit, teams from around the world came together virtually, and in-person, to discuss a framework that supports employees in recognizing and celebrating what makes each of us unique. When we see, hear, and value those that are different from ourselves, we foster a welcoming workplace. Employees feel encouraged to share their varying viewpoints when collaborating to develop solutions that address the needs of our customers and patients around the world.
One effective way we help employees navigate learning about nuances of diversity is through our employee resource groups (ERGs). These groups provide resources and programs that unify Stryker’s employees globally.
Here are 5 ways our teams create effective collaboration through our ERGs:
1. Cultural awareness workshops: Throughout the year, training sessions and workshops are hosted across Stryker to help educate employees on different cultures. These sessions help create understanding and build confidence for celebrating those with differing norms. One example of our teams promoting cultural awareness is Stryker’s Asian Community Empowerment ERG which partners with employee liaisons in our Asia Pacific locations to share in cultural exchanges. During these meetings they share language, discuss values and travel tips by region.
2. Diversity and inclusion initiatives: Our passion for ensuring a diverse and collaborative workforce extends beyond just policies. We have many employee-driven efforts that are supported by the company. Our shared objective is to create an environment where all employees can feel seen, heard and valued. In 2023, Stryker’s Emerging Professionals, celebrated World Online Networking Day to help members expand their network and build connections with people outside of their immediate team.
3. Inclusive communication: We recognize that using inclusive language can be the difference between building relationships and isolating others. SOMOS - Stryker’s Hispanic/Latino Network - hosts workshops to help their peers understand the nuances between being Spanish, Hispanic and Latino/a. By drawing attention to how often these words are used interchangeably, and helping their peers to understand the important differences, helps to promote better communication amongst teams. Learn more about how we embrace inclusive language and why it matters.
4. Mentorship programs: Our mentorship programs encourage the exchange of knowledge and skills across employees. Mentors often bring diverse experiences and perspectives, which helps enrich the mentees’ understanding of different cultures, backgrounds, and work styles. In addition to our traditional mentorship programs offered across Stryker, Stryker’s Veteran’s Association also offers members the opportunity to pair with other tenured Stryker employees to expand their support network during their transition from military to the corporate world.
5. Celebrating together: One of best parts of all of us being different? The opportunity to learn and celebrate one another’s cultural events and festivals. Through these celebrations, we recognize and honor the richness of our team's backgrounds and promote cross-cultural understanding. Stryker’s Allies for All Abilities (3A) understands the importance of celebrating everyone, together. Each year, our 3A chapter in Cary, IL proudly hosts their ‘Celebrate All Abilities Walk’ focused on raising greater awareness around disability inclusion at Stryker. 3A fully focuses on being inclusive during this event, inviting all Cary employees, including our manufacturing teams - temporarily halting production to emphasize the importance of including all.
What do our global teams have to say about embracing diversity at Stryker?
“The three things I love most about working at Stryker are the people, the projects, and the diversity. Stryker’s a very open, collaborative organization and has a great culture of respecting and valuing everybody's input regardless of their level.” - Nathalie W. | Netherlands
"I amplify local voices on a global stage, empowering communities with resources for positive change. What excites me most is the collaboration with cross-functional colleagues who bring in diverse perspectives and cultures. This is crucial for us to keep iterating programs that scale to support every woman reaching her full potential." – Shirley L. | Hong Kong
“Managing cultural diversity is not simply a challenge -it’s a rewarding experience that defines our global organization. I’ve been able to effectively manage cultural diversity through cultural awareness, inclusive recruitment, cross-cultural training, and effective communication.”
-Sergio C. | Costa Rica
“I believe deepening cultural education within Stryker, providing new career opportunities for our ERG members, and consistent community outreach will lead us in the right direction.”
– Mike B. | United States
“I have learned more about the Black experience in my two years with SAAN (Stryker’s African Ancestry Network) than I did in the two decades before I joined. It has been an enriching experience and I am a stronger ally and a better person because of it.” - Lianne S. | United States
“Participating in SOMOS has enabled me to share some of my cultural background with co-workers of other diverse cultural backgrounds, as well as the opportunity to learn from and interact with other leaders with similar backgrounds who have navigated successful careers at Stryker.” – Eddie G. | United States
At Stryker, diversity is not just a concept; it's a cornerstone of our success. The strengths that our differences bring, make us who we are.
Apply to join our team, where your unique background and perspective are not only valued but celebrated as essential contributors to our success.