Mentorship at Stryker: How we grow talent
Updated: Mar 27
One of Stryker’s core values is people. We often say, “we grow talent”, but what does that mean?
To us, growing talent means investing in our people. We are dedicated to providing resources that help employees determine their strengths, identify opportunities to leverage their current talents, and encourage work on their professional development.
We want people to join Stryker, flourish in their careers, and stay here. Our collaborative culture helps teams support one another as they work toward personal and professional development. One of the ways we support professional growth is through mentorship programs.
Our mentorship programs are designed to be a catalyst for growth, are tailored to goals, focused on the future, and are a mutually beneficial relationship for both the mentee and mentor.
What does mentorship look like at Stryker?
As a global company, mentorship programs can look vastly different from country to country or between differing business units. The commonality between our programs is the benefits that the mentees and mentors experience.
Mentees get to grow their knowledge, build their networks, and learn from their mentor’s experiences. Mentors can pass on a legacy, cultivate leadership skills, and sharpen current skills through teaching while extending influence.
What types of mentorship programs does Stryker offer?
At Stryker, we have several different mentorship opportunities our employees can elect to be involved in. Below are just a few examples of Stryker’s mentorship program offerings from around the world.
In 2020, Stryker’s Women’s Network (SWN) launched a mentorship program in Canada designed to provide Stryker’s Canadian team members with a formal development program. The idea was to utilize our own employees to help develop one another. While the program was initially designed to be in-person, plans changed with the onset of COVID-19.
Not only did our employees' work environment change, but they also needed to pivot in their new mentorship relationships. Although requiring additional planning and guidance, the program could not have started at a better time – when employees were no longer surrounded by colleagues on a daily basis, having the opportunity to focus on their mentorship relationship helped teams stay connected.
Today, the program is run in partnership with SWN and the local HR team under the name “Stryker's Canada Mentorship Program”. The 10-month-long program matches mentors with mentees across Canada on a one-to-one basis allowing partners to build a relationship based on trust and confidentiality. Throughout the course of the mentorship, focus is placed on developing Stryker’s talented pool of driven employees who not only aspire to enhance their professional goals through networking and connected learning but also have a genuine passion for helping others develop both professionally and personally.
Hear from our participants in Canada
“My experience in the Mentorship Program as a mentee was incredibly impactful and is one of my most valued experiences at Stryker. It provided me the opportunity to connect with a colleague who otherwise I would not have had the opportunity to meet. My mentor had success in an area that I was actively pursuing and having insight into their personal experiences and challenges alongside their guidance allowed me to apply those learnings and benefit from them. My positive experience as a mentee inspired me to continue forward with the program as a mentor in hopes of having the same positive impact on another colleague’s experience at Stryker.” – Jay J. | Mentee
“As a new member to Stryker (2021), this program has been essential in helping me visualize my future within the company. It’s allowed me to make new connections with people I would have never met otherwise and learn about opportunities at a much faster pace than I ever would have on my own. I am so glad this program exists.” – Alicia V. | Mentee
“Being a mentor was not only an opportunity for me to help others stretch themselves, but it was also a great way for me to learn and grow as a leader. The program creates an environment where, because we are in different departments, we did not get bogged down by business challenges and could instead really spend time focusing on the individual’s goals. This made it more personable, more effective, and more fun.” – Matt G.| Mentor
Stryker’s team in The United Kingdom has partnered with a youth empowerment charity supporting young people to build an equitable future for all. Stryker employees are offered the opportunity to share their skills, resources, and experiences to help guide, inspire, and ignite the ambitions of the young people they mentor.
At the onset of the mentorship program, the mentee/student shares with the Stryker team what areas they’d like to grow and develop. Throughout the program, the Stryker mentors offer feedback to help their mentee progress. Featured activities of the mentorship program include general career guidance, PowerPoint training, mock interviews, and creating a CV and cover letter.
Hear from our participants in the U.K.
“I am not alone! Having a program dedicated to young teens, like me really helped me and boosted my confidence. It helped shape how I see the world of work and meeting new people.” – Program Mentee
“I have a whole new appreciation for the challenges faced by youngsters trying to find their way on their career path/education decisions. I’ve learned I have a lot to give to this sort of program when initially I wasn’t entirely sure what value I could bring.” – Elaine | Stryker Mentor
Whether you’re looking to be involved in a mentorship program focused on helping develop Stryker’s current talent or a program dedicated to helping shape the future workforce – Stryker has an opportunity for you to be involved.
Across the U.S. there are several mentorship opportunities available both formally and informally. Each of Stryker’s nine employee resource groups (ERGs) are dedicated to developing talent, and often sponsor their own mentorship program, including SWN.
Our Freemont, California chapter of SWN runs an annual mentorship program that kicks off in March and lasts throughout the year. In addition to the monthly meetings between the mentor/mentee, SWN hosts events focused on mentorship to support the program further. In 2022 events included speaker panels featuring Stryker employees who pivoted in their careers and took on new roles at Stryker, Mentor/Mentee Mixers allowing pairs to meet in a more casual environment, and workshops focused on mid-year resets, leadership, and allyship.
In 2022, Stryker’s CyberSecurity Team partnered with Lake Michigan College’s Upward Bound program to sponsor the “Cybersecurity Scholars program”. This initiative was designed for high school students who were first-generation college-bound and/or living below the poverty line to get hands-on experience in the cybersecurity field.
Over the course of 10 weeks, Stryker employees taught 20+ hours of class instruction providing participants with real-life scenarios they could face in the Cybersecurity profession and as end users of technology systems.
While this may have started as a pilot program, many of our CyberSecurity team members have continued mentoring and teaching students about cybersecurity as an ongoing initiative.
Hear from our participants in the U.S.
“I have both been a mentor as well as a mentee. This program has been so rewarding and most recently steered my career in directions I may not have explored otherwise. I hope to continue to pay forward a lot of the time and wisdom that has been so freely provided by my mentors.”
Pooja I. - Mentor and Mentee
“I signed up for the SWN Mentorship program to share my experience with someone who might find this helpful. However, I ended up getting lots of help from the experience. While talking with my mentee and hearing her questions, I was also able to think about myself more. Through the mentorship program, I started to pay more attention to ERG activities and spent more time with people outside of my team members. Luckily, my mentee said she got lots of useful advice from me and made good choices to further develop her career and I was able to build confidence in growing talent as well. Thank you for providing this mentorship opportunity, SWN!” - Jay H. | Mentor
"The SWN Mentorship program has connected me with inspiring and supportive mentors who have been instrumental in my early career development. My mentors provided valuable input on making cross-functional connections, transitioning roles, and advocating for myself." - Virginia L. | Mentee
“I absolutely love the SWN Mentorship program!! The ability to meet someone on a different team and learn about their career path is invaluable! My mentor helped me push myself to a new stretch assignment on my team and I learned so much from that experience!” - Shanell L. | Mentee
“Having a mentor brings a sense of belonging and motivation. Even if just for an hour a month, they are focused on making you more successful. You have someone in your corner to give you open feedback, answer questions, and help you think through problems. Having all this motivates me to own my development and encourages me to bring my best to the table.” - Amie D. | Mentee
“This is and has been an exciting opportunity for us to be able to gain excitement for the cyber security field. Engagement with the students is a very rewarding experience, they are eager to learn and their thirst for knowledge in the field is contagious. We are active in other High Schools in Southwest Michigan and engaged at the collegiate level as well. These are exciting times for sure and being able to have influence at so many levels is a way to give back to our profession and help mold the next level of cyber security professionals.” - Ryan K. | Stryker Mentor
“It has been rewarding to work with students and watch them grasp the concepts and truly understand how to apply this knowledge to secure their own data and assets.” - Tiauna R. | Stryker Mentor
In 2021, Stryker in Suzhou, China kicked off their first mentorship program featuring 11 pairs of mentors/mentees. The 6-month long program was designed to drive diversity, expand networking, and promote collaboration and development. Following the successful inaugural program, the team in Suzhou decided to not only continue the program but expand with more mentors and mentees in the following sessions.
During the mentorship program, pairs meet monthly to build rapport, create goals, define actions, and share insights. In addition to formal mentorships, situational mentorships also take place in informal ways, such as quick chats over coffee, or feedback following meetings. The mentors and mentees are encouraged to leverage and maximize their relationships, allowing the mentor to become a better leader and the mentee to further develop.
Hear from our participants in China
“The perspective of my mentor enables me to see the bigger picture and bring out the best of myself.” – Karen T. | Mentee
“I appreciate the opportunity to connect and collaborate with senior leadership from other functions. I took pages of notes when we are doing 1:1s. My mentor pushes me to think differently and gives timely feedback even though he is super busy. “ – Mignon Z. | Mentee
“My mentor is such a passionate leader that took the initiative to use his own real-life experience to broaden my mindset. The ways of thinking and learning methods I took from my mentor will not only benefit me in my current job but also a great boost in my career development and life.” – Xie J. | Mentee
"The program created an inclusive environment where we can not only learn from each other on WHAT to think, more importantly, learn HOW to think." - Tomi X. | Mentor
Mentorship is just one of the ways that Stryker is committed to growing talent and developing our employees. The programs listed are a small sample of the opportunities you’ll find within Stryker.
If you’re looking to join a company that supports your professional growth and invests in you, what are you waiting for? View our current openings and apply today.