Hidden Signals Revealed: Boston Scientific’s Journey to the 2022 Catalyst Award

“Diversity is a given. Inclusion is a choice. Equity is a goal. But belonging is the ultimate outcome. And that’s where we want to get to as a company. To where everyone can feel like their whole self and that they belong here at Boston Scientific.”

– Camille Chang Gilmore, Vice President, Human Resources & Global Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer at Boston Scientific

Boston Scientific has been bestowed the 2022 Catalyst Award, an honor given in recognition of their incredible lasting commitment to improving gender representation across their organization.

This tremendous achievement highlights Boston Scientific’s outstanding commitment to improving mindsets as they pertain to cultural competence and the systems in place that manage their organization’s people and culture.

While this award was presented to Boston Scientific in March of 2022, specifically recognizing their commitment to gender representation, their journey to create a diverse and inclusive culture with equitable outcomes for everyone began years before and continues today.

Overview:

Boston Scientific’s journey to becoming a Catalyst Award-winning organization began with addressing the organizational mindset, which meant upskilling everyone from leaders to individual contributors on the value of cultural difference and intercultural competence.

“At LCW we believe that to build a sustainable culture of inclusion within an organization, the collective mindset must be one that comprehends, values, and leverages cultural differences.”

At LCW we believe that to build a sustainable culture of inclusion within an organization, the collective mindset must be one that comprehends, values, and leverages cultural differences. This means that individuals should not only have an intercultural mindset, but they should also be confident that their colleagues and leaders do as well. Organizations can measure their collective mindsets using a combination of individual assessments such as the Intercultural Development Inventory or IDI® as well as collective measurements of the employee experience. The goal is to have mindsets that are generally proficient in intercultural competence – that’s to say, the goal is to develop mindsets that are confident in the value of cultural difference and skilled in the ability to manage cultural difference for better performance.

At the end of 2015, Boston Scientific partnered with LCW to begin developing intercultural mindsets across their global organization with tools designed to address the impact of unconscious bias. LCW delivered keynote messages at high-visibility company events and delivered in-depth training, including IDI® assessments and debriefs to managers and executives in Puerto Rico, Spain, the USA, the Netherlands and Ireland. In 2017, LCW and Boston Scientific launched the Cross-Cultural Learning Partner (CCLP) Program to upskill Boston Scientific’s global Human Resources leaders alongside the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion team in the areas of applied intercultural competence and inclusive talent management practices.

In the CCLP Program, participants of different backgrounds were paired with each other for 6 months of skill-building. Together, they explored scenarios where cultural differences and global diversity impacted their roles. Pairs were supported with assignments that helped build critical skills for addressing the cultural aspects of real-time business issues related to talent management and development, with opportunities to explore themes from their own as well as their partners’ perspectives.

The CCLP Program marked a significant shift in Boston Scientific’s journey. As individual mindsets develop, especially among leaders, the experience of all employees improves. This early work set strong foundations for building a culture of inclusion at Boston Scientific.

Boston Scientific’s foundational work of improving mindsets was put to the test in 2017 when a global employee engagement survey revealed a gap in how employees perceived equal opportunities for promotion within the company.

When asked within the survey if people with equal abilities, education, and experience had equal opportunities for advancement within the organization, 14% of women responded less favorably than men. In addition, responses from Black women and men in Puerto Rico were even further below the overall average. Clearly, there was a perception that it was more difficult for women and people of color to succeed at Boston Scientific.

“HR mindsets were primed to position this data as an important cultural truth within the organization that needed to be addressed. Therefore, rather than shying away from the survey’s ‘bad news,’ the next step was to discover its root cause.”

In a crucial turning point for the organization, the Global HR team accepted this data as a challenge to be addressed. With solid foundations laid over prior years through global training at all levels of the organization and CCLP Program exercises the HR team had just completed (during which they applied an intercultural lens to employee engagement surveys) HR mindsets were primed to position this data as an important cultural truth within the organization that needed to be addressed. Therefore, rather than shying away from the survey’s “bad news,” the next step was to discover its root cause.

What could have been a missed opportunity precipitated a deep dive into organizational culture. In 2018, LCW partnered with Boston Scientific to launch a comprehensive bias audit of talent management systems while continuing to train internal practitioners and business leaders across the organization on managing unconscious bias in talent decision-making and developing intercultural competence. With more proficient mindsets in place, the organization was ready to address the other axis of a sustainable culture of inclusion: the systems.

An organization’s systems are comprised of policies, procedures, processes, and technologies for managing people and culture. In the simplest terms, systems organize how everything related to people and culture is set up and functions. Systems can include many different components, from the employee handbook to the CRM system, but overall, systems are there to support the talent lifecycle and to ensure that the people and culture strategy is executed to support the business strategy.

By the end of 2018, bolstered by LCW’s recommendations from the engagement survey analysis and talent management bias audit, Boston Scientific was ready to establish ambitious metrics for improving talent management systems and thereby increasing both diversity and inclusion within the organization. The organization created its 10/20/40 plan titled “Creating Opportunities for Growth,” which identified 16 specific tasks to accomplish three goals:

  • Become a top 10 inclusive place to work
  • Achieve 20% multicultural leadership at the manager and supervisor level globally
  • Achieve 40% women at the manager and supervisor level globally

By setting these objectives, Boston Scientific began a journey to reimagine the talent systems that created the inclusion gaps identified in their 2017 engagement survey. Now, the organization was simultaneously advancing both foundational components of a sustainable culture of inclusion: mindsets and systems.

Between 2018 and 2020, Boston Scientific expanded training to develop mindsets in the organization, especially the mindsets of individuals responsible for systems development.  A “Managing Bias in Talent Acquisition” bootcamp, expansion of the “Building a Culture of Inclusion” training including additional IDI® assessments and debriefs, reinforcement of key messages through additional eLearning and Video Learning in more languages, and performance appraisal coaching to upskill managers were highlights of the programs deployed by LCW during this time.

“In 2020, [Boston Scientific] surpassed the benchmarks set for themselves, being recognized as a top 10 inclusive workplace, reporting more than 20% multicultural talent at the manager and supervisor level, and reporting almost exactly 40% women in manager and supervisor positions.”

At the same time, Boston Scientific completed all 16 of the tasks identified as a result of their “Creating Equal Opportunities for Growth Project.” In 2020, they surpassed the benchmarks set for themselves, being recognized as a top 10 inclusive workplace, reporting more than 20% multicultural talent at the manager and supervisor level, and reporting almost exactly 40% women in manager and supervisor positions.

Consistently tracking data and measuring results allowed Boston Scientific to know when they had reached their goals. But they did not stop there…

Instead of being content with their incredible improvement, Boston Scientific chose to lean into the progress they made. They moved their goals forward again and developed an ambitious new plan.

The “3 Up by 2023” plan pushes Boston Scientific’s goals even further, setting new benchmarks of 23% multicultural leadership at the manager and supervisor level and 43% of managers and supervisors being women by 2023, while maintaining their designation as a top 10 inclusive workplace.

Perhaps the most remarkable example of how Boston Scientific has invested in the long-term development of both DEI mindsets and systems is the launch of their Anti-Racism and Cultural History program in 2021. This program is more than a single training or event – it is comprised of self-paced learning and discovery, pre-work for facilitated trainings (including IDI® assessments), facilitated training events, post-event discussion guides, and community resources for continued learning and growth.

“By the end of 2023, all Boston Scientific employees across the globe will have the skills and tools they need to recognize and interrupt systemic racism, bias, and prejudice in all forms, both within and outside of the workplace.”

The ARCH program’s goal is ambitious, but worthwhile: By the end of 2023, all Boston Scientific employees across the globe will have the skills and tools they need to recognize and interrupt systemic racism, bias, and prejudice in all forms, both within and outside of the workplace.

ARCH’s multi-faceted educational journey focuses on race and the Black experience framed within a cultural approach to difference that is applicable to other cultural groups and to diversity, equity, and inclusion on a global scale. The program itself focuses on developing the mindsets of all employees, but in doing so, touches systems throughout the entire organization.

LCW continues to partner with Boston Scientific to deliver eLearning modules, Cultural Immersions, “Leading Inclusively” and “Race Matters” facilitated learnings and discussion guides to support this ambitious work globally.

Boston Scientific’s journey to the Catalyst Award exemplifies how improving mindsets and systems must work in tandem to create sustainable cultural change throughout an organization.

Without the foundational mindset work completed over six years before receiving the Catalyst Award, Boston Scientific may not have been primed to listen and act upon the results of the 2017 global employee engagement survey that precipitated the Creating Equal Opportunities for Growth Project, the 3 Up By 2023 Plan, and the ARCH program.

As BSC’s Global CDO Camille Chang-Gilmore so frequently says, “Progress over time, not overnight.”

And yet, despite all of their achievements, perhaps the most exciting part of this story is that the work continues. Boston Scientific marches on knowing that fostering a sense of belonging and creating a sustainable culture of inclusion for all employees is a long and challenging journey, but it’s an endeavor that it is incredibly important and worthwhile. As BSC’s Global CDO Camille Chang-Gilmore so frequently says, “Progress over time, not overnight.”

LCW’s Sustainable Culture of Inclusion Model™

LCW’s Sustainable Culture of Inclusion Model™ is a framework for understanding “success across cultures” and a roadmap for creating it. The model is plotted along two axes: (y) the mindsets of individuals, especially the leadership and management, and (x) the systems which underly the organization’s people strategy.

If you’d like to begin assessing your own organization’s mindsets and systems, LCW is here to help. Meet with an LCW consultant for a preliminary diagnosis of where your organization falls within LCW’s Sustainable Culture of Inclusion Model™ and begin creating more inclusive mindsets and systems within your organization.

Let us help! Schedule your organization’s complimentary preliminary diagnosis using LCW’s Sustainable Culture of Inclusion Model™

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