women-in-medtech-2020This year has been one of the most formative for women in medtech leadership roles as representation in the C-suite has reached a new high.

Just 23% of the top executives at the world’s 100 largest medical device companies are women, according to an analysis of Medical Design & Outsourcing‘s annual Big 100 ranking of the top revenue-generating medtech companies.

While that number is up 2 percentage points from 2021, the average composition within the top 100 companies is also up slightly to 22%.

This year has been one of the most formative for women in leadership roles. There were 50 new C-suite appointments. However, 2020 seemingly started the shift in leadership diversity. That year, 37 women moved into C-suite roles in the top 100 companies, followed by 34 new appointments in 2021. Overall, women have moved into 121 new roles in the last three years.

“The fact that the management teams are now tapping into this in 2020 and 2021 are incredibly formative because life changed. Women want to make a change, and companies need to react to that,” Marissa Fayer, the incoming CEO of women’s health company DeepLook Medical, told MDO. “They need to be more accepting and flexible and adaptive to all types of people, including women.”

Our analysis uses information from leadership pages on corporate websites as well as their executives’ LinkedIn pages.

Prevalence and composition of women in C-suite roles ticks up

Of the 942 leadership roles at the top companies, 219 were held by women, for an average composition of 22% within each company.

Just 10 companies listed no women in leadership roles as of Sept. 15. That’s three fewer than in 2021. Those companies include:

  • Bruker (0/6)
  • Nikkiso (0/6)
  • Agfa-Gevaert (0/5)
  • Masimo (0/5)
  • Drager (0/5)
  • Demant (0/4)
  • JMS Co. (0/4)
  • Carl Zeiss Meditec (0/3)
  • Medacta (0/3)
  • Artivion (0/1)

“It makes the business much more profitable, effective and creates better products. From the design standpoint, you will have diverse people looking at how to make something and clinically evaluating it,” Gabi Niederauer, president and CEO of Bluegrass Vascular Technologies, told MDO.

The leading women at the 100 largest medical device companies in the world have titles that break down into the following roles: human resources (48), regulatory (39), divisional presidents (38), finance (37), medical (20), general counsel/legal (19), information (14), communications/public affairs (13), marketing (eight), operations (eight), corporate secretary (four), R&D (two), manufacturing (two) and chief of staff (one). Note that some leaders hold one title for multiple roles, such as “SVP, general counsel and corporate secretary.”

Companies with the highest percentage of female executives are Dentsply Sirona, Haemonetics and Ambu, each with a 50% composition of women in C-suite roles. At Dentsply Sirona, women have held those roles on average for one year, compared to 2.25 years at Haemonetics and less than one year at Ambu.

Among the top 20 medical device companies in the world, women hold an above-average percentage of leadership roles at 26%, which is one percentage point higher than 2021’s tally. However, the average time spent in those positions is just three years.

Few companies have women in the top office

Six companies have women as CEOs: GN Hearing, Barco, Ambu, B. Braun Melsungen, Paul Hartmann and Accuray. Within those five companies, women hold varying percentages of executive roles. Women account for 50% of C-suite positions at Ambu, 40% at B. Braun Melsungen, 33.3% at GN Hearing, 13.3% at Barco and 12.5% at Accuray.

The number of women CEOs is up one from last year, as women CEOs took over at Ambu and Accuray, while Insulet’s former CEO, Shacey Petrovich, stepped down on June 1.

Ambu listed no women in leadership roles on their website in 2021, so having it led by a woman just one year later is a big step toward diversifying its decision-making team. New Ambu CEO Britt Meelby Jensen was previously CEO of Atos Medical prior to its acquisition by Coloplast.

“Progress is not being made fast enough,” Fayer said. “There are amazing, incredible women who are looking for different and new executive positions in the life science space and in the healthcare industry.”

A note on our methodology: We use each company’s leadership/management pages on their website to count top executives at each company. We do not include directors or board members.

Personnel changes

Some medtech leaders have taken on new roles in their organization or moved to other companies within the industry. Below are the women executives from last year’s list who have new jobs, followed by executives who are new to the list this year:

  • Barbara Bodem, EVP and CFO at Dentsply Sirona (previously CFO at Hillrom)
  • Stephanie Bolton, president of international region at LivaNova (previously president of Europe region)
  • Victoria Carr-Brendel, group VP of Cochlear implants and president of advanced bionics (previously group VP of Cochlear implants)
  • Julie Dewey, chief corporate communications and investor relations officer at Nevro (previously VP of investor relations and corporate communications)
  • Amy Dodrill, president of patient support systems and global surgical solutions at Baxter (previously president of global surgical solutions at Hillrom)
  • Kimberley Elting, president of global orthopedics at Orthofix (previously chief legal and development officer)
  • Catherine Estrampes, president and CEO of U.S. and Canada at GE Healthcare (previously president and CEO EMEA)
  • Kjersti Grimsrud, president and chief operating officer of infusion care at Convatec (previously president and chief operating officer of global continence care)
  • Lisa Hellmann, SVP of human resources and corporate communications at Hologic (previously SVP of human resources)
  • Tobi Karchmer, SVP and chief medical officer at Baxter (previously VP of worldwide medical)
  • Heather Knight, president of acute therapies, clinical nutrition, medication delivery, Latin America and Canada at Baxter (previously GM of U.S. hospital products)
  • Margrét Lára Friðriksdóttir, EVP of people, strategy and sustainability at Össur (previously EVP of human resources and corporate secretary)
  • Betty Larson, chief people officer at GE Healthcare (previously EVP and chief human resources officer at BD)
  • Keri Mattox, SVP, chief communications and administration officer at Zimmer Biomet (previously SVP of investor relations and chief communications officer)
  • Laura Mauri, SVP and chief scientific, medical and regulatory officer at Medtronic (previously SVP and chief clinical and regulatory officer)
  • Shana Neal, EVP and chief people officer at BD (previously EVP and chief human resources officer at Owens & Minor)
  • Sumi Shrishrimal, EVP and chief risk officer at iRhythm (previously SVP and chief risk officer at Dexcom)
  • Jessica Smith, corporate VP of global regulatory affairs at Integra Lifesciences (previously VP of regulatory affairs at Hillrom)
  • Suzanne Winter, president and CEO of Accuray (previously president)

New to this year’s list

This year, women moved into a substantial amount of leadership roles in the medtech industry. Below are women who are new to the annual list of executives along with their titles:

  • Lisa Aubert, president of North America, Cochlear
  • Helen Barraclough, group general counsel and company secretary, Smith+Nephew
  • Anne Belcher, president and chief operating officer of global emerging markets, ConvaTec
  • Leigh Benowitz, SVP and chief global digital transformation officer, Henry Schein
  • Lucile Blaise, president of Sleep & Respiratory Care, Resmed
  • Sharon Bracken, head of diagnostics, Siemens Healthineers
  • Vanessa Broadhurst, EVP of global corporate affairs, Johnson & Johnson
  • Margaret Carthy, SVP of quality and regulatory affairs, Integer
  • Trinh Clark, SVP and chief global customer experience officer, Henry Schein
  • Angela Cushman, SVP of quality, Avanos Medical
  • Que Dallara, EVP and president of diabetes, Medtronic
  • Michele DiMartino, chief human resources officer, Intuitive Surgical
  • Tara Dunn, SVP of clinical affairs and market development, Inari Medical
  • Hildur Einarsdóttir, EVP of R&D, Össur
  • Denise Fleming, EVP of technology and global services and chief information officer, BD
  • Elin Frostehav, president acute care therapies, Getinge
  • Michelle Garsha, president of diagnostic solutions, Hologic
  • Tammy Gomez, EVP and chief human resources officer, Owens & Minor
  • Michelle Greene, EVP, chief information officer and global business services, Cardinal Health
  • Iman Jeddi, SVP and GM, Single Port Business Unit, Intuitive Surgical
  • Cherée Johnson, SVP, chief legal officer, general counsel and secretary, Dentsply Sirona
  • Heather Kidwell, SVP, chief legal and compliance officer, ZimVie
  • Patricia Lang, SVP and chief human resources officer, Enovis
  • Britt Meelby Jensen, CEO, Ambu
  • Sandrine Moirez, international GM, iRhythm
  • Tomoko Nakagawa, chief sustainability officer, Hoya
  • Alison Parkes, chief compliance officer, Smith+Nephew
  • Dorthe Rønnau, SVP, people and culture, Coloplast
  • Sumi Shrishrimal, EVP and chief risk officer, iRhythm
  • Urvashi Tyagi, chief technology officer, ResMed
  • Ann Vu, SVP, regulatory affairs, quality assurance and clinical, ZimVie
  • Rebecca Whitney, SVP, global spine president, ZimVie
  • Deborah Yount, chief human resources officer, AtriCure