After recently moving with her wife and soon-to-be 3-year-old son, Anna Forsberg plans to spend much of June settling into their new house. It’s going to be a rather low-key Pride month for Forsberg, Director of Strategy and Business Development in Europe, the Middle East and Africa for Medtronic.
And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I came out 25 years ago and I loved to go to Pride festivals when I was younger,” Forsberg said. “But married life with a 3-year-old, a 19-year-old and a dog is very different. I do enjoy reading our stories during Pride month. It makes me believe in humanity and makes me believe that over time things actually get better.”
From parades and festivals to smaller family celebrations, Medtronic employees are celebrating Pride month in a variety of ways. And the one thing each of these celebrations have in common is that they recognize the positive impact members of the LGBTQ+ community are making all over the world.
At Medtronic, the PRIDE Network employee resource group is organizing numerous virtual events and in-person activities for Pride month aimed at promoting unity and community across the company and around the globe.
Shawn Monaghan, Chair of the PRIDE Network, says this year’s Pride month theme, #CelebrateBelonging, reflects the hope that all employees will join together to create a culture of inclusion, diversity and equity within the company and in their own communities.
“It’s wonderful to see so many Medtronic employees who are visible and vocal in their support of the LGBTQ+ community,” Monaghan said. “While there is still much work to be done, we are creating a culture of belonging where employees feel comfortable bringing their authentic selves to work each day. Pride month is a great opportunity to celebrate our accomplishments, reflect on our work and have a bit of fun.”
‘Raise the rainbow’
Many Medtronic employees will be participating in festive flag raising ceremonies at more than 70 of the company’s offices around the world. Last year, the company replaced the traditional rainbow flags with progress flags, which include five colors that represent the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) and transgender communities: black, brown, light blue, pink and white.
The change is a response to ongoing challenges facing these communities, and it underscores the company’s firm commitment to fostering belonging and intersectional representation.
Dr. Sally Saba, Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Medtronic, said the progress flag is an important reminder that the company is helping combat racism, transphobia and social injustice — both inside and outside our walls.
“These symbols matter,” she said. “Symbols create a visual expression of meaning, and an indication of what a group stands for that can transcend to all corners of the world. During Pride month we intentionally ‘Raise the rainbow’ flags everywhere to make visible our commitment to continue creating inclusive environments for all and signaling to every employee that they are welcome and celebrated for their individuality — that we celebrate belonging year-round.”
Proud beyond Pride
The company’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community goes far beyond a single month. LGBTQ+ employees are supported in a variety of ways, as are employees who are raising LGBTQ+ children — employees like Stephanie Fuller.
Fuller’s son is transgender, and through Included Health, a LGBTQ+ care concierge service Medtronic offers employees at no cost, she was able to connect with a team of doctors where she lives in Colorado to help with his healthcare needs.
“I really appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to educate the person I was talking to about the things I was talking about,” Fuller said. “They helped me find doctors that were in-network who had experience working with trans individuals. It was just so convenient and really removed the burden of trying to find qualified healthcare providers.”
In addition to supporting employees, Medtronic also recognizes the importance of fighting for progress for the larger LGBTQ + community. Some of the actions we’ve taken include:
- Joining nearly four dozen North American companies in signing up to mentor LGBTQ+ refugees and prepare them to find jobs while overcoming obstacles like discrimination in their new homelands. Through this work with the Tent Partnership for Refugees and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, employees have committed to mentoring at least 50 LGBTQ+ refugees, which will total approximately 2,250 people over the next three years in the United States, Canada and Mexico
- Signing the Human Rights Campaign’s business statement on anti-LGBTQ+ state legislation and being a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act
- Establishing a partnership with Out & Equal and membership in the Partnership for Global LGBTI Equality
Each of these initiatives underscore the company’s unwavering commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity and creating a culture where all employees can #CelebrateBelonging.