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Sustainability Report > Workforce > Diversity & Inclusion
Sustainability Report

Diversity & Inclusion

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Board and employee composition

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Incidents of discrimination

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Edwards Lifesciences’ work to promote Diversity and Inclusion serves our Aspiration to Attract and Engage Talented Employees.

DEFINITION
Promoting diversity in Edwards’ leadership, employee population and suppliers through fostering an inclusive culture.

MANAGEMENT APPROACH
ANNUAL PERFORMANCE

Management Approach

Diversity is foundational to Edwards Lifesciences’ work to innovate life-saving therapies. We encourage our employees to share novel ideas, take risks and push the boundaries of traditional norms for thinking and creating. For this, diverse talent is crucial. We believe change leads to improvement, and envision a culture that actively values diversity and is inclusive of people from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.

Governance for Diversity

Edwards has convened a Diversity and Inclusion sub-committee within our Executive Leadership Team (ELT).

The group discusses strategies around employee resource groups, intentional versus organic efforts and results from Diversity and Inclusion programming. We aim to have 100 percent of ELT, Senior Leadership Team (SLT) members and their direct reports complete the Leveraging Diversity Training by 2018.

Our Quality Diversity and Inclusion Council has a mission to introduce diverse thought into technical teams and recruit talent that reflects Edwards’ diverse customer base. The Council conducts national outreach to attract diverse talent, such as recruiting at engineering conferences for minorities. It also collaborates with the Edwards University Recruiting Team to engage with university chapters such as the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers.

The Council continues to expand its focus to include networking and learning events for Edwards employees. For example, Edwards established an Employee Resource Group called the African Heritage Forum (AHF) whose mission is “to foster a community that attracts and enables Edwards’ employees of African Heritage to be connected, empowered and reach their full potential contributing to Edwards’ success.” AHF hosts a variety of networking activities and group events designed to create a sense of community as well as provide career development opportunities for members. Some of these activities include:  

  • Quarterly learning opportunities from one of the following:
    • Panel discussions about managing your career at Edwards featuring guests from our executive or senior leadership teams
    • Speed Mentoring with senior leadership team members
    • Leadership development classes
    • Surgery Observation opportunities to see our products in clinical use
  • Monthly Mix & Mingle social events
  • Welcome Reception for summer interns recruited from the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) to accelerate their onboarding and pave the way for a positive internship experience

Building a Diverse Workforce

Embracing a diverse workforce helps drive Edwards’ commitment to innovation. Companies that recruit diverse talent have a stronger pool of ideas, perspectives and skill sets that can lead to discovery.

Edwards’ commitment to diversity includes the hiring of U.S. Veterans. Those who have defended our country bring strength, integrity and unique technical knowledge to our team. We are active in the MedTech and BioTech Veterans Program, which connects transitioning military professionals with careers in life sciences companies.

Preventing Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias refers to the underlying beliefs, perceptions and assumptions we develop based on our past experiences. They can frame the way we look at the world. As Edwards advances our culture of inclusion, it is important we educate employees around the identification and adjustment of unconscious biases.

Our Leveraging Diversity workshop, offered to employees at the managerial level and above, addresses unconscious bias by encouraging inclusive thinking and behaviors from the top down. Post-training evaluations have shown the sessions are effective in changing peoples’ mindsets on how they promote, hire and engage with colleagues.

Engaging Employees in Diversity

Our employees participate in several associate resource groups that celebrate and advance diversity. These include:

  • Women in Leadership Initiative—Supports female leaders across departments and locations through networking and leadership development sessions
  • Women in Senior Leadership—Provides support for women at the senior leadership level
    and above
  • African Heritage Forum—Fosters a community that attracts and enables Edwards’ employees of African heritage to be connected and empowered, and reach their full potential
  • Veteran’s Group—Builds a community of Veterans and Veteran-minded employees at Edwards to enhance employee engagement, drive Veterans talent strategy and serve the Veterans community

Annual Performance

Our long-term vision is to become a leading workplace for diversity and inclusion. Edwards’ 
Diversity & Inclusion Council within our quality department reflects our growing priority to foster inclusive thinking and increase the diversity of our workforce. To that end, we aim to have 100 percent of ELT, Senior Leadership Team (SLT) members and their direct reports complete the Leveraging Diversity Training by 2018. In 2016, 26 percent of this group had completed the training.

In 2016, Edwards expanded our inclusion program to include two new employee resource groups, Friends of Veterans and the African Heritage Forum. Edwards provided our employees with
diversity training and held all-inclusive events on campus to promote inclusion among coworkers. Edwards attended the National Society of Black Engineers and recruited interns as well as permanent employees. We continue to strengthen our partnership with local universities to help diversify our workforce.

Our Diversity Profile

Edwards’ executive leaders emphasize that diversity isn't about numbers or statistics. It's a way of conducting ourselves and our business that must be integrated into our behaviors and practices. Edwards’ vision is to foster a culture that actively and consistently values diversity.

Global Employees by Gender in 2016

  • Female
  • Male

Global Employees by Type in 2016

  • Professional
  • Hourly

Global Employees by Ethnicity in 2016

  • Asian
  • Hispanic
  • White
  • Black
  • Pacific Islander
  • Other

Women’s Ranks in Leadership 2016

Executives in C-Suite

21%

People Leaders (includes VPs, Directors and Managers)

33%

Non-people Leaders (entry-level)

66%

Sustainability Targets
Aim to have 100% of ELT, SLT and their direct reports complete Leverage Diversity Training by 2018.
Attract and Engage Talented Employees
Highlight Story
African Heritage Forum Fosters Connection, Empowerment and Development
Edwards’ Employee Resource Group, the African Heritage Forum (AHF), has a mission that focuses on fostering “a community that attracts and enables Edwards’ employees of African Heritage to be connected, empowered and reach their full potential contributing to Edwards’ success.” AHF hosts a variety of networking activities and group events designed to create a sense of community as well as provide members with career development opportunities. 
DEFINITION