The South African Medical Technology Industry Association (SAMED) and its board members initiated and hosted a successful event that sought to draw attention to the inclusion and rise of women in the medical technology and devices industry of the country.
The association invited key industry leaders and decision-makers to discuss the challenges and opportunities for women in the sector, whilst also sharing best practise of how companies can build the right policies and processes to enable the success of women.
J&J MedTech Managing Director for Southern Africa and board member, Dave Roberts, made sure to call out the urgent need for transformation: “It is no longer a conversation that needs to take place during women’s month, or amongst women only, but it has become imperative for more men in the industry to get involved in creating space, opportunities and offering a changed mindset for more women to thrive within medical technology in South Africa.”
Dave was joined by a handful of SAMED members on a panel, who all shared their goals and objectives in increasing the roles and policies their companies adopt to align with diversity and inclusion.
The event’s objective was reached, and new perspectives were shared by those in the audience as well.
Furthermore, Dave pointed out: “The event is well and good, it is an impactful way to show our commitment as leaders to diversity and inclusion – it is now up to all of us to continue the conversations, action the solutions raised today, share best practice and have tangible results when we reconvene again on this topic.”
When later asked about Johnson & Johnson’s specific goals and programmes, Dave strictly outlined J&J’s commitment and shared further views on what is important for the medical technology industry- as a whole- to consider. He outlined two key buckets:
Utilise the existing culture of accountability: Ensuring that there is a target on a wall that is understood by everyone is important, it is even more important that there is a leader/s that is responsible for facilitating forums, collating data, and reporting back to the business executives on how diversity is tracking. Action needs to be consistent/frequent and honest. Policies and responses should be different from company to company because the challenges faced will vary. At J&J, there is a dedicated transformation lead and a team that work towards and are reviewed against objectives.
‘For all’: At J&J, we have a Credo that asks of us to work towards a healthier world for all. This concept of ‘for all does not end with our services and products only, but also extends to how we respond to, for example, diversity and inclusion. Will the increased inclusion of more women in medical technology be of benefit to all? And the answer is ‘yes’. Healthcare research has shown that when inventors set out to solve a health problem, male inventors are more likely to solve for a male-oriented condition; women-led teams solve for both. Medical technology’s role in the healthcare system is to solve problems for all.
Medical technology or medical devices as its was previously known, is a specialist industry-leading in creating and providing technology, tools and devices used to perform life-saving medical procedures and geared towards the improved, long-term health of patients.
For more information on the industry and its role players, visit: www.samed.org.za