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Careers in Science & Healthcare Q4 2023

How sense of belonging can help companies compete for medtech talent

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Voronchuk Daria

Jackie Murphy

Chair, Irish Medtech Association Leadership Development Taskforce
and General Manager, Alcon Ireland

Ireland stands out in Europe as the greatest employer (per capita) of medtech professionals, with 48,000 employed. This figure is rising with over 2,300 jobs announced in the first six months of 2023 alone.

Ireland’s global medtech hub boasts 450 companies, including 9 of the world’s top 10, with regional clusters beyond the capital with opportunities in Cork, Galway, Limerick, Waterford, Sligo and beyond. While this high-tech industry is recognised as a driver of growth, with exports of €13 billion, and local investment, what makes it stand out is its commitment to transforming lives.

Need for medtech talent

Medtech is committed to saving and improving lives. There are over 500,000 product types on the market, with constant innovation to reduce health inequalities while improving health outcomes.

To address unmet clinical needs, we need a strong pipeline of world-class talent.

Medtech is with us throughout life — from ultrasounds and contact lenses to

pacemakers and MRI scanners. That is why representation is essential in the medtech industry.

People in leadership should avoid making
diversity and representation exclusive to HR.

Helping all employees achieve goals

Recruiting diverse teams can help foster innovation, lead to better decision-making and, ultimately, help businesses thrive. However, diversity does not necessarily mean that there is inclusivity, which is essential for retaining talent.

In the modern workforce, we are adapting to new models of working with more flexibility as well as a greater emphasis on wellbeing. These policies and practices are integrated alongside other measures to embed measures to foster diversity and representation as part of dynamic business strategies.

Inspiring our people isn’t just about helping them bring their best selves to work on a daily basis but also empowering them to achieve their ambition whether that be to take on new projects, work cross-functionally or reach leadership.

Proactive and thoughtful leadership

People in leadership should avoid making diversity and representation exclusive to HR. Cultural change is needed at an organisational level. Organisations must not focus on diversity while neglecting inclusion. Instead, set clear goals with tailored policies.

By recognising differences, understanding different experiences, creating a safe environment and being sincere, organisations can be better employers and help their talent thrive. To learn and share best practices, I encourage businesses to get involved in the Irish Medtech Association Leadership Development Taskforce.

The Taskforce was originally formed to help increase the number of women working in medtech and progressing to leadership. During my tenure as Chair, with member input, we’ve expanded our focus to include racial equity and multiculturalism, as well as LGBTQI+ and allies.

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