The Challenge

As a highly innovative medical device company, Boston Scientific had established many successful Employee Resource Groups for a broad range of diversity groups and was looking to expand these grass roots teams to include people with disabilities.

The Approach

In collaboration with the Going for the Gold team, Boston Scientific took a holistic approach to Disability inclusion. They initially focused on 5 US sites where they took the following approach:

  • Held 17 in depth manager and HR training sessions, hosted by senior executives
  • Conducted focus groups with individuals with disabilities and those who have family members with disabilities to brainstorm ways the company could enhance disability inclusion, hiring efforts and community involvement
  • Hosted “College Invitational” meetings with local colleges and universities they were already recruiting at, to ensure these schools knew they were looking to include students with disabilities and work through how best to ensure this pipeline of talent was being included in their intern and new grad outreach and hiring efforts
  • Established disability focused Employee Resource Groups, which are now available at the global level and extending to 9 locations
  • Secured the commitment of a local Executive Sponsor for each Employee Resource Group chapter
  • Put in place and made significant progress toward implementing an ambitious and detailed project plan based on recommendations from the GFG team and the employee focus groups at the 5 locations

In addition to this site based approach, at the global level the company identified a Global Executive Sponsor reporting directly to the CEO, and began an innovative hiring pilot at one of their distribution centers working closely with a sourcing partner to train then hire individuals with disabilities.

The Results

June 2014 to June 2017

  • Hired 140 individuals with disabilities
  • Created an external website landing page for candidates with disabilities talking about their commitment to full inclusion and access
  • Established 9 strong disability focused ERG Chapters across the globe
  • Included disability owned businesses in their supply chain strategy through USBLN Disability Supplier program
  • Scored 100 on the USBLN Disability Equality Index
  • Active Sponsor of the USBLN annual conference for 3 consecutive years, this year serving also as the Rising Leaders Academy Track Chair and providing thought leadership via several panels and discussions.
  • Participated in the USBLN Rising Leaders Mentoring Program
  • Welcomed first service dog to the company – prepared the site for the service dogs arrival, established a department and site communication plan and issued the service dog an employee badge

The company has been recognized by many organizations including the OFCCP as a disability inclusion best practice employer, and has begun to expand these practices to their locations in other countries.