Commitment to Diversity
"Innovators from different backgrounds bring unique and important perspectives to understanding and addressing healthcare needs – and that is at the core of the Biodesign innovation process."
-Paul Yock, Director, Stanford Biodesign
Diversity Mission Statement
Stanford Biodesign is committed to providing an inclusive and respectful work environment. Our training approach depends on bringing together individuals with different academic and professional experiences who share a passion for health technology innovation. We believe that diversity across multiple dimensions, including gender, age, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds, provides a breadth of perspectives that inspires creativity and helps us innovate for different patient populations. We rely on all of our fellows, students, staff, and faculty to contribute to the diversity and inclusiveness of our workplace and to honor these essential aspects of our culture.
Our ongoing efforts to strengthen diversity at Stanford Biodesign include:
- Promoting our programs to diverse populations and recruiting students, fellows, staff, and faculty with varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.
- Regularly communicating to students, fellows, staff, and faculty why we value a diverse workplace and how they can help foster an inclusive environment.
- Establishing and upholding policies that support an inclusive and respectful work environment, as well as clear processes for identifying and resolving workplace issues in a timely manner.
- Engaging a “task force” of alumni fellows, staff, and faculty to monitor progress against our diversity and culture goals and help us advance in these important areas.
- Connecting with relevant organizations at Stanford University and across Silicon Valley to better understand the state of diversity in the health technology industry and collaborate on ways to improve equity and inclusion in the field.
These actions are the responsibility of the entire Stanford Biodesign leadership team, with help from our Diversity Council. The council, which is made up of alumni from our Innovation Fellowship, has been charged with helping us optimize and expand our diversity and inclusion practices across our programs. It is led by Carolyn Heller, our Director of Operations and Finance.
Programs and Resources
Stanford Biodesign has initiated a number of activities to help us foster a diverse and inclusive culture, as well as equal opportunities for our applicants and trainees. These programs include:
Our diversity council is made up of alumni from the Innovation Fellowship. This group meets bi-monthly to help Stanford Biodesign monitor our culture and work environment, assist in efficiently and effectively responding to issues as they arise, and challenge us to continue improving in the areas of diversity and inclusion. The council also administers a bi-annual survey of our trainees to gather input on our progress and generate additional ideas on how we can improve.
Diversity and Inclusion Working Group
This working group is responsible for developing and directing current and future inclusion activities in support of Stanford Biodesign's diversity mission. The group, which includes representatives from Stanford Biodesign's faculty, staff, fellows, alumni, and the health technology industry, meets on a monthly basis.
Quarterly Diversity and Inclusion Offsites
Every quarter, the diversity council hosts an offsite meeting for those in our community interested in promoting diversity and inclusion efforts at Stanford Biodesign. During these working sessions, we gather feedback, discuss potential issues, and share past experiences on this topic in a supportive environment.
We recently convened leaders across the health technology industry to discuss how we can work together to help improve gender diversity in our field. At the meeting, 50 executives, investors, and entrepreneurs collaborated to more deeply understand unmet gender-related needs related to hiring, promotion, work schedules, company events, and fundraising. Then they brainstormed preliminary solutions to help increase gender diversity and improve work practices for all health tech employees. The organizing committee is currently planning next steps for this important initiative. Stay tuned for more details. In the meantime, checkout these “small wins” that we can all undertake to begin working toward a more diverse workplace.
On Campus Resources
Like Stanford Biodesign, Stanford University has a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. Individuals who come to train with us are encouraged to take advantage of the many resources and programs available across the university. Explore the following links for some examples:
Stanford Biodesign believes in sharing these metrics as one mechanism for holding us accountable to our goal of achieving a more diverse and inclusive community. We are tracking our progress in these (and other) areas and working hard to improve our results.
2019-20 Innovation Fellows
Innovation Fellows Trained Since 2001
Stanford Biodesign Management/Staff/Faculty as of 2019
If you have questions about Stanford Biodesign’s position on diversity or our work environment, please contact Carolyn Heller. We also welcome your suggestions.
More About Us
From the story of our founding and growth to our promise for the future of health technology innovation, there’s so much to discover about Stanford Biodesign.