Conor Russell, Vice President of Operations at Boston Scientific Ireland
Please tell us a little about yourself and your role as VP of Operations for Boston Scientific Ireland?
I am originally from Wexford, Ireland and I studied Engineering in UCD. I joined Boston Scientific 25 years ago, worked in both Ireland and the US and I am now responsible for leading our Clonmel site in Ireland.
I love to go biking up in the mountains, we have some beautiful mountains and scenery near us here in Clonmel that provides a great escape from the stresses of everyday life.
Boston Scientific is a global leader in the medical device industry and provides life-changing solutions to millions of patients around the world. In 2022, we impacted the lives of over 33 million patients with our products and solutions, and we employ over 45,000 employees worldwide.
Our global mission is to advance patient care and our goal is to deliver the highest quality products to our patients. It is so rewarding to be part of a team that has such an impact on patients’ lives.
Over the years, I have met many patients and heard many patient stories about how our solutions have helped transform their lives. It is incredibly humbling and yet, at the same time, inspiring when you meet a patient and hear their story.
I find that it really does motivate you to continue to push for high performance and excellence in everything that you do.
Within Boston Scientific, I have worked in manufacturing across different sites both in the US and here in Ireland in quality, engineering and operations roles. In our Clonmel site, we are responsible for the development and manufacture of medical devices to treat over 400,000 patients each year.
Products created in Clonmel help patients suffering from conditions such as heart disease, neurological disorders, kidney stones, and diseases of the pancreas, bile ducts and oesophagus.
Diversity, equality and inclusion are extremely important to the success of every organisation. Can you please share with us what strategies Boston Scientific Ireland implements to support and promote its DEI strategy?
We believe that our people and our culture are the foundation for our long-term success and in order to attract and retain the best talent, we need to create an environment where everyone feels valued and included.
We are working on a number of different initiatives to support this. We are strongly committed to increasing the representation of women in leadership and globally, we have set our goals to increase that by 3% in 2023.
To help build strong talent pipelines, for the past 11 years, we have used our internal female sponsorship program that matches high potential women leaders with executive sponsors in the company with a view to helping them advance and progress.
We also work closely with our Employee Resource Groups to help us gain greater insight on employees’ experiences and partner with them to build a more inclusive culture.
We have four active ERGs in Clonmel that promote inclusion and celebrate people of any disability, sexual orientation, gender, or age. Our EMPOWHER ERG was initially set up in Clonmel in 2014, is our longest running ERG and focuses on the empowerment and advancement of women.
We also run various education and awareness programs like unconscious bias, LGBTQ+ and Men as Allies for our employees to remove roadblocks and promote greater inclusion.
What are the benefits of having more women in leadership?
Apart from being the right thing to do, increasing the diversity within our teams delivers stronger financial results and more innovation.
Lots of research and studies have proven this and so it clearly has some very hard tangible benefits as well. It so important to have our leadership representation reflect the rest of the organisation.
Doing that right, drives higher levels of employee engagement and increases the levels of belonging people have and how much discretionary effort they bring to their everyday work.
Why did Boston Scientific Ireland sponsor the Grit Female Leaders in Healthcare Summit?
We are so thrilled to be a sponsor partner in this exciting GRIT Female Leaders in Healthcare Summit.
At Boston Scientific, we are very proud of our culture of innovation and over the years we have pioneered and commercialised many new breakthrough solutions for patients around the world.
We re-invest about $1.3bn a year on our internal R&D programs and we augment that by acquiring companies that have compelling new technologies that complement and strengthen our portfolio.
To achieve our mission, which is to advance patient care, it really is essential to have a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem and this program will provide founders with the necessary skills and confidence to grow their businesses and bring their ideas to life.
Last year, I had the privilege to hear some of the inspirational entrepreneurs in the GRIT network program promote their companies and I was amazed by the level of innovation and ideas that are in development.
Supporting this effort is a great opportunity for us to learn more about where the industry is focusing on as we look.