Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
Daily news about corporate social responsibility, ethics and sustainability

Boston Scientific Promotes DEI and Supports Employees with Disabilities


Shani Bird has been working on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) for her whole career. She joined Boston Scientific, a company based in Marlborough, MA, in 2018 as the director of DEI. Her goal is to make Boston Scientific a place where everyone can succeed, no matter what their background or ability is.
“I help create solutions that can be applied across the employee journey and offer strategic advice to partners around the world,” said Bird. She also recognizes that her work at Boston Scientific has a wider impact beyond the workforce.
“We’re trying to change or undo long-standing systemic issues and help people see beyond themselves.” One of the challenges and priorities of her work is to hire and retain people with disabilities. “We know that people with disabilities have a lot of skills that are not fully utilized. There is so much potential to tap into there and we’re working on that,” said Bird.
“For a company like Boston Scientific that solves problems, it’s essential to have a diverse and rich talent pool that brings different experiences and perspectives. It’s not only the right thing to do — it’s the necessary thing to do.”
Jackie MacDonald, a quality systems engineer, has seen for herself how Boston Scientific is creating a culture of inclusion and belonging for its employees with disabilities. MacDonald has a rare disease called X-linked hypophosphatemia (XLH), which causes chronic bone pain and shorter height. She had to work with her employer to get some accommodations in the workplace, even though it was not easy to talk about.
“There was a time when I wanted to hide my disease as much as I could because I didn’t want to be treated differently. Since I’ve been more open about my disease in the past few years, I feel that my openness has actually opened doors,” she said.
She mentions some of the accommodations that Boston Scientific has provided for her and other employees with disabilities — such as a flexible, hybrid schedule, adding push buttons to bathrooms for handicap access, and providing grabbers in the cafeteria that allow her to get drinks from a higher shelf by herself.