Inclusion and diversity

Creating a more inclusive environment

Our vision is to make Medline an employer of choice by creating an inclusive environment where all employees are valued and celebrated. We believe tapping into the richness of our employees’ diversity allows us to find innovative solutions for our customers, who themselves represent a diverse group both in the US and around the world. We are committed to creating a work culture that allows our employees to produce their best work.

Simply put, we want everyone to feel welcome and respected when bringing their uniqueness and authentic selves to work each day.

Building a solid I&D foundation

In 2020, the focus of our inclusion and diversity (I&D) efforts was on laying the foundation for the long-term plans. We began by creating a dedicated function to lead this work. We were also intentional about gathering and analyzing insights from our employees’ feedback and the available data, both quantitative and qualitative, to better understand what is working well and needs to continue—and what areas of opportunity need to be prioritized in our initiatives and programs for the next 12-18 months. Here are some of the milestones we reached in 2020.

Collaboration at all levels of the recruitment process

We took our time and did a comprehensive review of our recruiting and hiring practices, launching several new initiatives in 2020.

Hiring manager training

Our Inclusive Talent Decisions program was rolled out to over 1,400 people managers. The program focused on the following learning objectives:

  • Learn how to recognize and mitigate bias when making people decisions including interviewing, employee development, promotions, succession planning and all key people decisions
  • Engage potential candidates from a variety of different backgrounds and ensure that we are viewing from a “culture add” rather than a “culture fit” perspective
  • Enhance our current practices to incorporate a better understanding of unconscious bias and diversity in decision-making

Enhancing talent acquisition

The Talent Acquisition Team rolled out their internal Talent Acquisition I&D Learning Series focused on education, acknowledgement and tactical action around inclusion, diversity and belonging.

Teaming up for campus recruiting

Our Campus Recruiting Team has put an emphasis on partnering with diverse student organizations and attending diversity-focused career fairs. In 2020, we partnered with the following student organizations:

  • Black Business Undergraduate Society (University of Michigan)
  • Undergraduate Business Diversity Council (Indiana University)
  • National Society of Black Engineers (Purdue University)
  • Society of Women Engineers (University of Wisconsin and University of Michigan)
  • Two different chapters of Women in Business (Indiana University and University of Wisconsin)
  • ALPFA (DePaul University and Loyola University—Chicago)
  • Michigan State University Diversity Career Fair
  • University of Illinois—Chicago Diversity Career Fair
  • Posse Foundation—professional development events
  • Evanston Scholars—professional development events

Expanding our reach—career fairs and summer internships

In addition to these formal partnerships, we also attended five diversity-focused career fairs to help expand our reach in attracting diverse applicants. The Campus Team is making an intentional effort to ensure all candidate slates for hiring managers include gender and racial diversity. The Campus Team also worked with divisional leadership to reserve spots in the 2021 summer internship program for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) that are part of the United Negro College Fund.

In support of diversity initiatives and the new virtual environment, we also invested in a partnership with Handshake—a networking site for college students and alumni to find jobs. This platform will allow us to broaden our reach to schools across the nation and target candidates that want to live in the Chicagoland area. It will also help us strengthen our diversity recruiting initiatives by targeting candidates from underrepresented minorities, while continuing to partner with HBCUs and our Big 10 core schools that have proven success. With their active alumni users, we are also able to utilize the tool for our professional-level hiring efforts.

Improving employee engagement and support

The COVID-19 pandemic created wide-ranging challenges for our employees—both at home and on-site. But it also inspired us to develop new ways to reach out and engage.

Support resources

Our expanded resources offered a range of sessions for employees—including managing stress and uncertainty, shifting to a work-from-home situation as a working parent or living on your own. We also launched support groups in Yammer, an enterprise social platform, where working parents and employees that live alone can exchange ideas for managing their work and lives during the pandemic. To supplement these groups, we hosted different presenters, events and coffee breaks to connect employees over divisions, teams and locations.

Listening sessions

While research can provide a wealth of information, we wanted to hear real, candid and honest feedback from our employees. To make that happen, we conducted 28 employee listening sessions for different groups of employees—African-American, Hispanic, Asian Pacific American, Women, LGBTQ+, veterans and people with disabilities—across US divisions and locations to learn from employees’ experiences, concerns, expectations and ideas to inform I&D priorities and initiatives in 2021 and beyond. We used the summary of the ideas and feedback from the sessions in the development of the company-wide inclusion strategy.

Culture and community

Throughout 2020, we provided learning and education opportunities for all employees by offering webinars with external speakers on the topics of Hispanic Heritage Month and Culture, voting rights, Veterans Day and International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We also offered employees the opportunity to participate in a private screening experience of the documentary John Lewis: Good Trouble.

Employee Resource Groups

At end of 2020, we began the process of forming the first Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). These groups, which will be opened to Medline employees in 2021, will work on impacting our culture and community.

Ensuring supplier diversity

We’re committed to developing relationships with small and diverse suppliers that meet the needs of our customers. These businesses represent a cornerstone of economic development, and our goal is to strengthen that foundation by providing opportunities for high-quality, diverse businesses. Our current vendor roster includes small, minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned and HUBZone enterprises.

Stories celebrating and championing diverse voices


Medline commits $1 million to organizations advancing social justice

Donations will support the United Negro College Fund, NAACP, National Urban League and Black Lives Matter.

View article


Medline celebrates Veterans Day

Medline employees reflect on their experiences and what does it mean to them to celebrate Veterans Day.

Watch video


Medline celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Here’s what this important celebration means to our own employees.

Watch video

Explore more of our 2020 impact