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Diversity & inclusion drive achievement

At Stryker, we encourage, value and leverage the diversity of people, perspectives, experiences and lifestyles to achieve maximum business performance. It is critical to our success that we have a workforce as diverse as the patients, professionals and communities we serve in over 100 countries around the world.

We create engaged and inclusive teams that encourage people to share their diverse insights, perspectives and opinions to help drive innovative solutions that accommodate our customers’ and their patients’ different physical and lifestyle needs.

We are a strengths-based organization that embraces unique strengths and experiences, providing employees the opportunity to fortify and grow their talents and enjoy dynamic career opportunities.

  • Nick Kardonsky

    Nick Kardonsky

    Marketing, Stryker South Pacific Captain, Infantry, US Army

  • Erin Belen

    Erin Belen

    Contract Operations, Stryker Healthcare Systems Staff Sergeant, Army National Guard

  • Nathan Clark

    Nathan Clark

    Quality Systems, Stryker Endoscopy Lieutenant Commander, US Navy

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What advice would you give a veteran job seeker on finding the right role/company (or in making the transition)?

As you transition, you should first seek to understand your personal priorities: what is most important to you? Only YOU can decide this. This might be the first time in your adult life where YOU are responsible for your next career move. You are now responsible for your own happiness and satisfaction with life and workplace. What is most important? Is it location, title, business function, sector of business, or salary? The most overlooked variable when choosing your next employer is the company’s CULTURE. What are the unique cultural aspects of the company that make it unique? What are the most widely accepted “norms” for the company? Are people competitive? Do people strive to achieve and win throughout all business functions of the organisation? Are people generally positive and happy in the workplace? Are most people employed in the company good team-mates to work with and work-for?

These are extremely important questions to consider as you embark upon deciding where you want to work. These are questions most service-members have never considered, as most of your assignments have been mandated/ordered through the military chain of command. I would much rather work for a company whose culture allows me to be myself. I don’t need to hold back on my desire to achieve and win. This is the cultural norm. I would much rather work in an environment where I’m accepted and rewarded for being myself, then perhaps making a little bit more money in an environment that didn’t blend well with my personality. Many people leave companies not because of grievances in pay, location, or sector: they leave because their personality traits don’t blend well with the culture of the employer.

The culture of Stryker is very similar to what I found in the military: be a good team-member, be committed and dedicated to good work, strive to be your best, never let your team-mates down, and work hard/play hard!

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What previous experience in the military prepared you for the corporate world?

My military experiences have shaped me as a person and as a leader. It has helped prepare me for the corporate world by teaching me accountability, urgency, attention to detail, and teamwork. I lead a team in Iraq and for the first time was responsible for others and accountable for our teams safety and performance. This was where I developed my lead by example style. I was driven to be the best and my competitive spirit served me well both in the military as well as at Stryker.

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What advice would you give a veteran job seeker in making the transition?

The key to a successful transition is to get out there, get involved, and get connected. I was put in charge of Endoscopy’s Internal Audit program which greatly increased my interaction with almost all aspects of the business. If your new role doesn’t naturally interact with other teams, you should make these connections yourself; through 1:1’s with cross-functional managers, shadowing other teams to get an understanding of their day-to-day functions, and getting involved in division-wide groups such as Toastmasters, Cross-functional trainings, Stryker Connect (Stryker’s global collaboration platform and company-wide intranet), Stryker Activities Committees, or even joining the Internal Audit team.

  • Tamara Sniffen

    Tamara Sniffen

    VP Integrated Business Planning & SWN President

  • Eleni Spiridonos

    Eleni Spiridonos

    Regional Manager, Orthopedics Sales, Stryker South Pacific

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As a female leader, how do you integrate your work life with your personal life?

When I started at Stryker in 1999, we recognized employees who left their “home life” at the door when they entered work. Those were the years before we had work cell phones or laptops, and we were able to get our responsibilities completed during traditional work hours.

Today, working in a global role where the lines between career and life are substantially blurred, we have to focus on the endgame of driving results and success in all areas of life and not worry so much about what time of day we’re getting the work done. In the past, taking a run at 9:00 a.m. would have been out of the question. Today, with half of my team in Amsterdam (and living in California myself), there are many days where I start at 5:00 a.m. By 9:00 a.m., I’m comfortable taking a break to run. It took me a while to get over the perception of doing personal things during the traditional work week, even though work had substantially crept in to “off hours.” Taking care of myself and my family at the times needed, even if it doesn’t fit traditional norms, allows me to do my best for Stryker.

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You’ve progressed through sales roles of increasing responsibility – to what do you attribute your success at Stryker?

Clarity, ownership, open communication and strong performance are key. It is important to understand that my positions at Stryker have been about integrating my work with my young family. I conveyed how strongly I felt about raising my children in their early years, and at the same time, the importance of my work and how I would add value to Stryker.

I’ve always applied my strong work ethic, initiative and commitment to getting the job done right. I also have solid relationships with customers and internal personnel across Stryker. My success also couldn’t have come without this network of people, including mentors, who inspire me, managers who support my development, and family members who assist me so I can focus on my work goals. I am proud to work for a company that offers opportunities for new responsibilities, new challenges and an inclusive environment.