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CELEBRATE IWD. MEET MICHELE

8 March 2018

Michele Blanshard Sept 2015 (2)

As Medtronic’s Country Director for Diabetes in ANZ, Michele Blanshard has a unique insight into one of the regions greatest health priorities. Responsible for all business initiatives across Australia & New Zealand, Michele knows what’s important in addressing diabetes – now and in the future. She is passionate about health literacy for the diabetes community and about empowering people to make the right decisions to manage their health and ‘live well’.

Michele’s experience as both Country Director, and before that as a Regional Manager within the business, has necessitated proactivity in approaching government decision makers, advocacy groups, healthcare professionals and the wider community together to solve the health access issues associated with managing what is widely known as the world’s fastest growing chronic condition – and be part of the solution.

Michele is also a member of the Medtronic Australia Executive Leadership Team and an Executive Sponsor of the Medtronic Women’s Network – a high priority initiative for Medtronic in their pledge to recruit and retain women in leadership positions, improve employee and achieve employee diversity. She represents Medtronic as a Board Member for the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) – a position she was elected to last November – and also sits on two not-for-profit Boards.

Four questions posed to Michele:

The theme for IWD in 2018 is ‘Press for progress’ to help accelerate gender parity. What does this mean to you?

Everyone can contribute to leading the charge on gender pay parity and equality in the workplace. Leading the charge is what we must do as nothing will change without focused and collective action. This is not a ‘women’s only’ imperative but one that all parts of society can contribute to – individuals, organisations, government, schools, community groups. # PressFor Progress should motivate and unite friends, colleagues and whole communities to think, act and be gender inclusive

 What’s the best advice – career or personal – that you’ve ever been given?

  • Every 1-2 years spend some time really thinking about your career. Make sure you’re connected with or reconnect with your network.
  • Take criticism or “feedback” for what it is: a gift given to you to make you better at what you do.
  • If you are afraid or uncomfortable, you are probably onto something amazing! Fear means you are growing your comfort zone.
  • And finally – be nice to people. It’s a very simple motto I try to live by daily

 What motivates you to work in the ANZ medtech industry?

Making a difference! Medical technology saves lives, extends lives, helps people become more informed about how to live a healthier life, helps make caring for others easier and ultimately can deliver long-term savings to the healthcare system – now that’s a worthy thing to get out of bed to do each day!

 By this time next year, what matter relating to healthcare would you like to see solved and/or part of public conversation?

Well, many know about my commitment to drive for equity of access for all people living with diabetes to technology to help them better manage their diabetes SO the problem I would like to see solved is the problem that unless you have private health insurance (PHI) in Australia you cannot access an insulin pump – not fair!  The solution – government funding for insulin pumps for those living with T1D.

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