Hologic Puts Their Money Where Their Values Are on Women’s Health

Hologic CEO Steve MacMillan ’85

Hologic CEO Steve MacMillan ’85

The Women’s Tennis Association stood up to China. That caught Steve MacMillan’s attention in San Diego and led to a groundbreaking partnership. 

MacMillan, a Davidson alum, is chairman, president and CEO of Hologic, a leading global medical device and diagnostics company centered around women’s health.

The WTA demanded an investigation when Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai disappeared in November, after making sexual assault allegations against a former vice premier of China. The association, unable to make contact with Peng, suspended all tournaments in China, sacrificing a large chunk of its revenue.  

Last week the WTA announced a partnership with Hologic as the association’s new title sponsor, a multi-year deal worth tens of millions of dollars.

“It was a cultural fit,” MacMillan said this week. “Our organization’s focus is on the overall wellness of women’s health: mental health, societal health, everything. And the WTA has been an amazingly progressive organization trying to be advocates for women’s rights and women’s equality around the world.”

Hologic has long served as a leader on environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria, a set of standards that includes a socially conscious approach to relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and surrounding communities. 

“It’s part of where I try to bring the Davidson values to leading Hologic,” MacMillan said. “We’ve quietly been doing it and it’s built into our culture. It’s a different company, and part of the reason is that it’s led by a Davidson grad.”

Hologic’s profile across the globe benefits from its name appearing through WTA events and material. That helps business and is part of what MacMillan calls a “virtuous circle.” 

“We’re getting better access to the top ministers of health and leadership around the world,” he said. “They’re hearing our message and that’s having a positive impact on women’s health. It does come back and help our business, and as we get bigger, we can make bigger investments in women’s health in things like the WTA.” 

Additional Coverage

New York Times: Strong Stance on China and Peng Shuai Helps Land WTA a New Title Sponsor

WTA News: Hologic Partners With WTA Tour in Landmark Title Sponsorship

Frontlines Against the Pandemic: Q&A With Hologic’s Steve MacMillan