Diversity is the Essential Ingredient for a Global Company

By: Emily Lai, director of design

Growing up, I knew I would work for a global company one day – I was born in Hong Kong and attended college in the United States. Living in two very different cultures gave me the foundation for a diverse career. After college, I went on to work with companies in France, Japan and the United States. Then, I joined Jabil’s Radius division in Hong Kong in 2010 and found the markets and diverse customers we serve matched not only my career interests but also my skills.

The work of a designer requires understanding customers’ individual needs and expectations, which are greatly impacted by where that customer is based. Because of that, we localize and customize designs that best meet the desires of each customer. It’s not ironic that I chose a career that is naturally diverse – it satisfied my passion and career goals. For those who don’t work in this field, though, there are still ways to be ‘universal.’

Working globally can positively impact someone’s career because it gives so many opportunities for them to learn about various markets and learn to adapt their thinking and project deliverables to meet the expectations of diverse end-users.

What can help make someone think more ‘globally’?

Upbringing is just one element that prepares someone for a global career, such as myself and living in places where I was exposed to different cultures at a young age. However, not everyone is able to have that type of childhood, so it’s also important to take every chance to gain global experience: accept internships in cities or countries away from home, take international studies courses in college, or volunteer to work with teams at other sites.

To be a global company, we need a diverse workforce, and it’s our responsibility as managers and leaders to empower employees to gain those skills and experiences. As employees of Jabil, we all need to remain open-minded in accepting and adopting new cultural nuances to better serve our customers and ultimately the product users.

My favorite way to think of the idea of ‘working globally’ and the way I explain this philosophy to my team is that it’s like a pizza: the company itself is the traditional pizza base with crust, cheese and sauce, but the variety of toppings represent all of the local cultures we work in. The more global a company is – or the more pizza toppings there are – the more diversity of thought and variety of resources there are available to innovate and positively change the world.

Building a Confident, Diverse-Thinking Team

 

By: Andrea Boettger, senior assistant treasurer director

 

When I joined Jabil 16 years ago, I had no idea I would find myself in treasury, but that’s the fun thing about working for this company – you have the freedom to try different things, join other departments and use your unique experiences to positively impact the business.

Starting out in the finance department as a controller, I was hired to build the local team at Jabil Vienna after an acquisition.  I was able to grow into a finance leader role for the design engineer team and later a global controller for Electronic Manufacturing Services’ Design and Engineering Services department. Then, just about six years after beginning my career at Jabil, I was asked to lead the treasury function in Europe. However, I must admit I knew nothing about the department at the time. In the beginning, what I found to be more helpful was that I knew Jabil’s business and network, having used my previous positions to learn about other departments and people at Jabil. Treasury is so diverse regarding the type of work and the different finance backgrounds of those who make up the field.

Knowing this, I always encourage those working for me to understand other functions and roles at Jabil. It’s just another aspect of my training for new employees – in order to successfully meet the needs of the business, we must understand all the aspects and know the people who impact it.

This line of work is very connected to the entire company; it’s tied to all types of company actions, which makes it interesting and unique. With such diverse roles and projects, it’s also important that our team is varied. In order for our team to be successful and support the diverse functions, I focus on continuously welcoming everyone’s different ideas.

Recently, I hired a new manager who came from a shared services center in Budapest, and I’ve encouraged him not to look at just what Jabil is doing but compare it to what he is bringing from his previous experiences. I encourage him to suggest and challenge how our department is working because we can’t continuously improve if we don’t create an open channel for change – and our employees are those channels for change.

My focus as a leader is to motivate my team to ask questions and make sure they know there are no stupid ones. Managers and their employees need open communication lines to grow their expertise individually and collectively. I don’t push my ideas or opinions on my team members because I value their ideas, experiences and thoughts. It won’t benefit anyone or the company if we all think the same way!

If your team comes in and does their own thing the same way, every day then I believe people lose motivation very quickly. It’s great to have employees who are to committed their job, but if that motivation is lost, then we start losing a fundamental element of a great team. What makes the job most enjoyable is having a team of people who love what they do. As a Jabil leader, I’m honored to have the responsibility to build up a confident, successful team.

Be Resilient and Stay True to Yourself

Photo by Wang Jiandong from Common Wealth magazine

 

By: Jessie Tsai, operations manager

 

Throughout anyone’s career, it’s likely that he or she could face a lot of criticism, and three beliefs accompanied me through it all: one, stay true to your values and do the right thing; two, be resilient; and three, learn from all kinds of people.

I began my career in finance, and while I worked for a manufacturing company in Shenzhen, China, I realized that to bring in revenue for the business, I needed to see where the money is being spent at the facility and make sure the concept of cost was in the minds of all employees. That’s when I got out of my office and started working on the production floor, interacting with all departments and line leaders, managing costs while also learning about the manufacturing processes.

To understand every process, I took it as an opportunity to soak up knowledge from many different employees, which laid the foundation for my plant management career. This opened the door for me to take a plant manager position that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t left my desk. I continue to learn from others because I see it as a give-and-take relationship; one that creates strong engagements over time and a positive cycle for all involved. Today, our team at Jabil’s Green Point facility in Taichung is recognized by our customers, confirming that our management style and direction are correct.

Throughout my career, I faced unconscious bias, or gender stereotypes, from clients who were surprised to see a female as an operations manager, and this is when the knowledge I gained from working with others in the business became even more important. People can’t take away knowledge, and it helps to stay resilient in the face of criticism because you transform those negative feelings into learning and power. To women who are working toward leadership positions, I encourage you to stay confident and strong in what you know.

Lastly, our team always encourages everyone to be loyal to their values. Every industry is challenging in different ways and have a variety of biases to overcome, but it’s important for everyone to maintain their values, keep a positive attitude and be proactive in their actions. This is how you can prevail in any job. It’s my honor to be a member of Jabil Joules, and I will continue to work with you in this safe workplace.

Jessie Tsai was recently featured by Taiwan’s Common Wealth magazine for her inspirational career path as the first female Operations Manager at Jabil Green Point and a role model to all employees at the site and the manufacturing industry.

 

韌不拔,忠於自己

By: Jessie Tsai, operations manager at Jabil’s Green Point facility in Taichung

在任何人的職業生涯中,他或她都可能面臨很多責難,在職業生涯經歷中發現,有三件事一路陪伴我度過所有的挫折:一,忠於自己的價值觀,做正確的事情;二,發表女性特有的特質: 韌性;三,向身邊所有的人學習。

從財務的角度開始我的職涯,當時任職於中國深圳的一家製造公司,從我財務意識中到要能夠為企業帶來更多收入,我們必須清楚資金用在工廠的哪裡,並需要確保所有員工的腦中都有成本概念。因此我離開辦公桌,開始在生產車間中向線長學習並試作,並與部門同事研究甚麼是單位成本,在互動中創造新的成本概念。

為了掌控成本而參與了每一個生產流程,把它視為一個機會,從互動中向夥伴們學習吸收不同的知識,這些習慣及互動架構了我爾後身為工廠管理人員的基礎,走出辦公室並且不斷的和同事們溝通學習, 這種付出和接受的關係,是一種能隨著時間的推移創造强而有力的契約連結,並為所有人創造一個積極的正向圈。今日我們的團隊以得到客戶認同來確認我們不斷的向高難度的技術及管理模式及方向是正確的 。

在我的職涯中,的確會遇到一些無意識的偏見,或者說,從一個運營經理那裡看到了對女性的性別差異,而這正是我在企業中與他人合作時,所轉化獲得的知識變得更為重要。人們不能被剝奪知識,它能幫助你在面對責難時保有堅韌,因為這些消極的負能量能轉化為學習和力量。對於那些正在職場上領導位置的女性,我們一定要很堅定的保有自信。

最後,我們的團隊總是鼓勵大家應忠於自己的價值觀。每一個行業都有不同的挑戰,不同的偏見需要克服,但重要的是每個人都要保持自己的價值觀,保持積極的態度,積極主動行動。這就是你在任何工作中都能獲勝的原因,很榮幸能夠成為Jabil Joules 一員, 在這安全的職場中我將持續和大家一起共同學習 。

 

Jessie Tsai最近被臺灣天下雜誌受邀,採訪她激勵人心的職業道路特色,成為Jabil Green Point第一位女廠長,也是Site和其他製造業所有員工的榜樣。

Penang’s Power Forum: Work-Life Balance

The fifth and final Jabil Joules Regional Power Forum of 2018 was held in Penang and brought together employees across all local sites and Singapore, as well as China, to talk about empowering others and themselves through balancing work and family life, personal and professional growth. Alex Parimbelli, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Enterprise and Infrastructure, welcomed attendees to the South Asia event, setting the tone for an educational and empowering day: “Jabil is investing in Jabil Joules Power Forums taking place at our sites around the world, provoking thought and action; encouraging more women to take leadership positions; and supporting career development.” Alex also shared a personal story of his 19-year-old daughter and her views of work-life balance as she enters the next phase of her life. Alex’s coaching to his daughter was to position herself to have future opportunities and encouraged participants to do the same.

Patricia Lim, senior director of Business Management and leader of the Jabil Joules Regional Steering Committee in South Asia, continued to inspire by sharing her experience balancing career progression while also being a mother and wife. “Here’s a secret: I’m still learning. Each day brings a new set of challenges, and you never know how the day will end. But, it’s okay to ask for help – you aren’t alone.” She continued on how the balance of being a parent, spouse and growing in your career is something everyone faces – whether male or female, entry level or executive management – explaining how having a career and personal life is a partnership.

The event featured keynote speaker Boonsiri Somchit, author of When the Chicken Dies, Everyone Cries and chief operations officer and chief conceptualist of Xtrategize Technologies, who talked about her experience climbing the ranks in multiple finance and operations professions throughout her career and expressing how life is about paying it forward – as she now speaks at events around Asia regarding leadership skills and diversity and inclusion to help build up future diverse leaders.

Beth Walters, Jabil senior vice president and founder of Jabil Joules, hosted a panel of industry and Jabil leaders, including Esther Ng, Jabil’s regional controller for South Asia; Jabil’s Patricia Lim; Dato Seri SH Wong, chief executive officer Malaysian Electronics Industry and former Intel executive; and Tony Ong, chief executive officer of Xtragegize Technologies. The panelists spoke about the importance of communication to create an open dialogue at home and at work about how a career is a partnership.

The final portion of the event gave employees an opportunity to speak with Jabil leadership, including: Beth Walters, Jackie Darling, senior director of Diversity & Inclusion; Joel Leong, director of Talent Management; Vivian Yao, vice president of Human Resources; Ying Guo, director of Business Management; and Zanariah Nordin, senior line manager (and 2018 STEP Ahead Nominee). Topics ranged from mentorships and networking to workplace diversity and unconscious biases.

Beth Walters spoke to the event’s enthusiasm: “These Regional Power Forums were not part of any of our full time jobs, and we really relied on the passion and dedication of our Joules around the world. This is an incredible event full of people ready to make positive change! I’m humbled to be with you all today and can feel the energy of the room, the energy to grow and learn from another. As we finish off this year strong, I ask that you all help us keep this passion and momentum going forward.”

Continuing the enthusiasm, Jabil Joules is just warming up with these Regional Power Forums – look for more coming in 2019!

Taichung’s Power Forum: The Power of Diversity & Inclusion

Another global Jabil Joules Regional Forum was held, this time in Taichung, with nearly 200 Jabil Joules from across Asia gathering last week to connect. While previous regional events in Guadalajara, St. Petersburg and Tiszaújváros centered around topics of inspiration and goal-setting, the North Asia Power Forum focused on “The Art of Balance,” with a focus on the power of diversity and inclusion.

Employees from sites in Chengdu, Huangpu, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Taichung, Wuhan and Wuxi joined Jabil leadership from Asia and Corporate to discuss how our culture of Inspiration can be seen through the importance of balance, from the work-life relationship to diversity and inclusion.

Kenny Wilson, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Jabil Green Point, helped kick off the event by talking about the importance of diversity in the organization, saying, “If a group of people has the same background, whether it’s gender, geography or industry experience, they don’t have diversity of thought. They think the same way, so when they try to solve complex problems, they just can’t do it.”

The event featured an external keynote speaker – Elisa Chiu, chief executive officer of Anchor Taiwan, who spoke to her journey of diversity around the world from growing up in Taiwan, working in the male-dominant financial world of Wall Street in Hong Kong, then transitioning to the start-up industry of Silicon Valley, and finally coming back to Taiwan to work in production. Her advice for the audience was “be strong, say yes and find your place!”

The next portion of the day’s event consisted of a panel discussion in which Beth Walters, senior vice president; Jessie Tsai, operations manager; and MY Lee, senior vice president of operations joined Elisa Chiu on stage to speak about their experiences with unconscious gender bias, moving beyond those biases, mentoring and sharing the benefits of workplace diversity.

Jessie Tsai said, “My experiences over the years have shown how male and female managers demonstrate different qualities, all of which are important for success. It’s important to maintain your value system and positive attitude, along with a proactive mindset, and you can prevail in every job.”

Continuing that discussion, MY Lee also shared, “I’ve always focused on putting the right people in the right positions, regardless of gender, because the tooling industry only requires ‘intelligence’ and not a specific gender characteristic.”

After the panel discussion, the attendees had a networking session with interactive games, where they could meet and share their diverse perspectives from years of experience and unique backgrounds to their different roles at Jabil. “It was a wonderful experience to interact and discuss these important cultural topics with colleagues from different sites,” said Hong Li Chu, engineer from Jabil Taichung Tooling.

The atmosphere was positive, with many attendees looking forward to continuing the important topic with their teams back at their local sites and hosting similar events like this in the future. As Jabil Joules in China look ahead to future events, Beth Walters, founder of the program and panelist, summarized the positivity that came from the event: “It was a real pleasure hearing from everyone on the panel and speaking with the employees from so many sites in Asia, learning how diversity correlates to their experiences and leadership styles. We all play an important role in impacting the future generations of female scientist, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. Everyone is a jewel to the company, and together, we can make the impossible possible!”