Uzhgorod’s Regional Power Forum: Diversity Leads to Innovation

The Jabil Joules Regional Power Forums are creating positive energy around the diversity and inclusion efforts at Jabil sites across the globe with the latest empowering event organized at our site in Uzhgorod, Ukraine, last week. Employees heard from executive, regional and local leadership and learned how diversity leads to innovation.

The idea of how individuals’ unique characteristics play an important role in company culture has been a popular topic at the Power Forums this year, with the Ukraine site focusing on how diversity also impacts innovation and the progression of the technology and manufacturing industries.

Alessandro Parimbelli, executive vice president and chief executive officer, shared some personal experiences and emphasized how every employee has the ability to positively impact Jabil’s future. And the Joules event was a great way to connect everyone around that idea. 

Diversity comes in multiple forms whether it’s cultural, generational or due to educational or work experience. Jabil Uzhgorod Workcell Manager Silvia Likhtej is a prime example of such diversity with her background including dual university degrees in statistics and law and work experience including Lean, engineering and project management. During the panel session, Silvia told the audience that each time she moved into a different function, she brought a unique perspective with her from the previous focus area, which in turn helped bring innovative ideas to the table.

It’s not just about recognizing one’s own diversity, but it’s also about empowering others to showcase their unique skills. It’s up to leaders and managers to create an open environment for employees to test their innovative ideas. As Sergiy Kartsev, operations manager of Jabil Uzhgorod, shared, “It’s about how we – as leaders – change the thinking of employees from ‘I will try’ to ‘I can’ and finally, ‘I will.’”

 Senior Vice President of EMS Operations JJ Creadon, echoed: “The most important thing we can manage right now is to support our employees’ growth, helping them to understand what career possibilities are available and how they can achieve their goals.”

This event exemplified the Jabil culture tenant of Inspiration and demonstrated the mission of Jabil Joules in action – starting an open dialogue around diversity and inclusion through educating, mentoring and connecting employees.

The final Regional Power Forum of this fiscal year will be next month in Auburn Hills, Michigan – the location and state where Jabil began its story! 

The Value of Education: Learning from Books and Beyond

By: Michelle Binnie, Director of Supply Chain Management

Education has often been seen as the path to one’s first job; however, it’s just as important for continuously growing yourself and your career. Furthering my education has been massively important to my professional development, as I’ve gone back to school twice since beginning my career. However, not everyone has the support system or opportunity to go back to school, a circumstance I was in myself at times, and there are many other ways to continue learning outside of a university or college system.

The world changes on a daily basis, and those who can stay up to date with their learning will become experts in their field and gain confidence in their work. Graduating gave me a great sense of achievement, boosting my personal morale. And in turn, this positive morale impacts one’s team and the company because you become a valued and respected member of the organization.

Four Tactics to Furthering Your Education Outside of School

While I had the benefit of going back to receive a degree in business administration and later my master’s degree, others often don’t have the same opportunities. It takes a lot of time and financial commitment, which is something that prohibited me in completing my degree at first. If that’s the case for you, don’t treat it as a roadblock; instead, find other ways to learn. 

First, I’m a huge proponent of mentoring, having been blessed with many mentors throughout my career. Everyone I’ve asked to be my mentor has said yes; it’s as simple as asking the question. People are often honored you asked to learn from them, hear their stories, and gain insights from their experiences, so take advantage of that to help yourself and build a team of support around you. Secondly, ask questions every day to anyone you work with whether they’re your peer, direct report or supervisor to gain a deeper understanding of the environment around you. You won’t know unless you venture to find out.

The next suggestion is to work with your manager to create a “personal development plan” – if you want to learn something new, then put it in writing and set it as your goal. You can be held accountable to achieve that goal all while having a cheerleader to encourage you along the way.

Lastly, the simplest tactic to learn: read. Read about your passions, whether it’s learning about other departments, a skill or personal desire. Become knowledgeable and use that information for your own and Jabil’s success. 

Who Creates Your Success? You!

Knowledge is powerful and builds confidence which in turn can be shared with your team and aids in coaching and mentoring. I’ve always pushed myself beyond my comfort zone given my inherent need to be continually productive, and I realized additional qualifications would help me achieve the career success I wanted. Starting as a manufacturing operator for Mitsubishi, I quickly learned my talents lie with strategizing and efficiencies, both of which need you to look at the “bigger picture”, so I took on the challenge of getting my HNC (Higher National Certificate) in business administration, which led to an internal promotion at the company. When I started at Jabil in 2001, I realized I wanted to refresh my knowledge of the field and mentally grow, so I decided to embark on a master’s degree in business administration in 2013.

I made a conscious decision to go back to school to further the career I already had set in motion for myself. It’s never too late to learn again, you’re never too old to go to college, and you’ll never regret gaining confidence through knowledge.

Always make an effort to learn new things – it can only help you grow in your success!

How Innovation Plays a Role in Company Culture with Otto Berkes

Otto Berkes, co-founder of Xbox, author of Digitally Remastered: Building Software into your Business DNA, and founder of Bog Bridges LLC, joined St. Petersburg Jabil Joules to discuss the important role innovation plays in a company’s culture. Given Jabil’s cultural value of Ingenuity and working innovatively, this topic resonated with employees in attendance. 

As Otto shared, “You can’t separate innovation into a completely self-contained thing…You never know who’s going to have an idea worth pursuing.” He stressed the importance of making sure there are different perspectives included in brainstorming sessions and the decision-making process. Each of those ideas could grow into something that benefits everyone involved, and ultimately, the company.

He then spoke about the importance of diversity regarding culture and innovation, to which Otto explained that everyone is diverse, even if they don’t think they are: “Think about diversity across different functions. There’s not one formula for diversity; sometimes you need to scratch beneath the surface to uncover certain uniqueness.” His point was contextualized by the representative mix of employees in attendance, varying in tenure at Jabil and departments, including: business, engineering, human resources, information technology, legal and supply chain.

Without diversity, innovation will lose its traction.

The technology industry is rapidly changing, and it’s crucial to encourage and share unique ideas that can help progress the company. Otto stated, “If you can build innovation into the culture as a shared responsibility, that can become an incredibly powerful and self-sustaining part of operations.” Whether you are a manager or not, there’s an opportunity to empower others’ unique ideas by creating a welcoming environment and making your own voice heard, sharing your unique ideas and leading by example.  

In response to a question from the audience, Otto mentioned that innovation isn’t a goal or a single product, but instead, it’s a way of working, demonstrating again the importance of Jabil’s cultural values and the important work of the Joules program regarding diversity, inclusion and helping employees find success at Jabil. 

  

Guadalajara Leader Recognized by CNN’s Expansión Magazine

Each year, CNN’s Expansión magazine names the 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico. The publication focuses on women leaders who have broken barriers in their respective industries and have made notable achievements throughout their career, not only regionally but also globally.

 This year, Shiara Gerardo Chavez, senior supply chain manager at Jabil’s Guadalajara Global Business Center site, was chosen as #78 on their list. Her ability to form and grow a strong supply chain team and improve processes made her a top candidate for this recognition.

 After being nominated by her coworkers, Shiara was responsible for filling out a detailed questionnaire, detailing her contributions to the economy and global impact of her work, which was reviewed by Expansión Magazine to determine her standing among the 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico.

 “I am honored to be recognized, but I would not be here today without the dedication and support of my Jabil colleagues. This recognition is inspirational, and it is proof that if you work hard every day, you can accomplish anything,” says Shiara. 

 Throughout her career, Shiara has had several mentors who provided personal and professional guidance, as well as advice from diverse perspectives. “The best advice I can give to someone is seek out a mentor! Find someone who inspires you to challenge yourself who you can discuss personal and professional goals with, someone who will hold you accountable,” says Shiara. 

 With this national recognition to demonstrate her work ethic, Shiara will continue her work to empower those around her to achieve their own success and will remain dedicated to supporting them along the way. She shared the spotlight with her team and managers, for whom without she said she wouldn’t have received a ranking on the 100 Most Powerful Women in Mexico list.  

 For Shiara, being a Joule and a leader means inspiring those around her, whether that’s in Jabil or out in the community.  

 Outside of Jabil, Shiara is the director of Respiremos Juntos ‘Let’s Breathe Together,’ a civil organization that supports Mexican women diagnosed with LAM (Lymphangioleiomyomatosis). With the help of her community and growing network, she hopes to expand Respiremos Juntos to become a national organization, assisting women with lung disease around the country. 

 The Jabil Joules team would like to congratulate Shiara for receiving this well-deserved recognition! 

Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone Benefits You & Supports the Business

 

By: Angeline Tan, senior business unit director  

 

Even after more than 10 years at Jabil, I feel as though I’m still developing my career plan. It correlates well with my most previous job in strategic planning, a function that supports an organization’s planning process from business priorities and where we focus our resources to ensuring successful operations and employee well being. It’s a department of goal setting, strategizing and evaluating – a similar approach you should take to reviewing your career goals. 

Personally, I’m continuously re-evaluating my goals and strategically aligning my experiences with my future professional needs.

Starting my career in information technology with software developers and consultants, I assumed my career would be bound to the field indefinitely. However, after a few years, I was restless and felt the need to step out of my comfort zone, deciding to relocate, learn other skills, and experience new cultures and ways of life.

… the culture at Jabil welcomes the idea. My advice

to employees is to make the most advantage of this.

I joined Jabil in 2006 as a project engineer and began carving my path throughout the company, including business development, operations, finance, strategic planning and back to business where I am today. One of the biggest benefits for working for a global company like Jabil is the opportunity to take on different roles in diverse functions and learn a variety of skills. It’s not something every company can provide its employees, but the culture at Jabil welcomes the idea. My advice to employees is to make the most advantage of this.

Over the years, each job rotation helped me better understand my peers’ roles and the overall business strategy. Then, ironically, I was in a role where I integrate all these cross-functional teams to assimilate their knowledge and facilitate the crafting of Jabil Green Point’s divisional long-term strategic planning. By joining other teams, it served as a chance to network and gave me the benefit of connecting with diverse people who have unique ideas. I started to see things from different perspectives, which helped me reduce my own bias and increase my cultural knowledge.

Take a leap of faith in yourself

I’ve recently taken on the role as Senior Business Unit Director and continue to strategize, connect and re-evaluate my career path. By changing roles and working with different people in various environments, I challenge myself to overcome routine ways of thinking and sharpen my performance. I encourage other employees to follow suit and take a leap of faith in yourself, join a different functional team, expand your knowledge base and help the business grow alongside you.