What Diversity in Operations Has Taught Me




Author: Roger Shahnazarian, Vice President of Operations for the Americas


Roger Shahnazarian, is committed to advancing diversity, which is exemplified in the recent announcement of Jabil’s two STEP Ahead Honorees for 2018. Clare Dowdalls was nominated by Roger himself, and Paloma Barraza was recognized by Simon Wilcox, a member of Roger’s team.

Meeting new colleagues, hiring employees and establishing new manufacturing sites has exposed me to many new cultures, backgrounds and languages throughout my career. I find it especially promising to be in a field that is continually progressing. What I love about manufacturing operations is that it’s not about finding the best man for the job; it is about finding the best person for the job.

I pride myself in being a leader who tries to break the paradigm that only men can advance in a corporation and am proud of the work Clare, Paloma and our other female leaders have done. Presently, I have three women on my team and plan to have more join us in the next couple of years. The women in Jabil, and all the women in the manufacturing industry, are a bit hungrier for success. They bring higher energy levels to the table, which shows in their dedication and passion to positively impact the business.

Diversity extends beyond the gender paradigm, though. In fact, when I began my career, none of my employees had English as their primary language; they were culturally diverse, speaking many languages and coming from many countries. It was about 26 years later that I managed my first English-speaking Operations Manager, but the diversity I worked around from the beginning helped shape my career and how I lead. This position has given me the chance to visit 67 countries, which has served as an even better learning experience than my college degrees. Because of the diversity I’ve been exposed to, my career journey has been spectacular.

All that I know now is from what I have learned from visiting Jabil sites around the world and learned from the diverse group of people we employ. When you visit these different sites, you learn culture, you learn humility and you learn about yourself: how adaptable you are and how willing you are to take risks. Working with employees from different countries and backgrounds really opens your eyes to the complexity of the business and the world. It still amazes me at times that I am the only person on my staff that speaks one language. I took four years of French in high school, but it can only get me so far as to order a meal in Paris!

But, overall, do you know what diversity brings us? It teaches us more compassion toward employees, customers and the community. It gives us better learning opportunities – we learn so much from people who are not the same as us.

Given the need to have a diverse and inclusive workforce, it’s also important to maintain a company culture that ensures every voice is heard, which I strive to do in my everyday work life.When people know they have an equal chance for every opportunity, it multiplies employee engagement tenfold.

I like to make statements to the employees in my hiring choices, so I can lead by example and demonstrate how I am committed to continuing a diverse and inclusive environment. At my previous company, I hired the first local Chinese plant manager – now that company has seven. Presently, I’m using my position to bring more women to leadership positions to demonstrate my support of the benefits a diverse team offers the field of Operations and beyond. We are all Joules, we are all Jabil.

St. Petersburg Joules Race to Support Breast Cancer Survivors

Aligning efforts with both Jabil Joules’ and Jabil Cares’ focus area of Educate, St. Petersburg employees and family members demonstrated their continued support for breast cancer initiatives and participated in My Hope Chests’ Butterfly GloWalk & 5K Fun Run this past weekend. My Hope Chest is a nonprofit that offers financial assistance for under- and uninsured breast cancer survivors who had a mastectomy during their treatment and are looking for breast reconstruction surgery. The event focused on creating awareness around the impacts of treatment for this type of cancer and empowering survivors.

Similarly, last fall, Jabil Corporate supported breast cancer awareness efforts in partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by sponsoring the Treasure Chests Finish at the 50 race, which had more than 3,000 people from the community participating.

Around the world, Joules are committed to breast cancer initiatives, research and education. Read how many other Jabil sites have shown their commitment to this important health topic.




Jabil Joules Recognized at 2018 STEP Ahead Awards Gala

April 11, 2018, Washington, D.C. – The Manufacturing Institute created the Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead Awards in 2012 to celebrate women who have positively changed the manufacturing industry. This is Jabil’s fourth year participating in the program, with 20 women nominated over the years and eight award winners. Female leaders from Business, Communications & Investor Relations, Engineering, Human Resources, Lean, Logistics, Material Procurement, Operations and Quality have all been recognized for their efforts in improving the industry, the company and their employees.

From left to right: Jackie Darling, Csilla Varró (nominee), Anna Cybulska (nominee), Clare Dowdalls (honoree), Zanariah Nordin (nominee), Beth Walters, Paloma Barraza (honoree), Monica Bowersox, Elaine Zhou (nominee) and Roger Shahnazarian​
This year, two of our female leaders (the most any one company can have awarded) were named 2018 STEP Ahead Honorees. Our honorees were General Manager of Great Oaks (San Jose), Clare Dowdalls, and Chihuahua Site Controller, Paloma Barraza. Clare Dowdalls has made it her personal goal to advance the careers of those working around her, empowering them to succeed alongside her. Paloma Barraza’s dedication to creating a collaborative, inspiring work environment for everyone at the site earned her recognition and respect.

These two female leaders were nominated among eight other inspiring Jabil Joules. Jabil’s 2018 STEP Ahead nominees include:

Ande Johnson, Senior Director of IT at St. Petersburg Corporate

Andrea Wolf, Communications Manager at St. Petersburg Corporate

Anna Cybulska, Environmental Health and Safety Manager at Kwidzyn

Csilla Varró, Senior Lean Coach at Tiszaújváros

Elaine Zhou, Regional Logistics Manager at Shanghai

May Lin, Planning Supervisor at Taichung Tooling

Nancy Chang, Specialist at Taichung Tooling

Zanariah Nordin, Senior Line Manager at Penang

Yesterday, these leaders were invited to the Manufacturing Institute in Washington, D.C., to celebrate their accomplishments and to be recognized for their commitment to the field of manufacturing, alongside more than 100 other women across the globe that the Institute recognized this year. The Joules in attendance heard from Senior Vice President of Communications and Investor Relations and founder of Jabil Joules, Beth Walters, and had the opportunity to connect with their fellow Jabil nominees from around the world. The women also had an opportunity to learn from two Manufacturing Institute leaders – AJ Jorgenson, Associate Vice President of Strategic Engagement, and Carolyn Lee, Executive Director – about the STEP Ahead Pledge, the impact female manufacturers have on the industry and what women collectively can to do for future generations. Guest speaker Suzanne Rich Folsom also spoke to the group of Jabil Joules during a private luncheon on Tuesday afternoon before the evening festivities.

Congratulations to all the women recognized, and thank you for your leadership and inspiration!

Andrea, Anna, Csilla and May are Committed to Integrity

The Manufacturing Institute’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead program was created to showcase women who are positively impacting the manufacturing industry. Women are nominated for their continuous dedication to improving the manufacturing field, inspiring others and leading by example. This year, Jabil’s STEP Ahead nominees all demonstrated their passion to inspire — these four of the nominees exemplified their dedication to Integrity.

Jabil’s Nominees

A key part of being a great leader involves being responsible for the well-being of employees, the company and the community, which Andrea Wolf, Anna Cybulska, Csilla Varró and May Lin have demonstrated in alignment with Jabil’s culture of Integrity and as Jabil Joules.

Andrea’s Commitment to Mentoring

Working with integrity includes being an accountable leader, which Andrea Wolf has proven over her four years at Jabil. She proactively searches for opportunities to enhance her team’s skill set by finding new, more efficient capabilities – always keeping employees’ and the company’s well-being top-of-mind. “Instead of working on projects in the same way as they have been done in the past, Andrea looks at the problems in different ways and researches if a system or process improvement could be made,” said Senior Director of Corporate Communications, Michelle Smith.

Lean Bronze certified, Andrea implements lean strategies in business and change communications to improve the way information gets to Jabil’s employees and leaders. Her passion for education runs deep, as Andrea’s background consists of working in higher education and volunteering with multiple school-based programs. Andrea currently participates in the Walking School Bus where she walks students safely to school; an annual school supply donation drive; and being a mentor at a local middle school. Andrea can be counted on to put innovation, integrity and others first.

Safety First for Anna

As Kwidzyn’s Environmental, Health and Safety Manager, Anna Cybulska exemplifies Jabil’s culture of safety first in her everyday work life. She has introduced multiple initiatives to improve the workplace for employees not just at her site in Poland but across the globe. One of her recent projects was creating a forklift with a built-in sensor that knows when people are walking by and immediately stops, keeping employees safe on the factory floor.

As a leader, Anna not only ‘thinks big’ with all her tasks but also encourages her employees to do the same and advocates on their behalf. “Anna’s work in employee safety is a testament to her dedication to speaking up on behalf of those in manufacturing,” said Tibor Czako, director of operations at the site. Her dedication to the safety and well-being of those around her can also be seen in the community, exemplified by her quick reaction to help people in Kwidzyn recover from a major storm that resulted in flooding and destruction. She organized a donation drive, collecting food, clothing, blankets and other necessities.

Csilla Does What’s Right, What’s Needed

Like many Joules, Csilla Varró, is dedicated to lean practices to help lead her team, department and site to success. As the Senior Lean Coach at Jabil Tiszaújváros, Csilla’s hard work and dedication to the site has been proven time and time again. She took initiative, becoming the first employee at the site to be Lean Bronze certified, and quickly set out to share her knowledge. “Csilla took her success and turned it into a tool to mentor,” said Krisztián Aczél, business unit director. “Her passion for continuous improvement has proven to be contagious, as many of her employees have taken lean certification courses and participated in a company-wide best practices competition.”

Csilla not only mentors her employees to grow professionally but also leads by example – she returned to school to earn a degree in logistics engineering after joining the Lean Logistics team. Promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics education is important to Csilla, and she shares that passion with young girls in Tiszaújváros through a Girls Day event she organized that invites young females from the community to the facility to learn about the possibilities of a career in STEM.

May Improves Production and Environment

Similarly, May Lin is passionate about bringing awareness to STEM, which is evident through her work to bridge employee training with the latest technical advancements. She’s an early adopter of new technology, sharing her knowledge so employees can thrive at the Taichung facility. “May always advocates for the implementation of best practices at the site, which has not only positively impacted employees but also helped broaden our customer base,” said Director of Operations, Kanghai Wang.

Working with integrity, May remains committed to projects from start to finish, working cross-functionally to ensure success. Along with being a well-respected leader at the site, she also works hard to improve the community and environment. May focuses on the environment, and along with her team, created a system that reduces CO2 emissions and minimizes production’s impact on the surrounding Taichung community.

With a commitment to integrity, safety and continuous improvement, these four nominees are paving the way for future female leaders at Jabil and across the manufacturing industry. Congratulations Andrea, Anna, Csilla and May!



Ande, Elaine, Nancy and Zanariah Inspire With Ingenuity

The Manufacturing Institute began the Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead initiative in 2012 to showcase women across manufacturing who are recognized by their company’s leadership. This year, we had eight extraordinary nominees, who have all positively impacted Jabil and the field of manufacturing.

Jabil’s Nominees

Jabil’s 2018 STEP Ahead nominees have showcased their commitment to innovation, collaboration and bringing a positive attitude to work. Four nominees – Ande Johnson, Elaine Zhou, Nancy Chang and Zanariah Nordin – were recognized for their dedication to helping others succeed, both in and out of the workplace. Each woman’s story exemplifies Jabil’s culture of inspiration and ingenuity and provides hope for future female talent in the manufacturing industry.

Elaine’s Community Connections

Helping the less fortunate is a passion for Elaine Zhou, Regional Logistics Manager at Jabil Shanghai. She extends her work to many organizations, including those that help children with autism, children in orphanages, the elderly and those living with disabilities. While Elaine’s personal goal is to empower underprivileged community members, she aligns her professional goals to support her site and employees to help everyone be successful. The logistics system she developed, for example, has received many honors and awards, including winning first place at Jabil’s Deliver Best Practices continuous improvement competition and the 5-Star Best Performance Award – the highest customs honor in China. Elaine’s ability to collaborate with many diverse shareholders, those in the community and at the Shanghai facility, is what makes her shine as an inspiring leader.

Ande Bridges Passions

Ande Johnson, Senior Director of Information Technology at St. Petersburg Corporate, focuses on collaborating within her department to transform mindsets from infrastructure-centric to technology as a service. Her work creating a new energy management platform, which will help with company-wide energy cost reduction, is just one of the many large projects she is using to reshape the world of IT at Jabil. Outside of work, Ande is dedicated to inspiring the lives of youth. She created “Tech Tuesdays” at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg to introduce children to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. With this program, Ande has found a way to bridge her passion for technology with her desire to help children.

Zanariah’s Commitment to Mentor

Similarly, Zanariah Nordin, Assistant Production Manager, gives back to her Penang community by sharing her knowledge. As an instructor at multiple local polytechnics and institutes, she is able to empower and influence the minds of the next-generation technical workforce. “Zanariah is an inspiring leader and shares her expertise to help those on her team grow and succeed,” said Vice President of Regional Operations, Kim Seong Lai. “Her success as a senior line manager comes from her drive for continuous improvement.” Working at Jabil for 22 years, she has become an expert in many areas but is best known for her abilities to handle complex issues with ease and turn negative situations into positive, learning experiences.

Nancy Embraces Collaboration

As one of the youngest leaders at her site, Nany Chang may have less tenure than other nominees, but she has clearly demonstrated her ingenuity through her analytical skills, lean practices and ability to take calculated risks. Nancy is a strong leader, dedicated to continuously improving work processes and mentoring those on her team to succeed. As a specialist in the manufacturing engineering department at Jabil Taichung Tooling, Nancy keeps projects on-time and under-budget, while continuously increasing process efficiency. Her passion is not only to continue to grow professionally but also includes sharing her knowledge and experience with others so they can also succeed too. Like our other Jabil STEP Ahead nominees, Nancy is committed to teaching others: she provides training course for both students and other Jabil employees through partnerships with local universities to better prepare them for a role in manufacturing.

With their inspiration and passion, these Joules are encouraging examples for their peers and Jabil. Congratulations to Ande, Elaine, Nancy and Zanariah!

Look for more inspiring Jabil leaders next week as we share more on Jabil’s 2018 STEP Ahead Award nominees.