From the Web: Girl Scouts Inspire the Next-Generation in STEM

The STEM Pledge

Girl Scouts of the United States of America are about more than just cookies! The nonprofit builds girls’ courage, confidence and character through a variety of hands-on activities, and it recently launched a STEM-focused initiative called the “Girl Scout STEM Pledge.” The goal is to put 2.5 million young girls through the organization’s science, engineering, technology and mathematics programs by 2025 and prepare them for the nearly one million careers that will be available at that time in the related fields (USBLS, 2017).

The Need

Based on the latest research regarding the future of careers in STEM, there is a gap between the number of females graduating college and those who have a job in any field. The United States Department of Education (2017) found that, in general, well over half of college graduates were female, however the general workforce remains at about 48% female, with the STEM workforce even lower in regards to percentage of females. The Girl Scouts are taking action in the hopes of bringing those statistics closer together by creating real-life, work-related projects for young girls to complete and earn their STEM-badges, including computer programming, mechanical engineering, robotics and space science badges.

Girls Who Code

This is not the only organization that is making a positive impact young girls’ STEM education. Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit with the mission to “close the gender gap in technology” by creating the largest pipeline of female engineers. This year, the organization is expanding its free summer program from the sole location in New York City to 70 other locations throughout the United States, with a goal of reaching 1,400 girls. Learning a variety of subjects, from robotics to building web sites and applications, girls will have the chance to create hands-on projects and expand their computer programming skills.

Future Joules

Programs like these are critical to help provide a solid foundation for the future generation of Jabil Joules. These organizations are important resources for our youth and provide great mentoring opportunities for female leadership. Many of our Joules are in the community, impacting the next generations, and you can read about some of those Joules and their stories here.

Diversity and Inclusion: Where Jabil is Headed

 

 

Author: Jacqueline Darling, Jabil’s Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion

 

As Jabil’s newly appointed Senior Director of Diversity and Inclusion, I am excited about where we are headed. In a world of rapid and continuous change, surrounded by new and emerging technologies across a global landscape, we need a diverse and inclusive organization that will increase our ability to perform, innovate and differentiate. We must have opportunities for employees to contribute and succeed regardless of gender, race, religion and so forth. When we come together, we create even greater value to our peers, customers and shareholders. That is our strength.

Jabil’s Diversity

Because we are a global company with operations in nearly 30 countries, we have tremendous natural diversity in Jabil.  When we talk about diversity and inclusion together, we mean respecting and valuing our diversity, creating even more inclusive ways of working; including seeking out different opinions and respecting diversity of thought. We must be mindful and ensure there are opportunities for all employees to contribute and grow. By continuing to advance Jabil’s diversity and inclusion efforts, we remain committed not only to our employees but also demonstrate that we are able to evolve with the ever-changing customers and markets we serve.

It’s a Collective Effort

This is not just a task for leadership; we all must elevate conversations around diversity and inclusion. While leaders can consciously create environments with opportunity for all, we as individuals need to bring our own diverse thinking to the forefront. We must continue to support those around us, recognizing and valuing different beliefs, perspectives and experiences.

Taking Action

This year, Jabil’s efforts will focus on ways to increase opportunities for growth, empowerment and contribution. We will create stronger links with under-represented groups by increasing and creating platforms for greater inclusivity. By 2020, diversity and inclusion will be embedded in the fabric of Jabil, just as our cultural values of Integrity, Inspiration and Ingenuity are today. It’s about being accountable, respectful and transformational. It’s about being Jabil.

Diversity Is Experiential, Not Just Visual

 

 

Author: Michael J. Loparco, Jabil’s Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Engineered Solutions Group

 

Jabil’s operating model has evolved over the years from a pure electronics manufacturing services (EMS) company to a full service proactive solutions provider. When you look at our business today through operations across the globe, we’re providing uniquely tailored solutions to new customers, in new markets, and in new regions around the world – often via new business models! To serve these customers best, I try to consciously avoid having a monolithic viewpoint that can be present if all employees on a team have the same thought processes, background, skill sets, or training.

To Avoid a Singular Mindset, Diversity Helps

In my experience, diversity on teams can lead to more well-rounded thinking and efficient problem solving. Such teams often provide situational understanding and empathy, generating ideas or bringing new perspectives which can help reflect the needs of our ever-diverse customers and end-users.

Starting my career as a practicing attorney, I represented many companies but never envisioned working at a manufacturing company like Jabil. It simply wasn’t on my radar. When I joined Jabil, it seemed like an obstacle to have come from a different background, not being an engineer or having worked my way up through the manufacturing arena like so many of my peers. As a result, I deliberately inserted myself into the operations and engineering discussions to listen, learn, contribute and train alongside my daily responsibilities. Reflecting back now, I realize how equally important it was for me then to have assimilated — as it was for me to have brought an “outsider” perspective to help run this wonderful and complex machine we know as Jabil.

Diverse Backgrounds Encourage Inclusivity

Over the years I’ve seen first-hand how diversity and inclusion can help drive business success. Looking beyond my personal experiences, there is sound academic research that points to the benefits of diversity, as well. A widely published 2017 study by McKinsey, for one, depicts a very strong correlation between diversity and financial performance, suggesting “gender and ethnically diverse companies are likely to outperform their peers by 15% and 35%”. I can attest to this benefit from the vantage point of leading Jabil’s Engineered Solutions Group (ESG). In ESG I’m surrounded by a wonderfully diverse team from all continents and backgrounds, and whose invaluable insights based on broad cultural, gender, educational, and experiential backgrounds have undoubtedly been instrumental in our stable growth. This is mirrored at an enterprise level where Jabil’s globally diverse local workforces have achieved such phenomenal success in so many varied end markets and geographical locations.

While there’s much work to do, I continue to see evidence that our broad Jabil workforce is evolving at many levels. We now have two women on the Jabil Board of Directors with growing female leadership in senior executive positions across the company. Of course, we shouldn’t rest on our oars, as a recent internal review plainly suggests there’s more room to grow and promote qualified female and diversity candidates at all levels of our company. To ensure that diversity thrives and continues to bear its resulting fruits, our culture at Jabil should continue to welcome differences of all kinds while encouraging the contentious, yet respectful, debate of ideas on their merits which are made in the best interests of Jabil. This has always been core to our values at Jabil.  And programs such as Jabil Joules and Deliver Best Practices are just two strong examples of this culture at work. These programs help signal to the current and next generation of Jabil employees that everyone is valued and their ideas, regardless of origin (and indeed because they might be different), are welcome here without fear of judgment!  In doing so, we can feel comfortable we’re raising a steady cadre of future Jabil leaders who are aligned with the morals and principles we share of equal access and equal opportunity, which the Morean family embodied more than 50 years ago.

On a Personal Note

My wife, Marcela, and I regularly and gratefully welcome the diverse and multi-cultural ESG team into our home. The reason is at least twofold:  First, is to connect with my team in a less formal but genuine setting where we’ve undoubtedly learned a lot about the business from such casual and personal interactions with each other. Second, is because I want to ensure our daughter, Isabella (9 years old), who we adopted from China, grows up surrounded by people from around the world hearing multiple languages, viewpoints, and experiences, celebrating diversity in its many forms. We hope this exposure will help provide her, in part, the character and tools necessary for success when she eventually enters the workforce at a time I can only imagine will be even more globalized and diverse than the world we know today.

As we start a new year, I’d respectfully encourage our employees to proactively support diversity, inclusion, and tolerance at Jabil. As ‘One Jabil’, we can continue to create and maintain our awesome environment and culture that help attract and retain the best talent, irrespective of the forms of human differentiation which make us interesting and unique as people.

 

Experience is the Icing on the Cake

Recently nominated as the Anti-Money Laundering Professional of the Month, Jabil’s Director of Regulatory Risk Compliance Kathalin Carvalho has been recognized for her commitment to integrity. Receiving this award from the Association of Certified Ant-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) is just one of many honors for Kathalin, who has a law degree from Universidad del Zulia in Venezuela, a master’s degree in criminology from the University of South Florida, and a secondary master’s in international law and business from Stetson University College of Law in Florida.

Her diverse background does not just include her extensive educational studies but also her ability to speak three languages – English, Spanish and Portuguese, her world-travels and her diversified work experience. Kathalin’s career path has taken her through a variety of fields: terrorist financing, regulatory compliance, the USA PATRIOT Act, global anti-money laundering operations and implementation of compliance/ethics programs. Her work with non-governmental, governmental, domestic and international institutions has given her a global perspective that makes her a great fit for Jabil.

Kathalin believes these diverse experiences have positively impacted her career here at Jabil. “If you look at my educational background, there’s an interesting correlation: each of my fields of study were focused on research, advising and risk management,” she said. “Thankfully, I happened to find that ‘sweet spot’ in the world of compliance at Jabil, which encompasses all three and allows me to leverage each experience.” Kathalin appreciates the opportunities she has had to use all her skills while also having the ability to be entrepreneurial with her work, adding yet another point on her resume.

One thing Kathalin finds most beneficial is how being part of so many different work cultures – public, private, domestic, international – has helped her be more adaptable, which is crucial in today’s work environment. She feels prepared to handle anything that comes with the ever-changing customer-base Jabil serves. Success comes from taking action: “Knowledge is power, but experience is the icing on the cake,” Kathalin said.

From the Web: Women Cracked Wartime Codes. They Can Fix Tech Today, Too.

 

Female coders’ contribution to ending World War II has gone long unappreciated, but Liza Mundy’s Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II brings to the forefront the stories of codebreaking heroines who helped win the war, such as Ann Caracristi, Genevieve Grotjan and Grace Hopper.

In Liza’s New York Times’ article “Women Cracked Wartime Codes. They Can Fix Tech Today, Too”, she delves into the importance of inclusion in computer programming and other STEM-related careers, attributing the end of WWII to the welcoming of diversity and inclusivity. When the military needed to quickly fill a large number of factory, radio, chemistry and computer programming positions, they turned to a previously untapped resource: women. Although allowing females to take on these STEM roles was seen as a temporary emergency measure, there is more than sufficient evidence that it changed the course of the war. Ann Caracristi, for example, broke the Japanese code and pinpointed their exact location for our troops, while Genevieve Grotjan figured out the cipher-generating machine used by Japanese diplomats.

However, since the late 1940s, there hasn’t been much improvement in increasing female representation in the STEM field. Today, women only make up a little more than one-quarter of the STEM workforce, according to the National Science Board. However, with computer occupations expected to grow by almost half a million new jobs by 2024 (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016), there will be plenty of availability for women, but is there plenty of opportunity? Liza Mundy says there are still mental barriers for females in STEM to overcome, specifically regarding engineering and computer positions. However, as her article and novel state, there have been many brilliant, strong women paving the way for future female scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians, and it’s our job as mentors, educators and women to continue that path for future generations.

Read Liza Mundy’s New York Times article here: Women Cracked Wartime Codes. They Can Fix Tech Today, Too