Jabil Site Educates, Employs and Empowers Young Women in Brazil

Empowering the next generation of female talent can take many forms, from educational assistance to mentorships and social development, and for some sites, they decide to help by doing multiple of these. Jabil Belo Horizonte’s commitment to the Brazilian state-led initiative Projeto Gente Grande (PGG) is just one example of that.

Joining the PGG initiative in 2000, the site has been offering a fun, safe educational space for at-risk girls between 11 and 18 years old to continue their education and grow their skills through unique learning opportunities. Employees volunteer monthly to mentor and connect with these young girls, dedicated to helping the next generation.

Leandro teaching English to PGG students

Jabil Belo Horizonte’s specific involvement in the national initiative includes a variety of mentoring opportunities from school-based assistance to musical development. Employees help tutor school subjects, such as computer skills, English, mathematics and science. Leandro Pimenta, assistant planner, has helped with teaching English: “It’s a world language that really opens the doors in the business world. I was fortunate enough to learn English in school, so I want to pay it forward and provide these young women the same opportunities I’ve been so lucky to receive,” he said.

“The classes and mentors at Jabil helped me to better understand myself and encouraged me to start planning for my future.”

The success of the program is most notably seen with five girls who participated in the PGG program activities, graduated and are now working for Jabil. One of those students, Maria Quieros, now a purchasing assistant at Jabil Belo Horizonte says, “PGG was extremely important for the basis of my entire professional career: I joined the project in 2007 and have been at Jabil since then. When I entered the project, I had no idea what my future would be – I didn’t think much about it. The classes and mentors at Jabil helped me to better understand myself and encouraged me to start planning for my future.” Maria was given the chance to intern in the Purchasing department where she learned how the Jabil business works and gained knowledge that would help her with her career here. “I was given more responsibility than I had in the past and was able to begin to shape my professional profile, grow and be seen by other employees, which opened a range of opportunities for me,” she said.

Dangelo with PGG computer science class

The goal of Jabil Belo Horizonte’s efforts is to provide a positive learning environment as well as prepare the young women for careers in the science, technology, engineering, mathematics and manufacturing fields, and they have done just that. “This program gives me the opportunity to share everything I’ve learned at my job to help inspire the next generation,” said Dangelo Carmo, engineering data services technician. “The best memory I have is during the first week of last year’s program there was a group of girls who told me they didn’t like the class I was teaching – basic computer skills. But in just a few short weeks, they were the first ones to the facility and always so anxious for my class. It made me happy to have changed the minds of these students to become enthusiastic about a STEM field!”

The Belo Horizonte employees who have volunteered with this program over the years are grateful for the chance to share their knowledge and inspire the future female STEM workforce, while also empowering at-risk youth to receive equal opportunities to learn and grow.

Diversifying the Workforce & Paving the Way for Global Success

 

Written by MY Lee, senior vice president of operations, Taichung Tooling

 

As an international company, Jabil has a diverse culture and way of thinking. It’s important to create opportunities for colleagues to interact across the enterprise in order to bring novel and “disruptive” ideas to our business. This, in turn, positively affects our customers and, ultimately, our financial results.

At Jabil’s Taichung Tooling facility, we support this idea of diversifying development by emphasizing job transferring, where we breakdown the required skills needed for different positions, so we can first focus on training transferable skills. Employees then have a better opportunity to try new positions and move across the departments to gain unique experiences and perspectives. We’ve leveraged our technology-drive mindset and created videos on standard operating procedures, which are shared with all employees to broaden their knowledge of Taichung Tooling’s work.

Our goal is to make [our employees] into global leaders.

My leadership team also focuses on providing opportunities for employees to learn soft skills, like communication and leadership. We encourage employees to join customer meetings to enhance their ability to communicate and improve their English, with the goal of making them into global leaders.

By supporting diversity and inclusion efforts at the site, we have seen positive results that bring good fortune to the company, including reduced personnel turnover rate. By providing more opportunities for employees to learn from their peers and work on projects in other departments, we can better meet our workforce’s development demands and enhance workplace satisfaction.

… with the gender gap closing, I’m doing what I can to support that movement.

While supporting unique opportunities for all employees, a personal goal of mine is to support the female talent at our Taichung sites. The male workforce makes up the majority of the manufacturing field, but with the gender gap closing, I’m doing what I can to support that movement. Working to equalize our talent, I’m focused on hiring more female engineers and supporting efforts to provide leadership training to them. Recently, we had two female employees recently promoted to high management positions – Helen Lee and Christine Tsai, now both assistant operations managers.

I also support initiatives like the Manufacturing Institute’s STEP Ahead Awards and nominate our strong female talent for recognition. I’m proud that two of the four employees I submitted last year were selected as official nominees: May Lin and Nancy Chang.

At the facility, I’ve seen firsthand the different perspectives that male and females bring to the table, and how together those different ideas lead to great success. Empowerment means leading with integrity, trust and belief in others, and together with a diversified talent pool, we can all create positive change.

 

Mentoring Youth Around the Diversity of STEM

According to the United States Education Department (2018), careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics are expected to gain millions of positions, with an increase specifically in mathematics jobs (by 15%), computer systems analysts (22%) and systems software developers (32%) by 2020.

To prepare the future workforce, especially female talent, Jabil Joules around the world are educating and inspiring the next generation of STEM employees in their communities. Their goal is to create opportunities for young females to learn about the diverse paths they can take in the industry and understand the variety of skills required.

One initiative that’s helping to bring attention to the unique possibilities is “STEM Goes Red,” a national campaign led by the American Heart Association, which teaches middle and high school aged girls how to improve their hearts and minds through a career in STEM. The program brings a unique perspective to the science, technology, engineering and math industries by showing how analytics, engineering, robotics and more play a part in health care.

In an effort to Educate and Mentor, two of the Joules’ focus areas, employees from Jabil St. Petersburg mentored at the Tampa Bay American Heart Association’s “STEM Goes Red” event.

(S) Science and Arts by Luis Herrera, principal design engineer

Science-based focus areas are only growing in influence, from self-driving cars and 3D printing to home automation, robotics, alternative energy and beyond. Because of its far reach, it’s important for us to support the different aspects of STEM, including the various skills required to successfully fill those positions. One thing I’m passionate about is the lesser known artistic development that’s needed to support the technical skills. Studies have shown art – music, especially – is conducive to scientific brain development. Using my position as a design engineer, I promote the importance of combining creativity and technical training because without both, progress can’t be made. The activity we did with the young girls at the “STEM Goes Red” event was perfect for me because we had the girls design a small robot, which was then used to create art, perfectly representing the combination of art and science.

(T) Technology and Teamwork, by TJ Lakeman, information technology compliance specialist

In order to be ‘good’ at technology, you need both the technical skills and soft skills, such as communication and teamwork. A lot of my work in IT compliance relies on collaboration and the sharing of diverse perspectives to come to the most agreeable solution. At its essence, technology can’t progress until ideas are shared across departments and enterprises. While volunteering at the “STEM Goes Red” event, I demonstrated the importance of teamwork and show the girls what can be accomplished when everyone works collectively. I focused on making sure everyone openly discussed what was working and not working while they built their robots and collaborated on making improvements together. Technology careers need the proper skill-base but in order to truly innovate, we need to work with each other.

(E) Engineers’ Responsibilities by Karen Perez, lead electrical engineer

The future of engineering is so broad, and like “STEM Goes Red” has shown, it’s important for every field, including the medical industry. I work in our Nypro division, so it was really fitting to mentor girls at the American Heart Association event – I work in an area where engineering is not typically first-associated with but is very much essential. That’s why I wanted to volunteer and help spark the interest for these young girls. I love my job, love to talk about it and love to get young girls excited about engineering. There aren’t a lot of ‘me’ in the engineering industry – a Hispanic female focusing on electrical engineering – so I want to empower any younger versions of myself out there and let them know they can do it, too.

(M) Mathematics is the Backbone by Jiao Li, finance controls senior associate

Math is widely in every industry like hospitality, engineering, marketing and manufacturing, such as Jabil where we use math for operations, production and reporting. Data and numbers are used to help leadership make informed decisions that can impact the entire company and employee-population. Often math is overlooked as a career option, but it’s crucial to every single business out there. And that is why I choose to volunteer and work with children in the community, so they can see the value of math and the possibilities it could lead to when they get older. This STEM event gave me a chance to have those open conversations with the girls in attendance and share my experiences with them, hoping to persuade a few who said math was their favorite subject to make a career out of it.

Together, these Joules are bringing STEM into the community, introducing the diverse needs of the industry and showing young women how they can all play an important role in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

 

 

Diversity in Practice

By: Sejal Shah, Senior Corporate Counsel

 

I never imagined that one day I would be moving to Florida, let alone be working for a global manufacturing company like Jabil. Having spent the last 14+ years of my legal career in Washington, D.C., my career path had been focused on a common anticipated goal for many D.C. attorneys – that is, the goal to make partner at one of the city’s many prestigious law firms. However, that changed when family commitments required us to transition to Florida. Out of my comfort zone, I wasn’t sure what the future held for me professionally. My resume had been carefully curated over many years to read a certain way. For the first time in a long time, I was forced to look beyond what the lines of my resume said I should be, and instead think about what I wanted next for myself.  Through this process, I was fortunate that the right opportunity presented itself, and now here I am – a proud member of the Jabil Legal department’s Global Ethics and Compliance Team.

My journey began as an undergraduate student at New York University, where I was a pre-med major before taking a completely different direction and applying to law school. I accepted admission in the dual degree Law and MBA program at American University Washington College of Law, and soon thereafter began my career as an associate attorney in the energy litigation practice of a large law firm. After developing my advocacy skills over six years, I decided to explore other opportunities for professional growth and transitioned into my first in-house legal role at a Fortune 100 energy company. This is where I was introduced to the world of legal compliance, finding it to be a natural fit. I enjoyed learning the inner workings of the business and collaborating with colleagues across the enterprise to problem solve and build regulatory compliance programs, while also furthering our business objectives. Of the areas of compliance that I oversaw, cybersecurity regulation became a particular focus of mine. These interests and experiences followed me back into law firm life, which is where I spent my last six years before joining Jabil.

… an opportunity to use the unique skills practicing law and compliance in technology-driven industries

When I started the job search in anticipation of our move to Florida about a year ago, I knew I wanted to find a position that would give me an opportunity to use the unique skills I had gained practicing law and compliance in technology-driven industries. Given my background, the manufacturing industry had not been an obvious direction to me. However, I was fortunate that my resume came across the desk of our Vice President, Deputy General Counsel and Global Chief Ethics & Compliance Officer, Sherry Williams, who took an interest in my unique background and saw the natural synergies that my skills could bring to the work we do at Jabil. Sherry opened the door to a new professional opportunity in an exciting industry that I had not previously considered.

I also didn’t anticipate encountering the breadth of
diversity that the Jabil Legal department represents.

In addition to finding the right role at Jabil, I also didn’t anticipate encountering the breadth of diversity that the Jabil Legal department represents.  In a profession known to struggle with a diversity imbalance, I had grown accustomed to being (in most cases) the only diverse attorney in the room.  Upon joining the Global Ethics and Compliance Team, I was thrilled to meet a distinguished group attorneys and compliance professionals from a variety of different backgrounds and experiences, ranging in age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and cultural values to name a few. While individually unique, collectively these views and skill sets perfectly complement one another, further strengthening our team’s performance as a whole. Moreover, it’s our differences that lend to a fun, collaborative work environment, where we all continuously learn from one another.

No, I never imagined that one day I would be working for Jabil. That said, I feel fortunate to have found my way here and to be working in a Legal department that is defying the “norm” with Sherry Williams, Kristine Oureilidis, Elissa Boisvert, Susan Wagner-Fleming and other diverse attorneys in positions of senior leadership. Diversity is not just our strength, it’s how we practice law at Jabil.

Diversity is not just our strength, it’s how we practice law at Jabil.

Europe Regional Power Forum: A Space to Inspire

Last week, Jabil Joules representing sites across Europe and including Israel, came together at Jabil Tiszaújváros to promote a dialogue around diversity and inclusion, exchanging ideas and sharing personal experiences. This was Jabil’s third Regional Power Forum in 2018, following ones in Mexico and the United States earlier this year.

The Power Forum in Hungary was about “conducting energy,” inspiration and encouraging a conversation around diversity and inclusion efforts, while the Latin America Power Forum focused on mentoring and the United States event centered around goal alignment.

The event began with the keynote speaker, Jabil’s Regional Information Technology Director, Katalin Laczko, who spoke about her diverse background. Starting her career as an English teacher in Hungary, she discovered her passion for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Katalin decided to go back to school for a second college degree and transitioned into her IT career, working for companies like Lufthansa Systems and IBM prior to Jabil. “I gained a lot from teaching, like leadership skills, the practice of sharing ideas with others and understanding the importance of balance,” Katalin shared. She leveraged her unique background to excel in IT and encouraged attendees to never dismiss an experience as an opportunity to gain useful skills.

Up next, a panel discussion – led by Beth Walters, senior vice president and founder of Jabil Joules – continued the conversation about diversity, discussing its benefits to a company and how Jabil specifically rewards those who have an inclusive mindset. “We must look at diversity through a larger lens and consider diversity of experience,” said Bruno Soler, vice president of operations in Europe, who sat on the panel. “Different types of experiences help move people around and ‘cross-pollinate.’ This is what collaboration is, and this is what leads to more diversity of thought.”

Similarly, Szilvia Falvai-Sashalmi, senior workcell manager and Power Forum panelist, shared that diversity of experience and expertise from a manufacturing point-of-view is a must in order to best serve Jabil’s variety of customers. Other panelists included Andrea Cservenné, human resources manager; Anna Cybulska, environment, health and safety manager and 2018 STEP Ahead nominee; and Reka Aczel, global category manger and 2017 STEP Ahead honoree, who all provided important insights into how they promote diversity and inclusion on their teams.

“It was a real pleasure hearing from everyone on the panel and learning how diversity correlates to their experience and leadership style,” said Marina Kapats, human resources generalist from Jabil’s Uzhgorod site in Ukraine.

Following the panel, attendees were able to network with these leaders and Jabil Joules from the surrounding regions. This gave the chance for attendees – employees from all levels – to connect and share ideas with leadership and continue the open dialogue.

Later that afternoon, Jabil Joules Champions representing sites from Austria, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Poland, Russia, Scotland and Ukraine, gathered to discuss activities and insights regarding their site’s diversity efforts. “Overall, this event was very encouraging and inspired me,” said Anastasia Kulakova, training specialist and Joules Champion from Jabil Tver in Russia. “It was great to have this opportunity to see how management is committed to diversity and inclusion. I feel like we’re part of something big, and all of us here today are now empowered to go back and inspire others at our sites!”