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!”

Using Leadership to Empower and Diversify

By: Bhaskar Ramachandran, Vice President of Information Technology

 

With undergraduate degrees in chemistry and computer science and a master’s degree in business administration, I entered the workforce as a developer for a database supplier. I went on to become a consultant with one of the top five consulting firms, specializing in Systems, Applications & Products (SAP) implementations, assisting companies with enterprise processes, which opened the door for me in the aerospace and defense industry. There, as a Divisional Chief Information Officer, I continued working on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and overall information technology (IT) systems and solutions. However, I found there was limited growth in the defense sector and began looking for companies in other industries that provided more opportunities and offered new challenges yet required my skill sets. That’s how Jabil and I found each other in 2014.

Given our significant SAP footprint and my experience working for other types of manufacturers, it wasn’t a huge leap for me into Jabil’s business. Even though I came from similar industries, I have seen the value that diverse and global backgrounds, experiences and ideas bring to a team and a company. After all, Jabil operates in about 30 different countries, and to drive successful performance throughout the company, we need to tap into all the different ways of thinking across all of those cultures and perspectives.

It’s not only important to have diverse thinkers in the room but also important for people to feel empowered and comfortable to share their ideas, which is why I use my role as a leader to create a welcoming environment for all, inspiring my employees to innovate and collaborate.

First, to fill a room with unique minds, we need to hire them. One way I drive diversity and inclusion efforts on my team is by making sure that for every open position we are hiring for, we consider a group of candidates with distinctly dissimilar resumes. My team and I make sure those who are interviewing the potential employees are also diverse, coming from different backgrounds and who come from a variety of levels of expertise. Both of these hiring tactics minimize unconscious bias and groupthink in the selection process and gives us a chance to learn what different skills and experiences we may be lacking as a department. I speak openly about diversity and inclusion with my teams, keeping it top of mind for everyone.

I also support diversity by providing opportunities for current employees to grow both professionally and personally. I set expectations and give employees the freedom to achieve those however they see fit, letting them know it’s okay to make mistakes and that I support them in their endeavors. This provides a great deal of independence and accountability, which makes them take calculated risks and innovate more, aligning to our company culture of working with ingenuity. It also gives them freedom to bring their diverse perspectives to the table.

As a leader, it’s important to hire a heterogeneous workforce, as well as support efforts to continue to diversify the current workforce through training and providing lateral movement across the company and teams. Employees can’t attain a varied skill set until their leaders give them the chance to take those opportunities, and I’m honored to hold a position at Jabil to provide that.

Setting a Benchmark of Inspiration

By: Nylda Gomez, Business Unit Manager

 

For the last 18 years, my journey at Jabil has been diverse and enlightening, with my career here beginning as a machine support technician at Jabil Guadalajara. While in this role, I attended a meeting that a business unit manager was leading, and I was astonished at how he handled it. He not only took the lead in that meeting but  also took full control of the decision-making process, equally keeping the customer’s wellbeing and Jabil’s benefits in mind. This was the moment I realized what direction I wanted my career to follow, so I began chasing my new professional goal – to become a business unit manager.

In the process of reaching that goal, I graduated with a master’s degree in Business Administration, specializing in finance, and progressed through multiple positions at Jabil, including buyer, commodity buyer and materials supervisor for different customer accounts. I then had the opportunity to become a business unit coordinator, and last year, I became a business unit manager for one of the largest customers at our site.

I never thought I’d join the manufacturing world, since I began my career in the banking industry, after getting my undergraduate degree in economics. My cousin was working at Jabil and persuaded me to interview, convincing me with the great company culture of an open, inclusive environment. I jumped right in and adapted quickly to this welcoming atmosphere and continue to consistently support new, innovative ideas from our employees that help improve Jabil’s manufacturing processes and customer relationships. Like the business unit manager who made me realize what I wanted to do with my career, I enjoy making decisions with the customer’s well-being in mind, while ensuring the results benefit Jabil.

Starting my Jabil career as a machine support technician has helped me more than I could imagine because I was able to learn the basic manufacturing and material processes, which helps me make better decisions as a business unit manager. This variety of experience gives me a better chance to be successful. I have always believed that a variety of ideas from employees can help solve problems quicker and more efficiently, using diverse strengths collectively to create the best results for Jabil and its customers.

It’s also extremely valuable to work with other departments, like finance, operations, materials and of course, our global counterparts. Without the different teams working together, it would be impossible to reach success across the company, as everyone’s work impacts another department’s goals.

Because Jabil is a global company, the best benchmarking is the one that is created by diversity of ideas and people, and I’m honored to be play a part in that.