Christina Fang: Achieving Life’s Dreams at Jabil

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Jabil’s Huangpu site was the first in China to launch a Jabil Joules program. During the series of Power Hour events, a short-haired, capable and affable lady could be seen working tirelessly, a ball of energy both on and off stage. She is the Huangpu site ambassador for Jabil Joules and HR business partner, Christina Fang.

Christina says the motivation to become a Jabil Joules ambassador came from her life’s dream of helping others.

“As a woman, I’ve always felt that there were certain obstacles to my career development. I’ve been fortunate enough to overcome many of these barriers, but I’m aware there are many other women out there who feel stuck and impeded from gaining the life they want. So, I hope to be able to help them overcome their obstacles and achieve their goals. I’ve always known that helping others is my life’s dream, and then it occurred to me I can achieve this through my work.”

The Jabil Joules initiative was launched at the company’s Huangpu site in March this year and has seen steady growth and interest. In addition to “Power Hour” and “Menmumsontoring” sessions, Christina has also organized the Huangpu Site International Speakers’ Club in collaboration with the international non-profit organization Toastmasters. The club helps people improve their communication and leadership skills.

As well as being a Jabil Joules Ambassador, Christina is also in charge of the site’s employment of disabled employees. She is a volunteer speaker who loves sharing, an expert in Nonviolent Communication, a traveler, a dreamer, a loving wife, and a wonderful mother. The following questions gave us a deep understanding of a woman who “never stops”, giving us a sense of her passion for life and her pursuit of her dreams.

Outside of your job, you’ve also taken part in many other projects, such as Jabil Joules and Toastmasters. You also travelled to the UN Headquarters in Geneva on behalf of Jabil to speak about the site’s disabled employees program. How did you get these opportunities? And how did you divide your efforts?

I like managing my time in alignment with my dreams. I’d highly recommend a book called The Secret to everyone. I’ve applied some of the methods mentioned in the book – I have a “dream board” and a “dream list”, and I’ve also made a list of the “50 things I want to do in my life”.

There’s always time to do what you love if you really love it. If you adopt a better way of managing your time and your life, then everything will become more wonderful.

Where do your motivations in life and work come from?

Dreams, love, and fear. Fears of death encourage you to be yourself, to realize your dream as early as you can.

What insights do you have about how to achieve one’s dreams?

First of all, let your heart guide you – do the things you love. For example, I went to Lean In classes, which help women make their dreams come true. I really enjoy sharing dream plan with my peers.

Secondly, follow through with what you like doing to the very end, and do it to the best of your ability!

I like Nonviolent Communication. And I try to do it the best I can.

I didn’t just buy one book – I bought all six books in the series. I read them more than three times, attended three workshops. I held nine classes – teaching over 200 people and giving in-depth counseling to more than 10 people. I also invented “Needs Diary”, which has changed many people’s lives. After that, I’m close to becoming a master of Nonviolent Communication.

Get moving, let your heart guide you, and do what you love. What’s more, take what you like doing as far as you can, and do it the best you can! If you do, your dreams will come true soon!

What tips do you have for women when it comes to improving themselves? How do they cultivate leadership skills?

Women can nurture leadership skills starting from the home. We are the leaders and drivers of our family culture. For example, in 2014 we brought “Family Meeting” to our family, and in 2015 we incorporated Positive Discipline and Nonviolent Communication. This allowed us to shed traditional family influences and create a more “democratic, equal, and communicative” home life.

What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?

  • I like traveling; my husband and I have already spent 122 days travelling around the world.
  • I like sharing. I share in the company’s Mum’s Group and Psychology Club, at Lean In Guangzhou, in the community, at Toastmasters, at the Foundation for Disabled Employees, and at the United Nations. I talk about Disabled Employees, travel, dreams, positive discipline, Nonviolent Communication, lecturing, and so on.
  • I like ikebana, the art of flower arrangement. There are many masters in this field, but I particularly admire Kawase Toshiro. He developed his own approach to flowers arrangement based on tatehana (standing flowers) and the nageire (throw or fling) style. Allegorical, dynamic yet serene, Kawase’s compositions have been described as “portraits of Japan in flowers.”

What are the plans for Jabil Joules in the future?

We’re planning to “marry” Jabil Joules with Disabled Employees to create a new “Disabled Women’s Growth” initiative. It will help young, disabled women to build their confidence. We’re taking Jabil Joules and its many benefits beyond our site and giving it to society.

From October to December we’ll be working with the Guangzhou English Training Center for the Handicapped Foundation to hold the “Disabled Women’s Growth” initiative. Participants will be disabled women aged 18-28, who we’ll be inviting to visit the site to take part in our mentoring program, among other things. We’re looking forward to using different themes around the concept of gender equality.jj-toastermaters-club

Daisy Pu Inspires Colleagues at Shanghai Power Hour

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At the Shanghai Power Hour event, Daisy Pu, Controller of Nypro, Asia Pacific, shared her secrets to “living in the moment and achieving the extraordinary” with colleagues. Daisy inspired her female coworkers to make the most of this exciting era and their own strengths to improve their leadership skills and achieve extraordinary things.

Daisy has been working for Jabil for 13 years, with accomplishments spanning finance, HR, and IT. After graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Economics and Trade from Shanghai International Studies University, she was awarded a Master’s in Financial Management from Fudan University. Following this, she beat over a thousand other candidates to be accepted for an FMP (Financial Management Program) job offer with General Electric. Whether it’s academia or her career, Daisy has always stood out from the crowd.

Best era for a better me

Daisy believes that this open, diverse era offers more opportunities for women and gives them the chance to explore their career development like never before. Jabil provides an inclusive, diverse platform for women, and opportunities to explore their career development through the Jabil Joules series of events. Daisy encouraged her colleagues to pursue excellence at her Power Hour event, which was themed “best era for a better me.”

Build female Leadership

Daisy believes that outstanding women are expected to have outstanding leadership skills. In Daisy’s view, women’s unique strengths – their emotional intelligence and communication skills – give women the opportunity to make breakthroughs in their careers. By sharing Jack Welch’s 4Es concept: Execution, Energy, Energize, and Edge, Daisy suggested female managers focus on their unique strengths rather on over-emphasize independence, which would increase women’s chances of making career breakthroughs. In terms of nurturing leadership skills, Daisy suggested grasping every opportunity – whether it’s regular company meetings, discussion groups, or team activities.

Manage time, keep learning

Daisy believes that, regardless of their gender, people should improve themselves through time management and continuous learning, taking advantage of available time to study. She stressed the importance of nurturing and maintaining the habit of reading: books are the crystallization of the author’s knowledge, and can help us to expand our imaginations and be inspired.

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Daisy says she’s a romantic person. To Daisy, “romantic” has three levels of meaning: at the psychological and intellectual level, romantic women are more imaginative and creative; at the interpersonal level, romanticism can help resolve conflicts – a way of overcoming “hardness” with “softness”; and when it comes to dress and appearance, women have the chance to show their romantic, softer side. As women are born with that character, Daisy believes women could harness the soft power to change the world.

The Importance of Diversity Awareness From a Young Age

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Championing Jabil Joules at Jabil Vienna

Katharina Deli is part of the Human Resources team at Jabil Vienna, Austria and is responsible for talent development, school partnerships, recruitment and HR training. In addition, she champions the Jabil Joules program in Vienna. Most recently, she was in charge of launching and coordinating “Corporate Child Care Week,” offering free childcare at the office for one week in August. This event was a huge success for the site: it supported the site’s employees who have children during the summer period and allowed their young children to learn about what their parents do at Jabil and give them an insight into the manufacturing industry.

Diversity Awareness Since Childhood

As a female soccer player who started playing at the age of six, Katharina started noticing the gender imbalance when she turned 12 and was the only female in her team. Since her childhood, gender diversity has been a prominent part of her life and this continued when she joined the workforce. She’s worked for various technology companies and noticed early on that only a few females reach leadership positions. Katharina believes there are “many young women who are doing a great job, but are often not brave enough to aim for a leadership role.” This is why being part of a the Jabil Joules program is very personal and important to Katharina as it provides her the opportunity to champion diversity at her site and help close the gender gap within technology companies in Vienna.

Importance of a Hobby

Being a keen soccer player, Katharina is very passionate about this sport and still today continues to train 2-3 times per week as part of a female soccer team. When she was 10 years old, she was awarded with the title of “best player in the tournament.” This is one of her proudest achievements and she feels that “playing football allows her to get a clear head, calm down and destress after a busy day.” She strongly believes that it is crucial to make time for hobbies. She ensures to organize her time efficiently and when needed being flexible. During busy work weeks, she still makes sure to go to practice at least once per week – it’s a good way to spend quality time with her close friends and get some exercise.

Self-development

In addition to being a Jabil Joules Champion, Katharina is currently taking part in an external women’s leadership program, which is designed for women who are already in or have the potential to be in leadership positions. “You can speak about topics that you can’t always discuss in front of males,” believes Katharina and this is helping her to develop her leadership skills and confidence.

She believes that the best piece of career advice she has been given is to be the female “triple A: Authentic, Attractive and Extraordinary (in German außergewöhnlich).” Attractive is meant in the sense that women have to make sure that they are heard at meetings and not to be afraid to speak up and say something. She carries out her professional life by trying to follow the triple A rule.  

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“Dare yourself more to reach out of your comfort zone and do something that scares you every day,” is her piece of advice to women. She thinks that women are often too modest and should tell themselves regularly that, “I am good at my job and I can do this well.” This is an important part of self reflection and the way to become more confident in your abilities.

Katharina Deli is currently a HR Generalist at the Jabil site in Vienna, where she has been working at for four years. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Entrepreneurship, specializing in Human Resources and later completed her Master’s degree. During her studies, she spent one semester abroad in Denmark.

Jabil Joules Europe Power Hour Showcases Diversity

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Beth Walters, Senior Vice President of Communications and Investor Relations and creator of the Jabil Joules initiative, recently presented to employees of Jabil’s Kwidzyn, Poland and Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, sites as the latest installment of the Jabil Joules Power Hour program.

Her presentation, “Building a Better Jabil: How to Help Jabil and Your Career,” included examples of how she’s navigated her longstanding career at Jabil. Specifically, she spoke to how an employee can help Jabil achieve success, how the manufacturing industry continues to evolve, the journey of embracing diversity and the importance of celebrating success.

Read below for some insights from Beth’s presentation.

How You Can Help Jabil

Beth made the main focus of her Power Hour about how to help Jabil, while building your own career. Her main advice was to “see the big picture of Jabil – how do the key drivers of our business relate to each other, work together to produce profitable growth and relate to the job you do.” Beth advised listeners that it is vital to know and understand how your actions and decisions affect key company measures and the objectives of your company’s leadership. It is important to note that, “success is not luck and not being at the right place at the right time, but it is in fact learning the business, understanding your role and demonstrating your value to the business,” explained Beth.

The Changing Face of Manufacturing

Manufacturing today is very different from how it has been perceived in the past, and this is something that Beth highlighted during her Power Hour. With the statistics showing that three quarters of women are underrepresented in manufacturing, it was important to showcase what manufacturing looks like today. In order to achieve gender diversity at Jabil, the perception of manufacturing needs to be changed globally. The fact that women make up 47 percent of the labor workforce, but only 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce, shows that there is a huge opportunity for Jabil to champion the importance of gender diversity.

“Manufacturing offers opportunities for challenging the norm and is a great, innovative career,” stated Beth during her presentation. It is not a predominantly male career anymore and women are vital to the success of manufacturing as diversity allows for many advantages such as different viewpoints and wider industry knowledge.

How Do We Get to Diversity?

“For a long time, people just assumed diversity would take care of itself, and I don’t think that’s the case. I think we have to be intentional about thinking about it,” Beth noted. With this in mind, the creation of the Jabil Joules program is focused on helping Jabil create a dialogue and networking about how to achieve greater diversity.

During the Power Hour, Beth shared tips about how to get there. Being a role model is important to encourage women at Jabil, and giving women feedback helps with their personal development. Having a work-life balance is also essential in order to maintain a healthy body and mind.

Celebrating Success

Both sites in Kwidzyn and Tiszaujvaros have already achieved success with regard to the initiatives they have carried out to spread and promote the values of Jabil Joules in championing greater gender diversity. The Power Hours were a really great way to share the success of these sites, while recognizing the good work they have already achieved. In Kwidzyn, a number of initiatives have been accomplished; for example, English conversations to practice foreign language are underway. Also, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Jabil Joules team and friends get together to connect, exercise together and build stronger bonds. This helps to focus on maintaining a work-life balance.

In Tiszaujvaros, the team has achieved a number of accomplishments. As part of their recent Jabil Joules event, they hosted a presentation about different ways of thinking – men vs. women, to encourage thinking about how we can work better together and start a dialogue about closing the gender gap. They partnered with a local kindergarten to support Jabil families. In July, 120 employees participated in a run through the city, with each individual wearing a Jabil Joules t-shirt to raise awareness and educate people about the program. Last year, the site management also painted car parking spaces dedicated for use of pregnant employees.

During the remainder of the year, Power Hour sessions will continue at Jabil sites in South America and Asia.

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Challenging Yourself to Reach New Limits

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The Stelvio Challenge

On June 24, two Jabil Joules from Jabil Ukraine successfully completed the Stelvio Challenge in Bormio, Italy. These two ladies were among a group of 15 male colleagues from Jabil sites in Hungary, Italy, Ukraine and Poland. The journey was not without its challenges, as this was a 23 km ride with a steep 7.1 percent incline up to Passo dello Stelvio located at 2760 meters. The purpose of the challenge was to raise money for the Soccorso Clown Onlus organisation, which brings together and unites the professions of circus and theatre operators in order to make the lives of sick children and their families in hospital more fun and exciting.

Determination

Yana Artemovska and Olga Shmigelska were two females from the Jabil Europe team to take part in the challenge. In fact the determination they displayed was described as “a challenge not with others, but with yourself,” said Yana.  She had no doubts about taking part in the challenge as she has been a keen biker and sporting fanatic since childhood. Yana often attends the gym with fellow Jabil employees and rides for two to three hours around three to four times per week as this is a hobby she is extremely passionate about. Olga regularly cycles and runs in her spare time also and has been passionate about biking ever since she learned how to ride.

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Yana started training from the moment she received confirmation of the challenge and began riding even more regularly after work. She believes that sport makes her feel so much better and healthier and allows her to perform much better whilst at work. Yana suffers from asthma, which made her even more determined to complete the challenge to prove to herself that she could lead a normal and healthy lifestyle despite the illness. Making time for hobbies is essential in having a healthy mind as well as body. The Jabil team received huge encouragement and support to take part in the challenge as sport is important in building good relationships both in and outside of work. Olga thinks that Jabil makes being involved in sport very easy creating conditions for everyone who wants to be healthy with facilities such as a swimming pool, gym and numerous sporting events.

Challenging Yet Rewarding

Having the support from the rest of Jabil, from operator level all the way up to corporate level was very encouraging for the two ladies. “In order to complete the challenge, you needed good physical form as there was no downhill or flat sections – the whole race was at an uphill gradient,” said Yana. She knew there was no choice but to reach the top. Olga stated that it was the biggest challenge she had ever faced, but she is not used to giving up. The determined attitude displayed by both ladies allowed them to successfully complete the Stelvio Challenge. There was a lot of support given during the challenge, even from fellow participants who offered water and snacks. The team working skills exercised during the challenge is another reason that Jabil is incredibly proud of all their participants.

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Advice to Fellow Women

Yana encourages every female to get involved in at least one sport as “there is nothing to be afraid of because you feel support from everyone. I only felt good emotions throughout the challenge.”  Olga’s advice to fellow women is “do not give up! The feeling of winning dominates fatigue and gives you immense confidence and happiness.” These two ladies are an inspiration to women in sites globally to take part in sport and fun challenges outside of work as it can be a very confidence boosting and a rewarding experience.

The Results

This was a fantastic opportunity for our two Jabil Joules to not only challenge themselves to new limits, but to raise money for a great cause. Their passion and determination to succeed is what made this event a huge accomplishment. Thanks to the participation of 215 cyclists and corporate sponsorship such as Jabil’s, the Soccorso Clown Onlus organization raised more than 30,000 euros, exceeding their fundraising goals.

Yana Artemovska is 23 years old and a buyer for Jabil Uzhgorod, Ukraine. She studied International Relations at Uzhgorod National University and graduated in 2015. During her final year at the university she completed her final year placement within the department of planning and purchasing at Jabil. Within weeks of graduating she was offered a full-time position as a buyer and has now worked at Jabil for more than one year. The fact that Jabil is one of the most respected companies to work for in her region is what attracted her to the manufacturing industry. She enjoys riding and attending the gym and has been involved in sports since childhood.

Olga  Shmigelska  graduated from university in the faculty of applied maths and economics and has been working at Jabil Uzhgorod since 2008. She began her career at Jabil as an industrial engineer and is now an accountant. Olga believes that Jabil is a great place to work and has given her an excellent experience. She enjoys running and cycling in her spare time.