Katelyn Crist: Positively Impacting Jabil and Our Community

Katelyn Crist, a Jabil Design Engineer in St. Petersburg, has a fresh outlook on life and a passion for innovation. One of Jabil’s young females in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM), she represents our diverse female talent.

According to Katelyn, her interest in a career in the STEM field began at a very early age, when she knew she wanted to do something math-related.   “My mom started doing basic multiplication tables with me in the car by age five,” said Crist.

“I went to a special magnet program in middle school that accelerated my math education and solidified my aptitude for it.  It wasn’t until taking her first physics class in high school, that she became fascinated with how the world works and the ways that math could be applied to explain it – this was the moment she knew she wanted to be an engineer.

After high school, Crist attended the University of South Florida as an Environmental Engineering major, but eventually decided she was most interested in Industrial Engineering.

Career at Jabil

In May of 2013, her junior year of college, Crist took an internship with Jabil’s Design Services group working with the Value Engineering team. After working on a summer project for Jabil as an intern, the team decided to keep her on after the project was completed, and she ended up staying with the group for a year and a half.

After graduating college in the summer of 2014, Crist accepted an offer as an Industrial Engineering Technician at Jabil Defense and Aerospace in St. Petersburg, and was promoted to Industrial Engineer within her first year. After two years, she decided to move back to the Design Services Group to work as a Design Engineer, a career she says allows her to constantly think critically about design.

“The people I work with are very experienced and are excellent at helping me look at the job in front of me from a different perspective,” said Crist. “I love that I can exercise my brain.”


An active member of the community, Crist recently represented Jabil and our commitment to education when she read to three classes during the Great American Read In activity at Bardmoor Elementary.
“I was so happy to see the smiles on the kids’ faces when I started reading. For them, it was a change of pace and a little bit of excitement in the middle of their daily routine,” said Crist. “For me, it was nostalgic because I got to read alongside my mother, who is a teacher there.”

Crist said it’s important to support the education of children in our communities because they’ll be the decision-makers one day. In her words, she’s “thankful to be with a company that places such a high value not only on education, but on our community as a whole.”

Crist considers mentorship critical and has mentors both within and outside of Jabil, who have played a significant role in helping her make the best decisions for her career and life. She also serves as mentor to a student at Lakewood High School as part of the Jabil Cares initiative. Among other things, she helps her mentee understand how to set goals and how to break them up into smaller, digestible, tasks to make achieving those goals easier.

Crist enjoys spending time with her family and friends, exercising and playing guitar. “When I have a little more free time, I love to play guitar and sing,” said Crist. “I have been playing for over a decade and it is one of the most expressive things I do.”

As for role models, she say’s she doesn’t have one specific role model that influenced her throughout her journey. Instead, she credits a family full of strong women for encouraging her to follow her dreams and instilling her with the hardworking values needed to set and achieve goals. “Especially my mom. She was a single mother who worked two jobs to support me. She pushed herself to go back to school to pursue a career in education all while working full-time and raising me,” said Crist. “She wanted to show me that you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Whether she’s focusing on her career or helping others realize opportunities, she says that working at Jabil has enabled her to constantly feel challenged, supported and encouraged to grow, in and outside of work.

Honoring Jabil Joules on International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global celebration that takes place every year on March 8th, to honor the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women across the world. In an effort to highlight the need for bolder actions that drive gender equality, the 2017 theme for IWD is #BeBoldForChange. At Jabil, the talent and innovation of our female workforce is exemplary of women taking bold actions to improve and develop opportunities for themselves and their colleagues.

According to a prediction by the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report, the gender gap won’t close entirely until 2186. Instead of waiting for this to be achieved, International Women’s Day drives momentum towards gender parity by providing opportunities for ground breaking actions that can truly drive greater change for women.

To celebrate the occasion, several Jabil sites are holding special events and activities that highlight our female employees and their everyday contributions.


In Shanghai, a Jabil Joules Power Hour, focused on effective communication in the workplace is being organized in alignment with IWD. Other sites in China, including Tianjin, Huangpu, Wuxi Metal and Green Point Taichung, will be participating in the Power Hour through organized viewing parties.

Latin American sites like Guadalajara, Chihuahua and Nypro Baja will also honor IWD with movie screenings of Hidden Figures, a biographical drama based on the women behind the calculations and flight trajectories of NASA’s first successful space launches. In addition, Jabil Joules teams in Knittingen will hand out gifts to all female employees on IWD and in Tver, special donations will be given to a local charity focused on mothers.

A group in St. Petersburg is also hosting a watch event for the webinar Lead Like a Girl: How Women Leaders Ignite Impact, featuring Tacy Byham, CEO of DDI, a global award-winning leadership consultancy that helps companies transform the way they select, develop and accelerate leaders. Byhan will share her personal journey to explore what it means to lead like a girl and boost the confidence and potential of women leaders.

Share Your Joules 

In an effort to continuously promote our female employees, the Share Your Joules campaign was developed in China to showcase female employees and their achievements.

Jabil employees in China are able to utilize WeChat, a cross-platform instant messaging service, to create a personalized poster, using a pre-designed template where they can share an achievement over the past year. Similarly, Guadalajara has also championed the Share Your Joules initiative to showcase the accomplishments of female employees.

In the coming months, we plan on expanding this campaign to ensure all of our females at Jabil have an opportunity to get noticed, year-round. Please look for more on this soon.

As a global organization, it’s important to take the  time to acknowledge and show appreciation to our female colleagues by letting them know that their everyday efforts don’t go unnoticed. We encourage all of our sites to participate in activities that honor and celebrate our Jabil Joules around the world.

The International Women’s Day website is a great place to start. Here you can find posters, event ideas, video resources and other materials that can help you support IWD, and champion the #BeBoldForChange theme at your site.

We’d like to hear from you:

How do you plan to celebrate International Women’s Day? Big or small, all ideas are welcome. Send us photos of your activities and we’ll promote them on Jabil’s social media channels with the hashtag #BeBoldForChange.

2017 STEP Ahead Nominee Shirley Tan: Committed to Manufacturing & Inspiring Others

Shirley Tan, Human Resources Manager in Jabil Singapore, has been nominated by her team for the 2017 STEP Ahead award. Having dedicated her entire 32 year long career to manufacturing, Shirley has been with Jabil for 13 of years. Instrumental in formulating Singapore’s HR policies and driving employee engagement, under Shirley’s leadership HR has become a valued partner to other functions and employees. Shirley is an excellent role model for her team, constantly leading by example and motivating her staff to strive for success. Energetic and passionate about her work, Shirley demonstrates strategic thinking, foresight and professionalism.

When Shirley first began her career at Jabil there was a headcount of under 80 at her site but now the site has grown to a workforce of nearly 500. “The transformation that Jabil has made over the years make me feel proud to work for such a company,” said Shirley.   Lean Bronze certified, Shirley says that continuous improvement is always at the core of everything all of her work.

An Inspirational Leader and Mentor

With her many years of experience, Shirley is a valued leader, to both her team and to business leaders. Shirley sets the Human Resources function’s future and direction by seeking input from her team, acknowledging all contributions whether big or small. Shirley’s team notes that the cornerstone of her leadership style is investing in building her team’s capabilities to ensure a high performance that delivers results and contributes to Jabil’s growth.

Shirley is a great mentor and inspiration to her team and treats her team as peers by building personal relationships with each team member and taking the time to listen. Other employees also approach Shirley for work-related issues and guidance, knowing that she will always provide a listening ear and do her best to assist them. Her mentoring style has inspired other managers to adopt similar management styles within their teams.

Corporate Social Responsibility Activities

While Shirley has shown significant impact in her role with Jabil, she continues to go above and beyond work in social responsibility activities. In 2015 she played a key role in planning and implementing a year-long calendar of fundraising events for Jabil Singapore’s adopted charity, the Children’s Cancer Foundation. In addition, she spearheaded organization-wide participation for the charity’s Hair for Hope event and as a result, more than 40 employees stepped up to shave their heads to raise funds and awareness for children with cancer. In total, around $75,000 USD was raised for the Children’s Cancer Foundation, a remarkable achievement for Jabil Singapore, and particularly Shirley who had the drive and leadership skills to make it happen.

Hat’s off to Shirley and those she has inspired for being nominated as a 2017 STEP Ahead nominee!

Sandra Gibson: Inspiring Future Leaders at Jabil

Sandra Gibson, Principle Engineer at Jabil, was recently featured in a Tampa Bay Times article after attending a private screening of the new movie Hidden Figures. The biographical drama is based on the true story of three black women working as NASA mathematicians responsible for the calculations and flight trajectories behind NASA’s first successful space launches.

As a female in STEM, the film made Gibson reflect back on her own career as a woman studying engineering. Despite experiencing moments where she felt like giving up, her perseverance and determination lead her along a journey that made her the leader she is today.

Before joining Jabil in 2011, Gibson held many significant roles and responsibilities that helped shape her career, including positions in advanced planning, Lean Six Sigma and industrial engineering.

Early on, she held internships at both General Motors and Sierra Research, where she learned about printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing. Upon graduation, she led the PCB group as lead supervisor and engineer.

Her next opportunity was working for a company in Rochester, NY, where she was granted secret clearance to work on naval contracts for the Fort Meade, MD, naval base.

Her longest tenure was with the Xerox Corporation where she continued in engineering and gained quality engineering experience along with obtaining a black belt in Lean Six Sigma.

When it comes to getting women interested in STEM fields, Gibson believes it’s important to have mentorship and to support high school programs that introduce STEM careers to students.

“Mentorship is an invaluable tool that enables one to succeed in any endeavor,” said Gibson. “Having the one-on-one communication from someone who has been where you want to go is priceless.”

She believes Jabil can play a role in getting women to pursue careers in this industry by providing workshops for middle and high school students, similar to Manufacturing Day activities, to introduce them to STEM opportunities within the company.

“I think the biggest challenge is letting women know that careers in STEM fields are available to them – to enable them to think; to imagine. Many women started early in age knowing this is something they wanted to do,” said Gibson. “Each of us should have a dream and go after that dream with all our heart.”

She goes on to explain that we should encourage and inspire women at Jabil to become future leaders by letting them know that they have the opportunity to obtain a sponsor who can help them in their career progression. “This would spur the growth of up and coming STEM professionals that will provide for the professional career pipeline needed to fill and back-fill job opportunities within Jabil.”

Aside from her time spent at Jabil, Sandra says she enjoys spending time with her family and giving back to the community.

“I’m so happy to work for a company that loves to serve its community,” said Sandra. “I’m able to balance my passion for community service along with supporting my family, church and career.”

Read more of the Tampa Bay Times article featuring Gibson here.

2017 STEP Ahead Honoree: Dr. Nitya Vittal Making an Impact Wherever She Goes

Jabil Joules is pleased to congratulate Dr. Nitya Vittal, Regional Materials Director in Memphis, Tennessee as one of the 2017 STEP Ahead Honorees. “I am very excited and feel motivated that my work and efforts have been recognized,” Nitya said when she learned she was nominated as one of this year’s two Jabil Honorees.

The Manufacturing Institute has recognized the outstanding contribution that Nitya has made throughout her career in manufacturing. The Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead initiative honors and promotes the role of women in the manufacturing industry through recognition, research and leadership.

Nitya holds a Ph.D. in Physics, (electronics) and started her career in electronics microcircuit manufacturing as a Process Engineer. She also worked as an Assistant Professor at The University of Pune, India, showing her passion to lead and mentor from the early stages of her career. Nitya then moved back into electronics materials manufacturing joining Jabil in 2005 in a materials management role. After various roles in Asia supporting and managing materials, Nitya moved to America in 2014 to join the site in Memphis as the Site Materials Manager and has more recently been promoted to Regional Materials Director.

With the theme of this year’s awards being impact, it is no surprise that the Manufacturing Institute has recognized Nitya as an Honoree. She has shown commitment in creating impact through her various roles at Jabil. One of Nitya’s most noteworthy career achievements has been within the past two years, when she took on the challenge of improving the materials organization in Memphis, by moving over to the United States from Jabil Huangpu China. She has been a key player in the integration of a new project which created new business for Jabil in Dover, New Hampshire. “Nitya has really transformed the materials organization in Memphis and as a result has greatly reduced material handling costs by twenty-five percent,” said Brad Ferkol, Operations Director.

Mentoring and leadership are both skills which Nitya has used to make such a significant impact in her numerous roles and with her colleagues at Jabil. Since Nitya joined the team in Memphis, she has taken several of her team members under her wing to help develop them professionally. A key technique of her mentoring skills that has been noted by colleagues is her “quick smile, words of encouragement and sparing admonishment, when needed.” Nitya has always focused on personal development by creating a succession plan and identifying members of her team to train and mentor into leadership roles. Working with many different cultures throughout her career has not stopped her doing this. She continues to succeed no matter what culture she is leading and mentoring. Nitya notes, “I am very proud to see many of my planners and buyers moving up to become managers, not only in India, but in other sites around the globe.”

When she worked at the site in India, she spent her time being actively involved in environmental awareness programs. These programs were aimed to reach both rural and urban school aged children, using art as a way to spark interest in students. The programs were aimed at showing students how to use art to make a difference in conserving the environment in India. In Memphis, Nitya is a member of the Tennessee Ornithological society where she works with other members on the conservation of birds and their habitats.

“Throughout this journey, I realized that manufacturing is a great equalizer and the goal of customer satisfaction goes beyond language and cultural diversity. It has been wonderful to get the opportunity to be able to mentor and develop leaders across many cultures. I can definitely vouch for ‘one world, one Jabil’, as this has been evident throughout my Jabil career,” said Nitya.

Congratulations to Nitya for being recognized as one of the 2017 STEP Ahead Award Honorees!