Jabil Sponsors Women in STEM Lunch & Lab at Florida Polytechnic University

Jabil Joules attend the Women in STEM Lunch & Lab along with Florida Polytechnic University students.
Jabil Joules attend the Women in STEM Lunch & Lab along with Florida Polytechnic University students.

Jabil recently sponsored a table at the inaugural Women in STEM Lunch & Lab at Florida Polytechnic University (Florida Poly). The event, which took place on Pi day, March 14, is part of a university-wide initiative to promote gender diversity in STEM careers and bridge the perception gap of those fields.

The event featured keynote speaker Dr. Pamela McCauley, an ergonomics expert and internationally recognized speaker and professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems at the University of Central Florida where she leads the Human Factors in Disaster Management research team and serves as the Director of the Ergonomics Laboratory.

McCauley spoke on several topics including the bias and stereotypes regarding women in STEM fields, retaining female talent within the industry and achieving a successful work-life balance.

“Ladies, you really are amazing and it’s so important to understand the impact that we have together,” said McCauley. “We can make such a difference in this world and today I want to encourage each of us because this is an issue that helps every person understand and realize, in particularly women going into STEM, the significance of women and the impact they can have.”

The Lunch & Lab also featured table centerpieces created by university students that represented the projects and innovation underway at Florida Poly. Guests were encouraged to vote on their favorite centerpiece and student Kevin Stephens won for his bridge project, which focused on bridging the perception gap.

All proceeds from the Lunch & Lab support scholarships and Florida Poly’s mission to prepare students in the advanced fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to become innovative problem-solvers and high-tech professionals.
As a company that embraces gender balance and equality at all levels, Jabil was proud to sponsor the event and help women build networks and realize opportunities in STEM fields.

Eric Austermann Speaks During United Nations Global Compact Meeting

3db90609-653d-4886-9607-30432809b12bOn the heels of International Women’s Day, the United Nations Global Compact is holding their annual Women’s Empowerment Principles today in New York City. The event theme, Business Partners for Gender Equality: Multipliers for Development, aligns with Jabil Joules’ mission to educate, mentor and encourage diversity and to champion the business benefits of gender balance.

Jabil’s Eric Austermann, Vice President of Social & Environmental Responsibility, is representing Jabil today during the event. Eric will participate as a panelist on the topic of “Why Women’s Health in the Workplace MattersPrescriptions for Action.” Jabil’s Health Enables Returns (HER) Project will be highlighted as this video will be played during the panel discussion. The HER Project is an educational program that focuses on enriching the lives of our female employees in Asia, through self-development dialogue. Classroom sessions include lessons that cover family and reproductive health, self-esteem and wellness, life coaching, team building and personal enrichment.
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The Jabil Joules network thanks Eric for being a thought leader and champion of gender equality.

Dr. Gillian Shapiro: Minimizing Bias and Maximizing Inclusion


Dr. Gillian Shapiro regularly conducts and is asked to speak on her leading edge research on Inclusive Leadership. She led pan-European action research programs across a number of sectors on employee diversity and innovation. Her Doctorate focused on the career development of women into senior leadership roles. Shapiro believes that unconscious bias can affect every area of our life and that we have a tendency to favour people who look like us, think like us and come from backgrounds similar to ours.

What is Unconscious Bias?

Everyone likes to think that they are open-minded and objective, but research show that values and experiences we gain from our culture, family and education, as well as the media, heavily influence how we view and evaluate others and ourselves. Research has shown that, despite our best intentions, unconscious bias can get in the way of building a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

Minimizing Bias and Maximizing Inclusion

Diversity is all around us and we need to learn how to become conscious of potential bias, minimize any negative impact and, drawing on simple actions, become more inclusive in our everyday management and leadership roles. There is plenty of evidence to show that a diverse and inclusive workplace leads to more profitable and innovative companies, but many organizations still struggle to reach the level of diversity and inclusion they seek.

Diversity Bias

According to Gillian, there are around 150 types of bias, but being aware of three of them is particularly important in the workplace.  Affinity bias is  the tendency to have emotional attachment to your own ideas, vocabulary and ways of doing things and to devalue those of others.  The Halo effect is the tendency for us to rate the abilities of people we like more highly. Thirdly, projection bias is the tendency to think others have the same attitudes, values and beliefs as oneself. All of these biases can impact women and men working effectively together as they can create negative outcomes and reduce diversity of perspective. Bias can be costly in businesses, because it can cause us to make decisions that are not objective and in miss opportunities.

Patterns, Assumptions and Interpretations

Yale University researchers asked 127 scientists to review a job application of identically qualified male and female students and found that the faculty members – both men and women – consistently scored a male candidate higher on a number of criteria such as competency and were more likely to hire the male. Nobel Prize winning economist, Daniel Kahneman explains why in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow”.  Kahneman explains that we have two predominant modes of thinking – what he calls System 1, or fast thinking and System 2, or slow thinking. Our System 1 thinking is intuitive and what we draw on most of the time. It’s fast and efficient but, in tending to ignore ambiguity and suppress doubt, it exposes us to bias. Kahneman says that our System 2 or slower thinking brain can counterbalance these flaws. System 2 thinking interrogates evidence and picks up on stereotypes and assumptions being made.  However, it is also slower and much more effortful and it’s for this reason that we tend to rely on our fast System 1 thinking.  We need to consciously bring our System 2 thinking into play to counteract the unconscious bias of our System 1 thinking.

Gillian’s Advice on Minimizing Bias in the Workplace

  • Introduce mandatory unconscious bias awareness for everyone making recruitment decisions
  • Take action to raise awareness of your own biases (e.g. by taking the Harvard Implicit Association Test) and be alert to the biases of others working with you e.g. in making promotion decisions
  • Ask open questions of women in your team about their ambition for next steps to avoid making any assumptions
  • Make sure your high-potential women all have mentors, coaches or sponsors
  • Make sure women are in your network of ‘go to’ people
  • Use language and images on websites, social media and advertising that appeal to women and men
  • Ensure all recruitment panels include visible gender diversity
  • Require shortlisted candidates to include at least one female candidate or explain why not

More resources on this topic:

Addressing Unconscious Bias Video by McKinsey & Company: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFW2cfzevio

Harvard Implicit Association Tests: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/takeatest.html

GS Photo 2011 (3)Dr. Gillian Shapiro is an expert on diversity, inclusion and inclusive leadership. Over the last twenty years, she has helped many private and public sector organizations across Europe and the world understand what diversity really means to their organizations and derive value from putting inclusion at the heart of everything they do. Gillian co-runs the Inclusive Leadership Network with over 100 member organizations from across the private and public sectors. She is an associate consultant to WISE, a campaign to promote women in science, technology and engineering, she has judged several diversity awards and is the diversity and inclusion advisor to the BBC Trust. Gillian has a Bachelor degree in Business Management. Her PhD focused on the career development of women into senior leadership roles. Her recent clients include BAE Systems, BAM, Citi, Fujitsu, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, HS2, Virgin and Worldpay.

Anna Jozwicka: Stop Trying to Be Miss Perfect

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Anna Jozwicka, Talent Development Manager at Jabil Europe discusses topics related to male and female leadership development. While Jozwicka believes that both men and women are held to the same leadership standards, she says that women generally believe “they are not ready yet” and therefore are more cautious to move up the career ladder.

Similarities & Differences In the Development of Male and Female Employees

Men and women are equally predisposed to being leaders. At Jabil, we are continuously striving to create equal opportunities and build an environment in which the leadership assessments and development are the same for men and women.

As far as leadership build-up is concerned, both men and women are held to the same expectations. Regardless of gender, leaders are supposed to have the same set of skills to be successful. Additionally, both genders are equally success-oriented and equally as focused.

However, there are definitely recognizable differences when it comes to the leadership development process. The number one distinction that Anna Jozwicka noticed is that women are, on average, more cautious. They tend to seek 120 percent self-confidence and feel they need to know everything before taking the next step in their career. Men, on the other hand, are okay with only knowing about 80 percent and learning the other 20 percent along the way. Women also tend to need more outside reassurance and encouragement, whereas men are more inclined to act on impulse and take risks.

Challenges Faced By Women in the Workplace

Aside from dealing with more self-criticism, women (particularly mothers) have to find the perfect work-life balance. Organization and sharing the responsibilities at home are key. It helps to remember that if you are a working mother and are frequently away from home, it creates an opportunity for your children to grow and become more independent and self-reliant.

One issue that isn’t necessarily discussed frequently, but is very prevalent, is maternity leave. Particularly in Europe, there is quite the variety of rules and regulations regarding maternity leave. Often times, how to manage the workload while females are on maternity leave and the uncertainty around their return dates is a big concern especially to male colleagues. Jozwicka believes that the key to solving this issue is an open and upfront dialogue, rather than avoidance.

The Importance of Female Empowerment

Jabil Joules is a very important and powerful program. There are a lot of women out there that are dealing with the same challenges. The interviews and resources that this program provides helps women at Jabil understand how other female colleagues manage work and life. After all, no one else is able to understand women leaders as well as other women leaders. It is important for women to make strong connections and to share and support other females in the company. The more we share and exchange, the stronger we are going to be as individuals. Female leaders are not alone and we should help one another to get our work done and continue to grow and develop.

Anna’s Advice

First and foremost, be brave. Don’t limit yourself and don’t try to be perfect. Actively create strong links and connections with your female colleagues by understanding how each individual copes with the challenges of work and private life. By supporting one another, working together, providing feedback and sharing our experiences, we can help ourselves and other female colleagues.

Anna Jozwicka is Jabil’s Talent Development Manager for Europe. Anna joined Jabil in 2006 to manage leadership training and development programs for the European region. Before joining Jabil, Anna worked as a site Human Resources Manager as well as a Total Quality Manager at Philips. She holds a Master of Arts degree in English Studies and Business Psychology from the University of Nicolaus Copernicus in Torun, Poland.

From Around the Web: How Female Millennials Can Build Trust at Work

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Challenging organizational barriers is something Jabil Joules is committed to, sometimes with brute force, in order to bolster the representation of females in leadership, operations and corporate counsel roles. One common organizational barrier females entering the workforce face is gaining the trust that will enable them to progress in their chosen profession.

A recent article in Fast Company by Jeff Spicolié, Associate Director of Bentley University’s Center for Women and Business (CWB), explains that millennial women are subject to being less trusted in the workplace, which hinders them from landing future leadership roles. Reasons for distrust among colleagues and managers come from stereotypes, experience and inter office relationship bias, unfair performance measures and inadequate management experience.

The article goes on to explain how to overcome the obstacles millennial women face when trying to build trust when entering their career. Reliance and disclosure are two types of trusting behaviors that can be established to shape positive and trusting behaviors with fellow employees and managers.

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We want to hear from you: How do you establish trust in your working relationships?