Penang IT Launches Joules Program: Onward and Upward!

From left to right: Patricia Lim (Senior Business Management Director, EMS); Marco Pilosio (Senior IT Manager, Jabil Green Point); May Yap (VP and Divisional CIO, Jabil Green Point); Fen Shern Yoong (Senior IT Director, Global IT); Jolene Ng (Senior IT Director, Jabil Green Point); and Sin Yong Cheong of the Leadership Development Program lead for the inaugural Jabil Joules Power Hour in Penang.

 

The inaugural Jabil Joules Power Hour event organized by the Information Technology (IT) team and led by Year 1 trainees in the Leadership Development Program took place on April 12th in Penang, Malaysia.

Held at Jabil’s Global Business Center in Penang’s GBS@Mayang Mall, the event was the second of four events to be hosted this year by the global IT team, with two in St. Petersburg and two in Penang, with a goal to contribute meaningfully to the conversations of diversity, inclusion and empowerment. The Penang event’s theme “Make Your Voice Heard” focused on how the 70 employees in attendance can be active team players at work by communicating in an engaging way.

According to Gary Cantrell, chief information officer of IT and senior vice president, “We saw Jabil Joules as an opportunity for our own local leaders to inspire our younger employees and share how they got to where they are today, encouraging them to always move forward. By partnering with the Jabil Joules team in St. Petersburg, the team in Penang was coached and mentored by Beth Walters, the founder of Jabil Joules, on how best to engage and connect with employees.”

Delivering the keynote speech was May Yap, vice president and division chief information officer for Jabil Green Point. With a wealth of leadership experience in IT management, operations and governance, May has experienced first-hand what it means to be career-oriented while also balancing life and being a mother.

She emphasized the importance of being resilient in the face of challenges, whether personal or professional: “do your homework,” let leadership be your sponsor, and speak your audience’s language to better connect with them. May said, “There will be times when you feel discouraged or undermined. It is times like these that you need to have the confidence and conviction to keep going.”

The panel discussion that came after May’s session dove deeper into these topics by covering four points critical to making your voice heard: be prepared, have confidence, listen before you speak and focus on the solution. Moderated by May, panelists included Patricia Lim, senior business management director; Jolene Ng, senior IT director; Marco Pilosio, senior IT manager; and Fen Shern Yoong, senior IT director. With a combined 80 years of working experience, the panel encouraged participants to take the lead and shared tips on how to overcome career challenges.

Kumaradeva Maniveloo, IT relationship manager, attended the event and shared, “I was surprised at how engaging and thought-provoking the event was. The tips were extremely helpful in helping us increase our influence and driving impact, which resonated deeply with everyone. I look forward to attending the next one!”

Joules Recognized in Washington, D.C. for Commitment to the Manufacturing Industry

From left to right: Loni Ellis-Vroom (2019 nominee), Rocio Ivanov (2019 nominee), Gabriella Pózmán (2019 nominee), Irene Leong (2019 nominee), Vivian Wang (2019 Emerging Leader), Anita Urbańska-Borowiec (2019 nominee), Beth Walters (2015 Honoree), and Ande Johnson (2018 nominee)

 

With 4.6 million manufacturing jobs being created by 2028, there is a great need to ensure there isn’t a skills gap or an inability to fill those positions, and women in the industry are exemplifying their commitment to inspiring the next generation by empowering their teams and youth in the community. Last week in Washington D.C., 130 women, including two of Jabil’s own leaders, were recognized at The Manufacturing Institute’s 2019 STEP Ahead Awards gala for their achievements in growing the industries of science, technology, engineering and production (STEP). The STEP Ahead Awards are given to female leaders who have been recognized by their peers and company as those going above and beyond in promoting the field, bringing success to their companies and supporting others’ careers.

Jabil’s Ying Guo, director of business management, was named a 2019 STEP Ahead Honoree, and Vivian Wang, assistant operations development purchasing manager, was recognized as a 2019 STEP Ahead Emerging Leader Honoree – someone under the age of 30 who is seen as rising talent in manufacturing. Joining them in Washington D.C. were five other Jabil female leaders (photographed below), who were nominated for the awards this year, to show their support and connect with one another. During a Jabil-organized professional development session, the nominees uncovered their diversities and learned how to leverage others’ unique skills to collaborate and bring success to Jabil. 

Among those who attended the event were female leaders in business, finance, information technology, purchasing, quality and operations. These Joules traveled from Jabil sites in Chengdu, Huangpu, Kwidzyn, Singapore, St. Petersburg and Tiszaújváros. Jabil has a natural diversity with its processes and people, which was clearly seen among our nominees and is best exemplified through the greater Jabil Joules program – a network of mentorships, education and community involvement activities for employees to support larger diversity efforts across the company.

Supporting that mission, Joules joined the Manufacturing Institutes’ STEP Ahead awards in 2015 to recognize and support career advancements of our female workforce. Each year, before attending the awards gala, our nominees attend a Jabil-specific workshop and have opportunities to connect and network with their peers who come from around the world.

This year’s development focused on personal branding with those in attendance having the opportunity to learn from Beth Walters, senior vice president and founder of Jabil Joules, about the program’s mission to educate, mentor and connect and how they each play a part in furthering that for future generations. She asked each nominee for a pledge of how they will “pay it forward.”  In addition, the group participated in activities to uncover their diversities and personal brand with the help of Jackie Darling, senior director of diversity and inclusion at Jabil, and Michael Robinson, Chairman and CEO of Montgomery Strategies Group, LLC.

Despite the variety of departmental backgrounds and geographical locations, the women found many similarities among themselves, including their work-life balance and family roles, the way they manage projects, their professional goals and their unique educational backgrounds.

For some of our nominees, it was the first time traveling to the United States, and for others, it was the first time they were externally recognized for their efforts at Jabil; but for all of them, it was an experience of a lifetime that celebrated their achievements and served as a catalyst for them to continue to inspire, empower and grow manufacturing.

No matter where we come from, what our previous experiences are, or what department we currently work in, everyone’s unique skills and characteristics are what make Jabil successful.

A huge thank you to the female leaders nominated in this year’s STEP Ahead Awards for all you do!

Congratulations again to all of our 2019 Nominees:

  • Anita Urbańska-Borowiec, Plant Controller (Kwidzyn, Poland)
  • Bella Qiu, Senior Operations Manager (Shenzhen, China)
  • Felipa Aclan, Assistant Quality Manager (Huangpu, China)
  • Gabriella Pózmán, Business Unit Coordinator (Tiszaújváros, Hungary)
  • Grannaz Amirjamshidi, Manufacturing Engineering Manager (San Jose, California)
  • Irene Leong, Central Purchasing Manager (Singapore)
  • Kelly Xu, Senior Manager of JGP Talent Acquisition (Chengdu, China)
  • Loni Ellis-Vroom, Information Technology Tech Lead (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  • Rocio Ivanov, Senior Global Quality Manager (St. Petersburg, Florida)
  • Supriya Jadhav, Design Engineer Manager (Pune, India)
  • Vivian Wang, Assistant Purchasing Manager (Chengdu, China)
  • Ying Guo, Business Unit Director (Huangpu, China)

*The Manufacturing Institute (the Institute) is the 501(c)(3) affiliate of the national Association of Manufacturers. As a non-partisan organization, the Institute is committed to delivering leading-edge information and services to the nation’s manufacturers. The Institute is the authority on the attraction, qualification and development of world-class manufacturing talent. For more information, please visit www.themanufacturinginstitute.org.

 

Huangpu’s South China Regional Power Forum: Balance, Confidence, Development

Along with showcasing the diverse employees at Jabil, the Joules Regional Power Forums were also created to bring together different divisions and functions within the company, which was best seen at Jabil Huangpu’s South China event at the end of March. Employees and executive leadership from our Engineered Solutions Group, Green Point and Nypro facilities came together for the largest Joules Power Forum to date. More than 500 attendees continued the tradition of these regional events by learning from both internal and external leadership about multiple professional development topics. The event focused on three key messages: balance, confidence and development. 

Beth Walters, senior vice president and founder of Jabil Joules, kicked off the event by talking about her diverse, entrepreneurial career path and demonstrating that everyone at Jabil has the potential to follow their interests: “Be the CEO of your own career. Own your success,” she shared, which spoke clearly to one of the event’s themes – confidence. “The key for success at Jabil is to understand the big picture, know how your role fits into the company’s mission and be confident in yourself.” 

The other important theme of the event was around balance, specifically how work-life balance plays a role in the success of one’s career. Helen Hu, external speaker and Ernst & Young senior manager of tax and business advisory services, said that balance isn’t in terms of symmetry or quantity but about quality. She shared how balance is dynamic, in a continuous state of change, but to overcome major shifts, a positive attitude is crucial. “You have the final say with your work-life balance,” Helen said. 

While certain technical skills do help propel someone’s career toward success, there are other internal factors, including goals and state of mind, and as Twinkle Pang, senior plant controller and panelist, said, “It’s all about your attitude – be resilient. You can’t do everything at all times, but you can stay positive and continue on your path to success.”

Attitude is important for growth and career development, which was the final theme of the event. Bella Qiu, senior operations manager, agreed with Twinkle, saying, “A skill for success? There is not just one skill that is most important but staying positive and focused. What is important is knowing what your goal is and working to make yourself better to achieve it.” She reassured the attendees who may have felt daunted by the idea of success, “I’m still on my way to success – I wouldn’t say I’m successful yet, but I am satisfied with what I’ve done so far.” 

There’s always the chance to grow and redefine the level of success an employee may want to achieve, balancing their job and family life, having a new career path or by some other standard. Panelists, like Ying Guo, told the attendees it’s important to focus on what direction you’re going. Ying, director of business management, followed up with the three questions she asks herself while trying to develop her career: where am I now, where am I going and how will I get there? To help answer those questions, she sets realistic plans, learns new skills and builds a strong team of support around her. Everyone, no matter what level or what phase of their career they’re at, can follow this mentality and use it to grow. 

Whether it’s regarding work-life balance, having confidence in what you’ve achieved so far or developing yourself for success, it’s important to keep a positive attitude and be aware of the support system you have with family, friends, colleagues and leaders; and then, anything is possible at Jabil.

As Mike Loparco, executive vice president and chief executive officer of Jabil’s Engineered Solutions Group, mentioned to participants, “I came from a different career path – I had done legal work for Jabil for a number of years as part of outside counsel. And I eventually came to fall in love with this entrepreneurial company which had a culture and group of people who embodied a spirit of diversity, inclusion and tolerance and was truly results-oriented. But I never felt like an outsider here, even when I didn’t have the manufacturing, engineering or technical background which many of my peers did. My opinion was valued if I could bring a different perspective and positively affect a business outcome.”

Everyone should feel included, as well as empowered to succeed and showcase their diversity confidently. The Joules’ Regional Power Forums will continue to inspire this attitude through future events, including this summer’s events in Uzhgorod, Ukraine, and Auburn Hills, Michigan. Stayed tuned to read about those events on the blog!

Wuxi’s Regional Power Forum: The Power of Beauty

Wuxi Regional Power Forum

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At each Jabil Joules Regional Power Forum, the goal is to educate and connect employees within a region, opening communication channels and igniting future Joules support. Regional Power Forums began in 2018 and have quickly become a popular opportunity for our workforce to grow professionally and personally. The events consist of internal and external leaders speaking to topics around a locally-selected theme. The conversations in Wuxi centered around the strong, positive presence that females have in the workplace and the balance of professional and personal lives.  

The topic of balance was not only spoken about during the event regarding work and life, but it was also demonstrated by the attendees, which included employees from various sites and departments at every level. Jabil’s corporate support was represented by executive leadership, including Beth Walters, Mike Loparco, Kenny Wilson, Todd Munson, Jessica Shyu, KA Lee and much of their team from the region. Support also extended across divisions and beyond Wuxi’s city limits with site senior management from Shanghai and Suzhou in attendance.  

Operations leaders from Jabil’s Green Point facility in Wuxi and representatives of Suzhou participated in a panelist session, reaffirming the support female employees have in the organization. Weii Ye, operations director of Wuxi Metal, spoke of how the recruitment and care of female employees is a top priority for him and his teams, ensuring women have equal opportunities and equal time to learn and develop their careers.  

While leadership supports equal opportunities, it’s also important that employees leverage their varying talents and skills to bring success to their teams. Jocelyn Zhao, operations manager of Suzhou Green Point (Wuxi EPZ), credits communication skills and attention to detail as beneficial qualities that women bring to their teams. Whether male or female, each employee brings something important to the table, and it’s crucial everyone feels empowered to be themselves and showcase their abilities in an inclusive environment.  

As Weii said, “Women have certain skill advantages while men have others. Our company is about collaboration and teamwork, so when everyone comes together and uses their skills for the better, success is made at Jabil.” This type of empowerment is what brought the idea of the Regional Power Forums into fruition and has since brought more energy to the Joules program. 

While the strengths of employees were a focus of the day, there was also an open conversation around barriers to success that women sometimes face, including a lack of confidence in their abilities. Spring Xu, assistant operations manager of Wuxi Plastics, reminded participants, of which more than half were women of Jabil, that around 65% of the working population in China are females, so attendees shouldn’t lose confidence in their ability. Spring shared, “Everyone, whether male or female, needs to find what you’re good at, learn from those around you – whether it’s your leaders, suppliers or peers – to broaden your knowledge, and maintain positive energy for yourself and your team.”  

No matter what one’s gender, skill level or background is, Dan Wang, vice president of operations for Wuxi Green Point, shared that developing professional skills has no shortcuts, rather it “consists of learning your role at the company and continuously practicing and developing – this is the same process for both females and males to progress.” 

In addition to the panelist session, there was an on-stage interview with Gu Yijia, Sales Management Support Leader from IBM, moderated by Jabil’s May Yap, chief information officer for Jabil’s Green Point division. The panelists, such as Dan, echoed the conversations Yijia and May had about what is needed for women to feel powerful in their careers. May mentioned, “Women can do what men can do, but the thing to know about promotions and success is that it’s not about what you are – everyone has to be devoted to learning.”  

Yijia reminded participants that success is constant, and there are ups and downs in life, adding, “When you’re in the ‘valley’ phase of your career or life, you must accept it; don’t criticize yourself while you’re there and learn from it.”  

The event highlighted the support for employees from site, regional and executive leadership while also talking about the power of diversity – i.e. the beauty of our workforce – as Todd Munson, senior vice president and chief operations officer of Jabil Green Point, said in the beginning of the event, “It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about our capabilities, customers, geographies or our teams; the more diverse we are, the better Jabil becomes.”  

Whether diversifying and showcasing unique skills for individuals to achieve success with their careers or building inclusive teams as managers and leaders, we can each play a part in the overall success of Jabil.   

Four Lessons of Leadership From Startups to Corporations

By: Ande Johnson, senior information technology director

Early in my career, I joined a technology startup as merely “Employee #19” of what would later become a midsized technology company, delivering cloud-based services before the term “cloud” even existed. It was exciting to be at the forefront of technology – a place I have also often found myself during my four and a half years here at Jabil.

It was an amazing experience working for a startup: it was a time of great collaboration, a time to celebrate successes and learn from failures, and many long nights with lots of pizza. Not until many years later did I realize all the things I learned from those early-career experiences. Being Employee #19 shaped the rest of my career, including the way I work, innovate and now lead my team.

Four lessons have guided me throughout my career and helped me find success in my professional development:

First, work over your head

By that I mean, if the work is easy, then you’re doing the wrong work. People, companies and teams grow by pushing beyond what comes easy. This is a fundamental part of the Jabil culture, too – work with ingenuity and consistently innovate. As a company, we can’t progress if we don’t push ourselves or our teams. Recently, my team has been working on a new artificial intelligence-based virtual assistant project, which is an exciting, brand new technology. Given that it’s something we haven’t done before, the key to succeeding is for everyone to step out of their comfort zone, work beyond what they already know, and better understand the customer to solve real business problems.

Second, goal setting is critical

A team with a truly common goal, a single mission, will find a way to work together to be successful. Last summer in St. Petersburg, I participated in our Joules Regional Power Forum and spoke to my discussion group about this exact topic. It’s important everyone understands everything from our company goal to our departmental one and finally the team goal. Then, we can individually find out how each of our diverse strengths work to help our team’s mission and the overall success of the company. We can’t simply make an ambiguous goal and proceed. While working for a startup company, the cruciality of goal setting was especially evident. Everyone had to be aligned in their work to build the company and create progress.  

Third, don’t quit

Often, you’re closest to the solution just when things seem impossible: find a way. I recall a time early in my career when I worked on a project with a tough customer where nothing seemed to go right: resource limitations, technology issues, miscommunication and scheduling conflicts. I persevered by putting in the extra time to be prepared, remaining transparent with my customer and most importantly asking for candid feedback from those I worked with. In the end, the project was given the highest customer satisfaction ratings on any project for that customer to date. Now, I lead my team to follow this same formula for overcoming challenging requests. Even when everything seems negative, there is a way to succeed if you keep your head level and focus on fixing the problem instead of thinking about everything that went wrong.

Finally, “pick up the broom”

If there’s work to be done, then do it; and if a coworker is struggling with something, then help them. It can be as simple as cleaning up the break-room to picking up a tough task or presenting a team project, but along the way, you will learn something new, meet someone you hadn’t known before, and ultimately, help your company. If everyone pitches in to help others, we’ll all build a collaborative, inclusive team that supports the success of others.