From Around the Web: Why There Are Still Few Women Leaders in Tech

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Diversity of talent and gender equality in the workplace is something many of today’s companies aim to achieve. Over the years, progressive fields like technology have established broader career opportunities which have opened the doors for female employees to be promoted equally, beside men.

Despite the advancements and opportunities in technology, and the decades of progress towards a more gender-balanced workplace, the role of women in the field has somehow subsided.

According to a report by the National Center for Women & Information Technology, the role of women with tech jobs has stalled and, in some cases, even declined. In 2008, women on average held 25 percent of IT-related jobs in the US, a drop from the 36 percent occupied in 1991. In addition, women between the ages of 25 and 34 have reported being unsatisfied with their tech careers, with 56 percent leaving their jobs at the peek of their career, which is double the rate for men.

Elena Kvochko, Head of Global Cyber Security Strategy and Implementation at Barclays, recently wrote an article for Forbes, illustrating the danger of the rate of progress of women participation in technology. According to Kvochko, we should be encouraging women to participate in the growing field of technology and apply for higher-level managerial roles.

Because the amount of women that hold leadership roles in fields like tech is still a work in progress, Jabil has a strong focus on increasing gender diversity and leadership of women in the workplace.

“Like engineering, IT has traditionally been a male-dominant profession but this landscape has been changing and improving,” said May Yap, Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Jabil GreenPoint. “Being the first female CIO recruited into Jabil, demonstrated Jabil’s senior leadership team’s determination to encouraging leadership of women in the workplace.”

May also adds that, aside from being tech-savvy, females aiming to be successful leaders in the tech field should seek out mentors, utilize their communication skills, and never shy away from speaking up and asking for help.

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We want to hear from you: How do you encourage and promote female leaders at your site?

Nadezgda Gladkova: Leadership from Within

 Jabil Joules- Nadezgda GladkovaNadezgda Gladkova is the Production Manager at Jabil Tver in Russia. She is known for her energy and sociable nature. Nadezgda not only expertly manages the production processes at the plant, but she is also actively involved in the recruitment and development of staff.

Nadezgda’s Beginnings

Nadezgda began working at the Jabil Tver plant right after it opened in July 2009, when the first assembly line for televisions was being installed on the shop floor. At that time, she knew very little about the electronics industry. Yet, just five months after starting her career as an assembly line operator, she was asked to lead a shift of more than 70 employees. Never having lead a team before, she made it a priority to develop leadership skills by conducting research, learning English and entering a University to further her studies.

While leading a great team of colleagues at work, she managed to graduate with honors from the Tver State Agricultural Academy. In addition, as a result of hard work and collaboration, her team achieved high production results even in some of the most difficult situations. Nadezgda is most proud of her ability to help her colleagues achieve their goals.

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

Promotion meant, first of all, increased responsibility. Nadezgda knew that in her new position, she would be responsible for making decisions and taking action in challenging circumstances.

When faced with obstacles at work, she leveraged her sociability, purposefulness, diligence and patience, to help her. In her six years at Jabil, she has obtained a wealth of experience and knowledge, which have enabled her to cope with problematic events at work and at home.

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 9.24.34 AMFamily and Career

There is no denying the challenge females face to  maintain a successful career and a happy home life. For Nadezgda, she believes life consists of two parts: happiness and self-discipline. In order to achieve happiness, it is essential to find the right balance between your personal life and your work.
Nadezgda says the most important thing in her life is family and the support of her family helps her cope with leadership responsibilities. As a leader, one of her main responsibilities is helping new employees at Jabil. “New employees are like my second family,” she says.

Gilberto Granieri: Mentoring and Coaching Female Engineers

Gilberto Granieri, Jabil’s Regional Lean Manager for Europe and member of Jabil Joules Europe’s steering committee sees creativity and soft skills as the critical points to be a successful Lean manager. Contrary to the prevailing perception in which people associate the capacity for creative thinking with masculine qualities, Gilberto Granieri feels that especially women are very creative and that is one of the strongest skills they should make sure to demonstrate.

Gilberto Granieri, Jabil’s Regional Lean Manager for Europe and member of Jabil Joules Europe’s steering committee, sees creativity and soft skills as the critical points to be a successful Lean manager. Contrary to the prevailing perception in which people associate the capacity for creative thinking with masculine qualities, Gilberto Granieri feels that especially women are very creative and that is one of the strongest skills they should make sure to demonstrate.

Employee Development – Key Priority

In addition to his day to day activities of improving production velocity and efficiency, Gilberto finds that developing people is the heart of our business and the most important element of any Lean program and a key priority. As Lean managers are key drivers for change, it is crucial that they have strong abilities to influence and convince people. This can be done through engaging in a conversation with passion and with new ideas and by explaining why change is needed and that it can bring positive outcomes.

“Being a Lean Manager is nothing more than influencing people – you have to convince them that their daily routine that they established over months or years needs to be changed, analyzed and made simpler, easier and faster. As a leader, our responsibility is to challenge people. And whatever you want to change, without passion and creativity, it will be very difficult to influence and convince others to carry out that change,“ said Gilberto.

Creativity is an area, in which Gilberto sees that female Lean Managers excel. Influencing others and going forward with ideas without being pushy or aggressive is important. “Women are good listeners – this really helps when starting a dialog and finding new ideas. Men, most of the time are thinking short term – we look for technical solutions and forget the soft skills, whereas women have a better mix of long-term vision and soft skills,” added Gilberto.

The Reality

Unfortunately, the reality is that about 75% of managerial positions are still occupied by men. “For instance, Beata our Lean Manager in Tiszaujvaros, Hungary, when she is presenting the site Lean activities, she is the only women in the room.” However, we are making strides and last year, thirty five new female employees have been hired or promoted to various leadership positions within the European region.

Gilberto’s Advice

During his career thus far, he had two memorable mentors from which he learned how to lead with humanity and respect and how to push people to get them out of their comfort zones in order to learn new things and grow. His favorite quote comes from Richard Branson and sums it up, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”

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.
 JBL Nypro Shanghai iMed 2 Women Posed

The Jabil Joules network thanks Eric for being a thought leader and champion of gender equality.