Commercialization Program Manager, Technologies Innovation
As a leader and senior engineer, Jennifer is an Inspirational Woman that shows you can be both technical and empathetic in the way she carriers herself in projects and every day around the office. She has advocated for multiple diversity & inclusion (D&I) initiatives and fosters discussion of inclusivity in both formal and informal ways—embedding this practice in various functions of the business.
A nominator recalls, “Sitting across from Jennifer early in my career gave me a picture of how an engineer can respond with integrity, honestly, and respect to any challenges both technical and personal. I was always certain that no matter what I asked her, or no matter the situation, her answer would reflect our later-articulated Manifesto values of living our commitments with integrity and being unconditionally honest.”
Why do you believe in diversity and inclusion?
“Primarily, I believe in diversity and inclusion because offering all people fair opportunities is the correct and moral thing to do. People often cite the business benefits of diversity and inclusion. Although to me this is an added benefit to the primary driver, I do believe strongly that these benefits are real. A variety of viewpoints brings a wider variety of ideas to the table. More diverse teams with a high degree of inclusivity typically function at a high level, support each other deeply, and have better retention.”
What do you think we need to do as individuals to improve inclusivity?
“The individual actions we can take connect well with our manifesto. Firstly, there is a strong connection to the value “doing our homework”. We need to approach inclusivity with a humble attitude. We will all make mistakes as allies; we all have much to learn. So, as individuals we should be open to that learning process and take it on.
Secondly, the values of “nurturing long-term relationships” and “engaging great people who make a difference” connect directly to the need for our actions to directly support and connect to the traditionally marginalized group we are trying to support. Sometimes that can mean simply listening and learning. It can also mean actively mentoring or sponsoring an individual. Often these impactful actions are quiet and invisible.
The final manifesto value I would like to bring up is “achieving no harm”. Taking the time to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and act with empathy is critical. When we do make mistakes, we have to own them and acknowledge and apologize for the harm done. Although this might feel difficult or awkward, practicing courageous conversations is so important to individuals impacted.”
What does positive change mean to you?
“To me, positive change suggests a journey of improvement that we are all on. I have seen a lot of advances in equity in the workplace over my own career. This sentiment inspires me to work hard to continuously improve the situation for all my colleagues and myself.”