Punto Final: By Jacqueline Maestri, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Global Services and Enterprise Transformations
How DEI can be a driver for success
By Jacqueline Maestri, Vice President, Johnson & Johnson Global Services and Enterprise Transformations
When Johnson & Johnson opened its doors in 1886, more than half of our employees were women. You could say we’ve always been forward-looking when it comes to a diverse workforce. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) has been a core value at Johnson & Johnson since long before it became a popular concept in the corporate world. This longstanding commitment to DEI and the values of Our Credo have been central to the Company’s ability to deliver transformative healthcare solutions that drive successful business outcomes.
At Johnson & Johnson, we believe that only by having different experiences at the table can we be successful in finding solutions and innovations that bring health to billions of people. It’s part of what impressed me when I became a J&J employee more than 30 years ago. Along with our purpose, it’s at the heart of what keeps me at Johnson & Johnson to this day. We approach DEI as a business imperative, using data and insights to inform priorities, drive greater accountability and transparency, advance a culture of inclusion and deliver on business outcomes.
In July 2020, at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, I was appointed Vice President, Global Services and Enterprise Transformations. In this role, I am responsible for a 4,700-person organization delivering finance, human resources, procurement, and data and analytics services to the entire enterprise and its 135,000 employees worldwide, and leading transformations designed to simplify and standardize work to reinvest valuable, freed-up resources in innovation. Practically overnight, Global Services was thrust into a central role in the Company’s pandemic response ensuring Johnson & Johnson could meet its commitments to patients, customers, consumers, suppliers and employees without interruption. Immediately prior, I was leading the global Johnson & Johnson Crisis Management Team, which positioned me well to take over these central-office functions for the Company at a critical time, while bringing a deep understanding of the stakes.
At each stop in my J&J career, including roles in Engineering and Property Services, Quality Systems and Services, R&D, Operations, Regulatory Affairs, Quality and Compliance, because of the Company’s expectation of bringing diverse viewpoints and experiences to the situation, I was not pigeonholed into a single department. Rather, I have been able to leverage my skills to make an impact across a number of areas in the Company, all while being part of a culture that encourages me to bring my whole self to work. Along the way, my managers focused on the merits of my business and leadership results when making decisions regarding my next role, recognizing the real value in both cultivating the best talent to meet business goals and creating an inclusive environment where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. The success of our business hinges on having the best talent in a workforce that reflects the diverse markets we serve around the world and an inclusive culture that values different backgrounds, perspectives and life experiences. And I really think that having that basis changes everything and influences our overall approach to how we do business.
My advice is: Keep all doors open and don’t be afraid to take on responsibilities in new areas—whether you chose them, or they were chosen for you. Each role builds on the prior one and expands your experiences, network and relationships. Don’t underestimate how translatable those leadership skills can be in multiple areas of the business. Lastly, as Latinas, we often think our good work will speak for itself and we are timid about sharing our successes, expressing where else we can add value and seeking new opportunities. It’s important to balance confidence with humility, but it’s especially important that we first believe in ourselves and have the courage to aim high. So don’t hold back and go for it!