Continuing a Long Tradition of Diversity
and Inclusion at Johnson & Johnson
By Jacqueline Maestri, Vice President, Johnson &
Johnson Engineering and Property Services
Diversity and inclusion are quite simply part of the fabric of
Johnson & Johnson. The company and its leadership
have always been forward looking when it comes to a diverse
workforce –130 years ago when the company was founded more
than half of its first employees were women. We’ve been doing
multi-language advertising in the U.S. since 1912, and we
continue leading D&I efforts today.
Our Credo, has guided our actions and
business for 75 years and was really
ahead of its time. From its realization
that everyone must be “considered as an
individual” and that we must “respect
their dignity” and “recognize their merit”
to the idea (revolutionary at the time)
that there has to be “equal opportunity
for employment, development and
advancement” – the concepts of diversity
and inclusion are embedded within the
Credo. Most importantly, these are not
just words written on a wall or on a
website – we really strive to meet the
responsibilities to our stakeholders
that are laid out in the Credo and that
expectation is embedded across our
culture. This expectation is something
you feel from your first day working at
Johnson & Johnson.
I think there is an inherent belief at
Johnson & Johnson 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. There's no way that we can be
successful in helping humanity if we only
have the perspectives of one group. And I
really think that having that basis changes
everything and influences our overall
approach to how we do business.
Many companies, of course, realize
that D&I is an expectation from society.
They have a lot of talent programs to
address it – and they are all needed
and we also need to measure their
effectiveness. The talent part of the equation
is important. Like every other company,
we have to identify, recruit, develop and
advance the best and brightest people.
We’re doing a lot in terms of strengthening
inclusive leadership capabilities
amongst our employees and becoming
more aware of our unconscious biases,
especially our people managers – because
we know this will help shape our culture
of inclusion and innovation. But the
business-focused aspect of D&I is what
sets us apart.
In fact, my career trajectory is an
example of how we value and bring
together the full array of experiences and
points of view to help meet the challenges
and opportunities of today and tomorrow.
My current role is Vice President, Johnson
& Johnson Engineering and Property
Services. I’m responsible for providing
strategic direction across Johnson &
Johnson’s 1000+ properties worldwide.
Before that, I was Vice President, Quality
Systems and Services and had prior roles
in R&D, Operations, Regulatory Affairs,
Quality and Compliance. At each step –
because of J&J’s expectation about bringing
diverse viewpoints and experiences to the
table – I was not pigeonholed into one
department but was able to leverage my
skills to help move the company forward
in a number of seemingly disparate areas.
Throughout my 27+ years at J&J, my
managers focused on the merits of my
business and leadership results when
making decisions regarding my next role
– recognizing the value of building on the
diversity of experiences and backgrounds
to drive further success.
I’m often asked by the many folks I
mentor what my primary piece of advice
is, and I always say: 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 experience builds on the
prior one and expands your 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 show for itself and are
timid about sharing our successes and
seeking new opportunities. So, striking
the right balance between humility and
confidence is key – go for it!
I am so pleased that Johnson &
Johnson has been recognized as
LATINA Style’s Company of the Year.
We have a long tradition of Diversity &
Inclusion. But the best thing is we are
continually striving to do even better and
help the company, our communities and
our world move forward.
64 www.latinastyle.com LATINAStyle Vol. 24, No. 4, 2018