Jackie Glenn is the former Vice President, Global Diversity and Inclusion at Dell Technologies/Dell EMC, with a workforce of 145,000 in 180 countries. She set the policies and processes of a unified enterprise that brought together Dell Inc. and EMC Corporation and acted as a brand evangelist and thought leader to the global community.
During Jackie’s time at the helm as CDO of the technology giant, Diversity Inc. listed EMC as a Top 25 Noteworthy Company. Disability Matters named EMC a Leading Employee. Also, under Jackie’s guidance, the company had a 5-year run with a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index.
She recently added the title of Author to her credentials when she penned “Lift As I Climb ~ An Immigrant Girl’s Journey Through Corporate America.” This groundbreaking biography details one immigrant woman’s meteoric rise to the top of the business community through championing the importance of diversity and inclusion.
Jackie Glenn’s humble beginnings did not give any indication that she would be influential. I had the chance to chat with her this week about her immigrant story and rising to the top of the corporate ladder. Her story makes for quite an interesting conversation, supports the theory and shuts down the naysayers on why immigrants deserve to be here in the U.S.
MP: Where are you from?
J.G.: “I’m from Allman Town, Kingston, Jamaica. I come from a family of eleven, and I am the middle child. My aunt raised me until I migrated to the U.S. at 19 years.”
MP: Your story is fascinating. How did you make the transition from nanny to corporate?
JG: “A friend of my mother from Kansas City was looking for a nanny, and of all my mother’s kids, I volunteered. Back then, it was easy. When I got to the airport, they had my name on a card, and that is how I found them.”
“I worked for two years as a nanny, doing anything they needed me to do for their children, then left for Boston to be with my Dad’s family. Boston was where I met my husband, had kids, and began building a life.”
“I went to school for my Associate’s Degree, worked as a recruiter, and kept going until I rose in the ranks.”
MP: Immigration is a focal point of politics today. Has much changed from when you came to now?
JG: “Immigration has changed tremendously. We were looked upon to fulfill jobs that Americans typically did not want to do.
When I worked as a recruiter, jobs in housekeeping and kitchens were 99% done by immigrants. And they did these jobs because they were prepared to work hard.”
“My goal when I came wasn’t to focus on my immigration status, but it was much more welcoming back then. Today I feel like I have to defend my immigration status.”
MP: The title of your book says, “Lift As I Climb.” Tell me about how you lifted as you climbed.
JG: “I believe in giving back.” “I believe in not thinking about how much it will cost or how much bigger the other person will get than me. One very good example of lifting was with Gloria Mayfield Banks of Mary Kay. Gloria is now an Independent Elite Executive National Sales Director with Mary Kay Inc. and holds the #1 position in the U.S. I remember when she was starting out. Look at where she is now.”
“My goal has always been to sew into people like me, who can be the next Jackie.”
The book outlines ten gems. Why these? And when did you realize these were the ‘gems in your own life?
JG: “The gems outlined in the book are sort of an instructive bio. They were core values I lived by as I climbed. They are outlined in each of the ten chapters and features an immigrant from another country that speaks on these gems – resilience, empathy, authenticity, self-awareness, boldness, faith, responsibility, flexibility, integrity, and trust.”
MP: You have since founded Glenn Diversity Inclusion and H.R. Solutions. How is the company championing the mission of immigrants and women?
JG: “In several different ways. We are focused on empowering women of all nationalities, especially women of color and the next generation.”
“We offer consulting services, curricula, and content that effectively evolve corporate cultures – diversity, equity, and belonging; how organizations can add to their bottom line; how to recruit and retain. We also work with “white” corporations around their strategy of including and retaining more under-represented minorities.”
MP: What would you say to your 19-year-old self now that you didn’t know back then?
JG: “Calm down. Take a deep breath. You’re gonna make it.”
MP: What message would you give to young immigrant girls in the U.S. today?
JG: “Enter into every interaction with boldness.” “Practice being bold, but not rude.”
One of my tag lines that I take with every day is “Blessed and Highly Favored.”
— (The New York CaribNews)