Justines Journey in Championing Inclusion at Work
A lot has changed in our workplaces over the past number of years, but the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion hasn’t gone anywhere. There is joy and power in recognizing the full value of everyone on your team and in your company and in LotusWorks, we take great pride in making sure everyone feels valued as a member of the team. June celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community in our society and workplaces, encouraging people to have the freedom to express themselves, however, they would like. LotusWorker Justine, a champion of diversity and inclusion who works as a mechanical commissioning lead in Ohio, is part of the LotusWorks team working at our semiconductor clients‘ facility
A native of Pennsylvania, Justine has been in her current role at LotusWorks for just over eight months. Her day-to-day role involves being responsible for all the commissioning activities on site, such as HVAC and fire protection services. As the project is only in its early stages, Justine is heavily involved in acquiring everything required for start-up, including software, and ensuring the contractor is aligned with the project. More recently, she has taken on more responsibilities from the commissioning managers, with the hope of one day moving to a managerial position within the company. Being one of the only women in a male-dominated industry can be daunting but Justine has thrived in her role to date. She stated that her time at LotusWorks has been positive as her team treats her the same as everyone else.
“I have never been made to feel like an outsider by anyone on the LotusWorks team. Sometimes, as I am sure many openly gay people can attest, if I am in a situation where I am worried about the reaction, I will receive for revealing that I am gay, I will use the word “spouse” or “significant other” to refer to my wife, to shroud the fact that I am married to a woman. I have never felt the need to do that at LotusWorks. Everyone on the team knows I am married to a woman, knows her by name, and even asks me about her. There is no need to hide because the guys here accept me as I am, and I am treated no different than any other team member. When it comes down to it, I am not viewed by the team as the openly gay, short-haired female. I am just Justine.”
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Asked what she enjoys most about her job at LotusWorks, Justine replied by saying she “enjoys the challenge”. In addition to this, Justine feels she has more creative or imaginative freedom in her role, through the LotusWorks continuous improvement program which rewards employees that strive to improve methods and processes within LotusWorks. Previously, Justine worked in the Naval Shipyards in Virginia. She felt this was mundane as it is a government-funded job many people will be slow to act, which was frustrating for Justine, which encouraged her to find another job. When a LotusWorks recruiter reached out to Justine about an upcoming vacancy, it was a no-brainer as she wanted to move back closer to family and was looking for a new challenge in her career.
A major inspiration in Justine’s engineering career was her father, who is a principal engineer in one of the largest industrial manufacturing companies in Europe. Her degree is in chemical engineering; however, she has since changed her focus. In her previous role in the Naval Shipyards, she worked as an electrical engineer and transitioned into mechanical design and her current role in LotusWorks is within the mechanical engineering field.
Work-life balance is an important aspect of being a LotusWorker. It refers to the equilibrium between one’s professional responsibilities and personal life, allowing individuals to effectively manage their time and energy to achieve success in both domains. Outside of work, Justine loves to relax and spend some quality time with her wife, who also works as an engineer. Justine’s real passion is sports and is known among her work colleagues to be “rocking her sports gear throughout the office”. Whether it’s MBA, NHL, MLB, or NFL Justine will have her own opinions to share on each team and even owns a range of different hoodies and hats for each team she supports. Outside of her home life, you might see Justine hitting the ski slopes, which was a key decider in her relocating from Virginia to Ohio for her new role at LotusWorks. There are many different areas for good skiing in the locality of Eastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania, which allows her to spend time skiing and on occasion, snowboarding.
In today’s rapidly evolving world, organisations are recognising the significance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. As well as simply building a great workplace culture and supporting the LGBTQ+ community, celebrating Pride sends an important message – a message that can become a valuable part of a company’s ethos. For companies, if you want to attract the best talent, you want people to know they will be safe and respected in their workplace. Pride Month is a great time to show how you embrace equality, diversity, and inclusivity in the workplace, but it’s not the only time when these matters. Equality and diversity should be embraced all year round. At LotusWorks, having a diverse and inclusive culture is a catalyst in the success experienced to date. It encourages enhanced creativity and innovation, increased employee engagement and productivity and improved problem-solving and decision-making.
“I am proud of the life, family, and careers my wife and I have worked very hard to build together. And that is worth being proud of every day, not just in June” adds Justine.
To read more about how LotusWorks implements a diverse and inclusive culture in its workplace, click here: https://lotusworks.com/diverse-workplaces-lead-to-greater-success/