Janine Griffin is a role model and mentor at Schneider Electric

Janine Griffin is a role model and mentor at Schneider Electric

 September 05, 2019

Janine Griffin is the Transactional Tender Manager at Schneider Electric in the United Kingdom and says she gets a real “buzz” out of helping other people develop their careers. Janine shares insight into her career journey.

STEM ambassador for women in technical roles

Schneider Electric describes Janine as a role model and mentor, having worked with the company for more than 20 years. She says she feels empowered and supported by the company in terms of career progression and she wants to be a STEM ambassador for young people and women in technical roles

"It’s a great privilege to be a manager of a team, and I have a really great team! I love helping people to develop their careers. I get a real buzz from seeing them grow and feel proud that I was able to play some small part in their progression. Unfortunately, the side effect is that I am quite often having to recruit to back-fill the space created by people moving on from my team, and it is getting increasingly difficult to find the right people," says Janine.

"My challenge, therefore, is how do I encourage a more diverse range of talent into our business? For that reason, I am looking to become a STEM ambassador. I would like to encourage young people who are maybe just considering their exam and career options to look at engineering, and in particular, the exciting opportunities that a career within Schneider can bring."

Enjoying life in a role that changes and develops over time

Although Janine has been in her current role for a few years now, it has constantly changed and evolved over time. The role is quite different now to when she first stepped into it and this is something she enjoys. "It is now a much more diverse role with several layers to it. I love that it now spans across various business units, meaning I get to interact with more people from different areas and levels within the business, from sales, marketing and commercial, through to customer services and finance," explains Janine

"I manage a team of 15 people who are split into two quite different areas. One area is Sales Engineer Support: a telephone service operated by a team of 5 people who support the sales teams out in the field. They provide our sales teams with information regarding quotation/order progression, and help to connect them to other areas of the business. The other area is a team of highly skilled technical engineers who provide quotations to customers interpreted from drawings and specifications. This brings me into contact with several aspects of the business, and constantly challenges me to improve our processes and the way we interact with customers and sales engineers."

Receiving training and support from Schneider Electric

Over the years with Schneider Electric, Janine has received a substantial amount of professional training which has helped her to work more effectively and shape the approach she takes to her role.

"I have also been given the opportunity to get involved in projects which have given me exposure to other areas of the business, thereby broadening my experience beyond my ‘day job’ and opening up different networking opportunities," adds Janine.

"One of the most impressive things about Schneider is its culture. The more I talk to others about the companies they work for, the more I realise that Schneider is way ahead of the game when it comes to its culture. In my experience, the company values, empowers, supports and encourages you to be the best version of yourself, and opportunities for development and progression are infinite. What impressed me when I first joined Schneider, (and still today) is that there is no predetermined line of progression. You can take your career in any direction that interests you, be that upwards, across different departments, or even different countries."

Janine career Schneider Electric

Janine believes female career progression should be supported

In order for women to feel empowered and supported in their careers, Janine would like to see companies encourage greater involvement from senior management in diversity activities and forums, particularly if they are from areas where females have been traditionally under-represented. 

"The driver needs to come from the top, and sometimes managers need to take a risk, and look outside the traditional pool of talent. What is lacking in experience in a particular field, might be more than made up for by other skills, as well as enthusiasm and fresh perspective," she explains

Sharing salient advice with her younger self

If Janine could offer a piece of advice to her younger self, she would say "believe in yourself, aim higher, face the fear and do it anyway. Have a go, give it a try. The worst that can happen is that you learn how not to do it."

The best piece of career advice Janine has been given herself is "When you are reading a job description, don’t feel you have to tick all the boxes before you apply. If you tick all the boxes, you have nowhere left to develop, so you’re not aiming high enough. I am the manager of a team of technical engineers, but I’m not technically trained and I don’t have the ‘required HNC in Electrical Engineering’. What I do have is, leadership and management skills. I feel empowered and supported to recruit the right people; I can build strong, high performing teams, I can formulate processes and resolve issues, I can collaborate and negotiate at all levels. Over the years I have picked up on the technical knowledge, but I bring much more to the team than just that."

Maintaining an enjoyable work-life balance 

With a flexible work environment at Schneider Electric, Janine is able to go to the gym three times a week to Body Combat classes which she really enjoys. "We also just got a new puppy who is very energetic and gets us up at ridiculous hours of the morning to go out walking and playing frisbee," she laughs.

Janine also enjoys travel and visiting new places on holiday. "We have a trip to South Africa booked where we are looking forward to a safari, as well as travelling the garden route to Cape Town, to experience the changing landscapes of this beautiful country," she comments. 

"I am also lucky enough to have a great circle of close family and friends who I can relax and enjoy a couple of cheeky G&Ts with at the weekends."

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