Schneider Electric Director says bring your authentic self to work

Schneider Electric Director says bring your authentic self to work

 June 30, 2021

How can you turn vulnerability into strength and leadership?

In celebration of Pride Month, Jill Weaver, Schneider Electric Director of U.S. Services, shares her experience about trust in the workplace and bringing your authentic self to work.

"The idea of revealing our authentic selves to someone can seem daunting and a little frightening. It’s natural for leaders to fear the vulnerability that comes with sharing honestly about themselves. But it’s so important to be able to be yourself at work, feel proud of who you are, and encourage others to do the same," says Jill.

Creating a strong connection with her team

When Schneider Electric put employees through a program that focused on trust and vulnerability, it was a new experience for Jill. Schneider Electric said: “We want you to be yourself and let your teammates have your back.”

That was a turning point for Jill. She felt she was finally able to be herself with her coworkers. When they started talking about themselves, they started to open up and trust each other. "We got to know one another on a deeper level," explains Jill. "And they got to see and know who I really am. I could be vulnerable and honest about being gay and feel totally accepted and respected at the same time. Being open about who we are created a stronger connection with my team."

Being valued for who you are 

Schneider Electric

Jill believes she is very fortunate to work at a company with an open, welcoming environment where differences are embraced irrespective of race, gender, age, background or sexual orientation. "At Schneider Electric there are no barriers to equal opportunities and growth. No matter who we are, here, we feel deeply valued and validated," she says.

Jill has seen a change from her early career experience to now - corporate culture is now far more accepting and inviting, and she no longer has to hide her true self.

"A lot of companies give lip service to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) and their dedication to improving those areas to create a more welcoming environment. It sounds good on paper, but when push comes to shove, their actions speak louder than words," she says. "Schneider, though, puts their money where their mouth is. In fact, it’s unbelievable how Schneider prioritizes people and celebrates employee differences. It’s not lip service. They publicly acknowledge PRIDE on Facebook and Instagram during June, even though some customers pushed back. They even threatened to take their business elsewhere. But Schneider stayed steadfast in their commitment to inclusivity. That said a great deal about the company’s priorities."

"Here, DE&I is not something that gets trotted out and displayed only during PRIDE Month. It’s already deeply ingrained in the company’s values and culture. Schneider makes it easy for LBGTQ employees to participate in ongoing resource groups designed for their professional development and advancement as leaders. Throughout the year we get to hear new perspectives and personal stories from people from all walks of life. And that draws you closer to those co-workers," she adds.

Working at a people-first company 

At Schneider Electric, Jill has also found opportunities for professional and personal growth. For example, a Transforming Leadership program at Schneider Electric taught her how to be a strategic, dynamic leader for the company. "Nothing has held me back from advancing in my career. Today, I lead a team responsible for $24 million in industrial automation services sales," she says.

Jill shares her advice for people looking for an inclusive company: "Think about a place where you feel you can belong. When considering corporate America, look for a company that puts people first regardless of race, gender, religion, or sexual preference. Above all, it should be a company that aligns with your beliefs," she adds.

"I’m very thankful to work at a people-first, people-centric company. One where the number one priority is their people."

Be your authentic self at Schneider Electric

By embracing difference, Schneider Electric builds at inclusive community at work where everyone feels safe to be their authentic selves at work.

Join the many tealented women like Jill at Schneider Electric. Search their latest career vacancies.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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