EMC's Jackie Glenn: Championing Diversity and Inclusion

By Sheryl Estrada


Jackie Glenn

From the time she was a little girl growing up in Jamaica, Jackie Glenn enjoyed “figuring things out and building things from scratch.”

But when Jackie was approached in 2007 to fill her current position as a diversity-and-inclusion leader, she actually was not that interested. “It was not my aspiration at the time,” she says.

But after agreeing to take on the role “only temporarily,” she says she found her passion.

“I cannot see myself doing anything else,” Jackie now says. “It’s going to be eight years in November since I’ve been the Global Chief Diversity Officer at EMC. Sometimes people see things in you that you don’t see in yourself.”

As Global Chief Diversity Officer at EMC, she leads the diversity-and-inclusion strategy for the company’s global operations with a workforce of 60,000 employees. Jackie is also experienced in strategic planning, human resources and talent development.

She has developed several efforts at EMC, including the design and implementation of a mandatory D&I curriculum, institutionalization of the company’s Transgender Reassignment Program, and the launch and execution of its High Potential Women’s Program.

JACKIE GLENN
Current Position:

Global Chief Diversity Officer, EMC

Previous Position:

Director of HR Operations, Sales Division, EMC

Education:

Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration, Emmanuel College

Master’s Degree in Human Resources Management, Lesley University

Community:

Member, Board of Directors, Children’s Services of Roxbury

Member, Board of Directors, The Museum of African American History, Boston

Member, Board of Directors, Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts

Member, Board of Directors, Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Association

Jackie joined EMC in 2000 as the Director of Human Resources Operations for the Sales Division. She successfully provided strategic and tactical human-resources support to sales groups, comprising more than 2,000 employees at both domestic and international sites.

She is perceptive. She understands and communicates how to tie diversity into business practices and to a company’s bottom line.

“I have an extensive background in human resources, which I believe is a great prerequisite to being a chief diversity officer,” she says.

Jackie says she was able to make recommendations that were well received as colleagues trusted her judgment.

“They knew that I had a brand, and whatever I needed to talk to them about would at least be worth listening to,” she says.

Like in paying close attention to our country’s demographics.

“As a nation our demographics are going to continue to shift, and I think that corporations that don’t get ready for it will be left behind,” she offers.

According to Jackie, EMC’s environment is conducive to sharing ideas, which allows her to thrive.

“One of the things I love about EMC is that even though it’s corporate, it has the feel of entrepreneurship,” she says. “I love building. I don’t mind maintaining, but my expertise is always in building. And I’m never bored.”

Glenn admits, though, that as an executive there are days that can be challenging.

“I think that if anyone tells you they have a happy day every day, they’re lying,” she said. “You pick yourself up and you go on. I really believe that the work that I do is going to change this world, not just EMC, but it’s really world changing.”

Coming to the U.S. and Serving Her Community

Jackie came to the U.S. for college, earning an undergraduate degree in Healthcare Administration from Emmanuel College and a master’s degree in Human Resources Management from Lesley University.

As a young Black woman coming from the islands, not knowing a lot of people, she says older women of color helped her navigate life in this country. Jackie says white males in professional environments encouraged her as well.

“I’ll be honest with you, a lot of my success has been steered by white males who saw a potential in me and were not intimidated at how I come across—real strong,” she says. “They took me under their wings and really guided me.”

Knowing mentors contributed to her career, Jackie believes in paying it forward.

“I always say that if I can help somebody as I pass along, then my living is not in vain,” she comments.

Jackie and her husband, Windsor, have two daughters, Nicole, 30, an attorney, and Alicia, 23, a salesperson. She serves as a board member and human resources consultant for Children’s Services of Roxbury.

“I go into communities where Black and brown kids are underserved and share my story,” she says. “I go in and I talk about being from the islands—a lot of the inner-city kids have island roots—I share how I came through, what I did, and how I built my career. A lot of young kids really can relate to me. I didn’t take the conventional way of getting to the C-suite or the chief diversity officer, but I got there.”

Jackie is also on the board for Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts, The Museum of African American History, Boston and the Greater Boston Sickle Cell Disease Association.

“I usually do things that are near and dear to my heart, or I have a background in,” she says. “I’m just not sitting on the board but I’m adding value.”

Career Advice

Jackie offers two words of career advice: work hard.

“Jackie Glenn is a brand, and I’m very much certain I want to keep my brand intact,” she says. “So I continue to work hard in whatever I do.”

Despite all that she must accomplish in a day, Jackie makes sure to find time to center herself and relieve stress through yoga, meditation, listening to gospel music on the way to work, and exercise.

“Every day I do something,” she says. “Even if it’s only 15 minutes of riding my stationery bike.”

Latest News

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

Arizona Conservatives Attempt to Roll Back LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum in Schools

Republican lawmakers in Arizona have approved new laws revamping LGBTQ-inclusive education in schools, making it harder for educators to teach about historical events such as the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that started the gay rights movement, discussions about sexual orientation or instruction of anything related to LGBTQ…

Black Lives Matter Protest

Florida Passes Controversial ‘Anti-Protest’ Bill Designed to Weaken Black Lives Matter and Other Social Justice Movements 

In a play designed to make it harder for social justice advocates to gather and promote change, the Florida Senate has passed a controversial so-called “anti-riot” bill inspired by the recent increase in protests by groups such as Black Lives Matter. Dartunorro Clark of NBC News has reported that “the…

Disney

Disney Theme Parks Announce New Diversity and Inclusion Efforts for Workers

Following long-term COVID-19-related closures, Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort has opened back up for business and California’s Disneyland is slated to reopen on April 30th. The family-friendly company also took some time away from celebrating its big news to announce some inclusive and diversity-promoting efforts it had implemented during the…

PwC’s Leah Houde on How To Reimagine Ways to Higher Education Despite Rising Costs and Barriers to Entry

Originally published on LinkedIn. Leah Houde is PwC’s Chief Learning Officer. PwC is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   The economic and societal gap in our nation is growing. The pandemic has only exacerbated this divide, disproportionately ravaging Black, Latinx and underserved communities. Barriers to education continue to drive wedges between…