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Leading the industry towards sustainability and equity | MIT News

Just a year after graduating from the MIT Leaders for Global Operations (LGO) program, Janelle Heslop SM ’19, MBA ’19 found herself tasked by Amgen to lead a team determining where the company would place its next manufacturing facilities. a billion dollars. With her passion for sustainability, Heslop relished the chance to take what she called “a mini-crash course on how to make a big decision for the leadership of a Fortune 150 company” while keeping the impact environment at the forefront for Amgen’s newest and most technologically advanced. -advanced manufacturing facilities.

Bringing together leaders from across the business, Heslop ultimately identified sites in North Carolina and Ohio for what will become the next-generation flagship manufacturing sites in the company’s network.

“Thanks to Janelle’s work, we were able to move the project on time and on budget and, more importantly, establish the capabilities that will be needed in the future,” says Arleen C. Paulino, senior vice president of the manufacturing and global operations at Amgen.

A native of Yonkers, New York, Heslop nurtured his commitments to sustainability, innovation, and promoting diversity in STEM as an undergraduate engineer at Columbia University and later as a as an environmental consultant to Fortune 100 companies and public environmental agencies such as the New York City Department. environmental protection. Currently Senior Director of Strategic Planning and Operations at Amgen, Heslop’s broader vision of how to drive impact began at the LGO program.

According to Heslop, the program has been fundamental in shaping his professional growth and career by providing practical, skill-based knowledge and advanced concepts in operations, strategy, analytics and people management.

“These are skills that I use daily today,” says Heslop. “When I was working on the localization strategy project, I often referred to my notes on the localization strategy frameworks from my operational strategy course that I took with the executive director of LGO!”

“Plus, I often think about the “L” in LGO — leadership! Through our classroom assignments and hands-on assignments, LGO asked us to think a lot about the kinds of leaders we are and want to be,” says Heslop. As a result, she often asks herself, “How can I best serve my team as a servant leader?” How can I best motivate my team through coaching? And how can I help others understand the end goal through visionary leadership? »

“Janelle was an outstanding student, undeniable in her presence, but very humble,” says Renée Richardson Gosline, senior lecturer and research scientist at MIT Sloan School of Management. “I first met her when she took the Exploring the Next Economic Frontier course I was teaching which ended with a tour of Southern Africa. Janelle was new to behavioral science, but was keen to apply the learnings to help people abroad and at home. It was during this time that I discovered Janelle’s passion for sustainability,” says Gosline.

According to Gosline, the trip to South Africa allowed Heslop to explore South Africa’s history of apartheid, draw inspiration from leaders like Nelson Mandela, and reflect on how racism and sustainability intersect. intersect as environmental racism. “As a black woman, it was a privilege to take the journey with her and share a wonderful and inspiring experience, as complex and challenging as it was,” Gosline says.

Heslop has developed his leadership signature through numerous courses, team projects, travels and other experiences of the LGO Dual Degree Program. “Janelle represents a new breed of leadership with a passion and drive to put the environment and sustainability at the center of business decisions,” says Heidi Nepf, Donald and Martha Harleman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at MIT, who co- headed the mastery of Heslop. thesis based on his LGO research internship at Amgen.

Heslop also co-founded LGO’s Underrepresented Minority Alumni Group (URM) as a student and young alumnus. The purpose of the group was to examine the critical need to increase the presence of underrepresented students within the LGO program.

“I was the only black female in my LGO class. The last time we had a black female in the program before me was not even in the class above me, but in the two-year-old class. in front of me,” Heslop explains.

By founding the LGO URM Alumni Group, Heslop and his peers hoped to increase the number of underappreciated talents to enroll in the LGO program by increasing the visibility of the program and creating a diverse talent pool through forums and networks. . “We are just beginning this journey, but we have an amazing group of former LGO URM executives advising us and helping us build pipelines into organizations such as NSBE. [National Society of Black Engineers]SHPE [Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers]and more,” says Heslop.

Heslop’s connection to the community has been a constant in his academic and professional success. “I have a huge, totally supportive community,” she says. “I’m super close to my family, which is probably my main source of inspiration.” Heslop’s parents were low-income Jamaican immigrants who she says “made something out of nothing when they came here.”

While Heslop has faced pandemic challenges, the past two years have also reminded her that she is more than her accomplishments or her productivity. “I want to accomplish a lot of things, but I want to be healthy and full of joy while doing them, and that takes more than just trying to accomplish – it means investing in the wholeness of ourselves, including our mental health. , physical and spiritual, and so much more,” says Heslop.

“I want it for myself and for the people around me, my loved ones, my community, and for other women who look like me — black women who are trying to do great things here,” Heslop says.

Heslop combines his commitment to sustainability and his personal passion for diversity and representation in STEM in his current work at Amgen.

“I don’t dream of jobs. I dream of impact,” says Heslop. “I want to manage, execute, lead projects that have a meaningful impact on the world, prepare it for future challenges like climate change, leverage emerging ideas and innovation to create a healthier and more equitable society.”

In early 2021, Heslop received a note from a black female engineering undergraduate who had interned at Amgen last summer, which read, “I just wanted to reach out and thank you for the tremendous impact you you had on me when it came to successful women leaders during my summer internship at Amgen.”

Heslop doesn’t recall doing anything special to earn such accolades other than having coffee with the intern and sharing her experience and career path. But it obviously left an impression on the intern, which underlined for Heslop the importance of representation in the workplace, especially in the STEM sector.

“For a long time I thought being the ‘one’ was something to be endured more or less,said Heslop. But I think it was really in LGO that I discovered that it’s something that I’m lucky enough to direct.