Black History Month feels particularly powerful this year following the national groundswell for racial justice that began months ago in the spring of 2020 and that continues today. Siemens USA is an ally in the fight toward racial justice—we stand up against injustice and inequality, recognizing that when they are problems for one, they’re problems for us all. At Siemens, we value diversity as the inclusion and collaboration of different thinking, backgrounds, experience, expertise and individual qualities across all organizational levels and dimensions.
All this month, we have lifted up a number of Black employees at Siemens USA. These are their names, faces, and voices:
“The best leadership advice I’ve received is to get a mentor and/or be a mentor.”
Anika has worked for Siemens for over 11 years and is inspired by many different things – God, the ocean, nature and people, to name a few. Her advice for finding inspiration? Step outside.
Anika shared her favorite quote to live by, from Booker T. Washington: “If you want to lift yourself up, lift up someone else.”
“My leadership advice is as follow: Impossible is not a fact, it’s an opinion.”
Charlton has been with Siemens for over eight years. His most recent achievement with Siemens is being a U.S. Patent holder, which was awarded on December 8, 2020. He is a true inventor and an avid reader, and primarily reads personal development books because he believes that understanding one’s self can help others be better.
His leadership advice to us: “Success and failure are slow processes!”
“One of my greatest inspirations is sharing my experiences of being in corporate America with those that are just starting their career. I love helping the next generation of young talent by offering advice and guidance along their career path.”
James has been with Siemens for 5 and a half years, and he reminded us that being a leader does not always come with a title.
“Strive to be the best in your field or endeavor, don’t just strive to gain a title. People all around us are leaders in their individual field but they may not have the title we associate with a leader. Leadership will find you because you are the best at what you do.”
James also reminded us of the importance of finding a hobby or pastime. James enjoys photography and finds it relaxing to capture the world around him.
“What I love about Siemens is how we embrace diversity—we are purpose driven. From our managing board globally to our leadership in the U.S. we recognize the value of inclusion.”
Claude has been with Siemens for over 17 years. As an HR business partner, he is a change agent whose focus is on driving best-of-class performance and on the execution of business initiatives while assisting decision makers achieve significant performance.
His advice to other leaders is simple: “Always be in listen mode, assume positive intent, work through others, their success is your success, be a mentor.”
“Being a part of the team at the Siemens Foundation has allowed me to view the company’s efforts from a philanthropic perspective. Our educational outreach and impact on societal needs allows me to have a career that provides both passion and purpose.”
An HBCU grad and a Siemens veteran for 21+ years, Jeniffer believes that teamwork is essential to the success of almost every effort.
“Building upon the perspectives of different people and their experiences will enrich any discussions around work projects while allowing you to gain insight on different approaches to the seek solutions.”
“Set your personal goals high and remain steadfast in achieving them, always with the mindset to exceed your own expectations.”
Stephen is the co-lead of the Black Employment Community @ Siemens (BEC@S) and has been with the company for 24 years. He is inspired by his family – they motivate him to be a better person and to reinvent himself every day.
Stephen shared the importance of writing down your goals so that you are the architect of your own story. He believes that change is inevitable, but you are in control of your own future.
“Know the history of those who have prepared the roads of your success before you, and remember to express kindness and compassion towards your fellow man/woman.”
“My philosophy is, the best leaders are those who know how to best serve. When a leader can operate in any capacity and make a contribution while doing so, that’s an invaluable leader!”
For Ayana Nathan, a Siemens employee for over 20 years, positively impacting someone’s life is what inspires her the most. So naturally, that inspiration has become the center of her motivation at work. Whenever given the chance, Ayana strives to make a difference and bring about positive change for those she works for and with. That’s why Sales Excellence has become the “passion work” of her career.
“The leadership growth I’ve gone through at Siemens has helped me evolve as an individual outside of work. Most importantly, it has helped me do what means the most to me, which is make a positive impact in the lives of those around me. This is why I can sleep at night.”
“I am motivated by my children and making a better life for them. I grew up in a very poor neighborhood and understood at a very young age this world isn’t fair for everyone. I want to show my children and family that no matter your social standing or ethnicity, it’s possible to achieve something greater than what you’re born into.”
Jerrold is based in Norwood, Ohio and has worked at Siemens for 14 years. He considers himself a huge advocate for servant leadership. Jerrold also believes in developing employees and fostering their talents to improve the overall success of the company.
“I am inspired by change. The world is constantly evolving and there is something amazing happening right now. Organizations are now being held accountable for their practices. This inspires me to push ahead to seek more change, not only in the workplace, but also in society.”
“What motivates me is knowing that my interactions have a direct correlation on changing the narrative on how African-Americans are perceived. In corporate America, when I look around the table in meetings, I seldom see anyone who looks like me. In order the change this dynamic, I am to always be a subject-matter expert in my field and always operate in excellence.”
Christopher has been with Siemens for over 20 years. His inspiration comes from his deep-rooted faith as well as his goal of paving the way for future generations to come.
“Leaders must not only encourage, but also invest in both the personal and professional growth of their team members.”
“The gratification of helping employees make decisions about their career is my greatest motivator. This is both a strength and a passion of mine.”
A Siemens employee for over 13 years, Melanie prides herself in bringing her best self to work each day and bringing positive energy to the environment with a smile and a little humor. She believes that you have to love what you do to do it every day—that you must find purpose in your career and strive for excellence.
One of her favorite quotes comes from Viola Davis: “The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity.”
“Provide servant leadership by helping others grow to their full potential, commit to actions that provide a future for the organization beyond your own career, be humble, and learn from mistakes.”
Michael has worked for Siemens for over 36 years and is inspired by his team’s strong commitment to design and deliver excellent automation products for Siemens. Helping others grow and watching them succeed is what motivates him each day.
“During a third-grade recess, a classmate called me ‘bossy.’ Even at the age of 8, I took pride in knowing that I had an ability to organize, execute plans, and that I wasn’t shy about sharing my ideas. A leader doesn’t have to demand to lead—they just speak up and do what they feel will help accomplish the goal or task at hand. Being a leader, it helps to know your talents and have patience and a willingness to help. I have had great mentors throughout life to teach me this.”
The theme of Black History Month 2021 is "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity," and Nyra White, a Siemens employee for over six years, shared some stories about how her family has been an inspiration to her.
“The women in my family inspire me. I was very fortunate to have, spend time with and learn from my great-aunts. My late grandmothers (maternal & paternal) and my mom inspire me the most. While both of my grandmothers had little education, they were dedicated to family and exemplified strength in their commitment to hard work. My mom is the strongest person in my life. As a single parent, she taught my older brother and I the importance of having a solid spiritual relationship, continuing to advance in education and that anything can be accomplished if we set high goals and go for them. These women motivate me to do things they may not have had the opportunity to do. I attribute all my aspirations and accomplishments to them.”
Published: February 26, 2021