“Diversity and inclusion creates an environment of mutual respect resulting in increased recruiting opportunities and higher employee retention. Our differences can create a space that employees of all backgrounds thrive in. Diversity at the Lab brings people with varying perspectives and viewpoints together to work as a team, generate ideas, and solve complex problems.”
Jenessa relocated from Southern California to be closer to family. When she was looking for employment opportunities, she talked to family members employed at the Laboratory and the consistent message she received was the excellent support of work/life balance. As a mother of two children under the age of two, this was a real selling point. The Lab provides the ability to have multiple careers without changing companies, providing continued years of service and home stability. When she first started working at the Lab, she did not know what she wanted to do. Through her experiences and work opportunities she was able to develop her skills in event management, ultimately leading to her current role as the administrator for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at LLNL. As she evolves through her career, her job is constantly evolving with new opportunities and educational experiences. She finds it exciting to think she will always have the ability to find a job at the Lab that both matches her skillset and leaves her feeling fulfilled and that she had made a difference.
Jenessa is a member of all of the employee resource groups (ERGs). She joined the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory Women’s Association (LLLWA) in search of networking and volunteer opportunities and wanted to meet new people and find ways to give back to the community. When she joined LLLWA she learned there was an opportunity to serve in an officer role and volunteered. Since then, she has served in every officer role for the maximum time of service allowed and ends her service in 2021 as the president. Her involvement with this ERG has resulted in strengthening leadership skills, creating a vast network throughout the Lab, increased confidence, and lifelong friendships.
Her role models are her Lab mentors. “I am surrounded by a supportive group of mentors that provide guidance, opportunities to learn new skills, and the overall encouragement that I can do anything I put my mind to. I believe mentors truly are the key to success. I know that I am a better employee because of the time they took to guide and nurture my career and personal growth.”