These advocates work tirelessly to help veterans succeed in the civilian workplace. Get to know who they are, what they do, and how they advocate for the veteran community.
Janet Hermosillo is a Diversity & Inclusion Leader for IBM.
“Working with the veterans community is a natural fit for me. Not only am I passionate about supporting others, but I also understand how it feels to be part of a marginalized group. As a first-generation Latina, I have struggled to overcome doubts about my own success to transition into the corporate world. Supporting the veterans community as a D&I professional, my job is to alleviate that obstacle. To nurture and enhance the employee’s lifecycle and guide employees and organizations to work towards a better future for everyone – together, we are strengthening the culture of IBM and are proud to say #IveBeenMilitary. Honored to see our efforts create an impact to our service members, veterans and allies.”
Champion’s Job Responsibilities:
As a D&I Leader for the veterans community, the mission is to enhance the veteran employee’s lifecycle by delivering support with recruitment, building camaraderie, leadership advancement, enhancing engagement insights to build retention. Our iterative lifecycle allows us to understand trends in order to develop recommendations for a seamless transition. The goal is to strengthen IBM’s brand as an employer of choice through partnerships, launch support programs such as mentorship, host camaraderie sessions, and share transition opportunities from CSR. To advance the veterans agenda, my role is to support 3,000+ veterans through celebration month activities, signature experiences, awards, programs, and more.
Why Janet was nominated for the Veteran Champions of the Year in Corporate America Award:
This year has been incredible. Starting the role as a Veterans D&I Leader in 2019, Janet envisioned a whole plan once she stood up the Veterans Executive Council; and to see it come to fruition (and quickly) makes it all more meaningful. Janet was able to stand up an entire council from scratch, onboard and design-think alongside such passionate leaders, to flush out our four key strategic squad priorities: camaraderie, mentorship, recruitment, and leadership advancement. Janet’s squads launched their first pilot collecting 200+ mentors and tailored a personal experience by aligning veterans by branch, interest, and business. Janet and her Mentorship Squad went above and beyond by delivering a personal touch on sending veteran merchandise kits to our mentorship cohort as a token of appreciation for supporting our efforts. Those efforts showed 87% of our cohort wanting our squad to proactively invite incoming veterans and more.
As for recruitment, the squad became more innovative in sharing live broadcast experiences and expanded conference partnerships to the Service Academy Career Conference bringing in top professional talent for interviews and in the pipeline as the soldiers are close to transitioning.
For camaraderie, Janet made an invisible community less invisible, reaching over 2,000+ participants at our peak with NPS scores of over 80+ and 90+ for the camaraderie series. Janet and her council were there in times of celebration and in times of need, such as our quick response to Afghanistan for those experiencing mental health challenges and supporting through curated resources, providing discussion points, mental health series, and 1:1 counseling sessions.
Her Leadership Advancement squad filled a gap that has never been created before: creating a learning offering that translates the military experience (pay grades, rank, etc.) for hiring managers/talent acquisition to speak the same language as our military candidates, as well as a cover letter resource that helps veterans add value to their IBM candidacy by templating how to pull leadership experience from their DD-214 document.
Lastly, her Executive Council launched a Leadership Training pilot to 40-select veteran IBMers to drive back ROI and visibility to their existing projects. All in all, IBM can look back and feel accomplished that so many milestones have been created in one year.