Growing up, Vice President of Finance Christina Bosserd was taught to value others and appreciate the differences between herself and those around her. It’s no surprise, then, that she decided to build her career at Eaton, a multinational power management company with a profound commitment to diversity and inclusion.
At Eaton, employees are encouraged to celebrate themselves and each other by joining Inclusion Eaton Resource Groups (iERGs). Bosserd is personally a member of WAVE, an iERG for women, and ENGAGE, a millennial-centric network, but there are six other groups that employees are encouraged to join.
“My belief is that the hearts and minds of people have to be changed in order to make a difference in D&I,” Bosserd says. “To do this, you must get to know people on a deeper level, understand their pasts, including challenges or defeats, and learn how we can use our platform to make a difference.”
And D&I support at Eaton goes both ways, with identifying members and allies participating in groups like Eaton PRIDE, #VAMOS!, enABLE and more. In fact, “more than 30% of WAVE members are male allies,” she says.
We recently reached out to Bosserd about her involvement in iERGs and her advice for women who want to make their companies more inclusive. Check out her insight below.
How long have you been in your current role at Eaton and what were you doing previously?
I’ve been the VP of Finance at Eaton for two years. I joined Eaton 16 years ago as a participant in Eaton’s Leadership Development Program and have held various roles within finance since. Prior to my current role, I was the group controller for Eaton’s Aerospace Group responsible for financial planning and analysis for the business.
What employee resource group(s) are you involved with at Eaton?
I’m currently involved with WAVE, an employee resource group for women and ENGAGE, an employee resource group for millennials.
How and why did you first get involved with this group?
Growing up, my parents really taught me to value people as human beings and appreciate their differences. As I became a leader within Eaton, the passion around me for inclusion and diversity was contagious, and it inspired me to lead those around me to appreciate differences.
As an Eaton leader once said, our privilege gives us a voice others don’t have. The privilege I have to lead the finance function at Eaton gives me a unique voice to make a difference in the lives of those around me, which is a responsibility I don’t take lightly.
What have been the benefits of getting involved with your employee resource group? Who have you met? How have they helped you in your professional journey?
Being involved in Eaton’s WAVE ERG has allowed me to develop relationships with people I otherwise would not have had the opportunity to interact with. I now call these people friends. In addition, active participation has provided me opportunities to influence the direction of the future of D&I within Eaton.
What has this group accomplished that you’re most proud of?
The WAVE organization and its members have been instrumental in key accomplishments like reframing our parental leave policies, championing the implementation of flexible work solutions and being allies to other ERGs as they ramp up. Overall, the impact of this organization is felt by many inside Eaton and continues to have a legacy.
What’s the #1 thing you think your colleagues should know — but probably don’t know — about the group?
We aren’t all women! More than 30% of WAVE members are male allies, which speaks volumes to the culture inside Eaton. Others truly value diversity and are willing to come alongside us on this journey to make a difference.
What is your advice for women who want to make the company they work for more inclusive?
An Eaton plant manager shared some valuable advice during a leadership meeting that really stuck with me. She said:
Be an ally for all types of inclusion and diversity – not just gender diversity.
Use your privilege for good. Each of us are given the privilege of being in unique roles throughout our company, no matter the level in the organization. This exposure gives us a sphere of influence to stand up for others around us who may not be just like us. We have a voice others may not have yet and we should always seek out opportunities to stand up and do good for others in every situation.
Help remove barriers and accelerate others. If you have the opportunity to be a leader in your organization – you should always seek to remove barriers for others to excel and look for ways to accelerate talent. Always ask yourself: Who am I mentoring? How can I help shape them into the next generation leader? Are they diverse? If no one today, look for someone to develop that relationship with going forward.
My two cents? Make D&I part of your everyday life. If you have an opportunity to be involved in an ERG at your company, mentor diverse talent or stand up for someone — do it!
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