Carol Montandon has found something that’ll make most people jealous: a workplace that’s made her happy for nearly 25 years.
While she’s held multiple roles throughout her tenure at Johnson & Johnson — where she currently serves as Chief Quality Officer and VP of Quality & Compliance for the company’s medical device sector — one aspect of her career has remained constant: her involvement with Johnson & Johnson’s Women’s Leadership & Inclusion (WLI), which she now leads. It’s no coincidence that Montandon has worked at Johnson & Johnson for more than two decades and been a part of this employee resource group for just as long. WLI, which provides mentorship, development and training opportunities to employees — both women and male colleagues — has consistently been an invaluable resource for her and for thousands of others. Currently, she says, WLI is serving over 8,000 members.
“I really got involved from the beginning,” says Montandon. “As a new associate within Johnson & Johnson, I joined WLI to get to know other women within the company. From a networking perspective, I was able to gain access to senior women I wouldn’t normally have interacted with in my role.”
While any new job is an adjustment — and many of us have horror stories about our first month at a new company — Johnson & Johnson is doing all the right things to ensure that new employees are well-supported from day one. Like Montandon, all Johnson & Johnson newbies are introduced to the employee resource groups available at J&J when they begin their employment, making the onboarding process especially welcoming, as well as immediately opening the door to training, mentorship and networking opportunities.
Perhaps the best part is that WLI isn’t merely a group that provides resources; it’s also dead set on delivering results in three key areas: advancement, inclusion, and community. Leaders of each pillar set up programming, and Montandon works closely with the group’s other global chair to set objectives and strategies — and also to connect with WLI’s 190 local chapters on execution.
“We set out and crafted a new WLI strategy this year,” says Montandon. “We have a bold ambition of achieving equal opportunity for men and women across the company by 2025, and we know we’re going to do that through inclusion.” Specifically, WLI is working on increasing its reach outside of North America; advancing women at the manager, director, and VP and above levels; bringing on more male allies to help in this mission; and trying to get active participation from the next generation coming forward — even making the message of women’s advancement a part of recruitment.
“We’ll be measuring the percentage of women versus men in each key management level,” explains Montandon, “to track whether we’re seeing movement.”
Montandon’s colleagues certainly see the impact of the group. One employee, for instance, reported on Fairygodboss that at J&J, you have “lots of opportunities to move across the organization to build upon your experience as well as move up [and] tons of resources to build your capabilities with online and classroom trainings.”
WLI is so effective in part because it doesn’t exist in isolation; rather, the group is reflective of the company’s overall values and goals. As Montandon puts it, “There’s a big focus on diversity and inclusion within the company; we aspire to achieve gender equality at all levels. J&J has been driving this message forever, and WLI is a key component of that. We truly believe a diverse team will lead to greater business success.”