Spotlight: Jennifer Taylor
One of the key leadership development problems that we are solving in the Global Ambassadors Program is how to engage and motivate women entrepreneurs through mentorship.
While we don’t place a specific focus on the development of networking skills during the program, we are constantly impressed by the number of mentees who seize the opportunity to engage other mentors and develop strong bonds with their fellow mentees. This leads to great peer-to-peer mentoring outcomes.
We actively encourage mentors to open doors for their mentees by making introductions from their own established networks that may assist her mentee to achieve her goals.
It is not often that we come across strong role models of committed and ongoing engagement such as Jennifer Taylor, chief operating officer for Bank of America’s Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. In her role as the COO, she is responsible for developing and implementing operating plans across the firm’s business with a particular emphasis on strategic planning and execution, governance and controls, and infrastructure efficiency.
Jennifer served as a Global Ambassador South Africa program in June 2012. Over 20 members of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Network joined five Global Ambassadors for a four-day program focused on defining the challenges associated with and actions steps toward achieving an increase in women’s voice and agency.
To Jennifer, leadership means “driving forward what you know, but just as importantly, articulating what you don’t know and finding a solution.” Since her initial participation as a mentor in the Global Ambassadors Program, Jennifer has continued to deeply invest her time in its growth.
In October of 2012, she traveled to India to participate as a panelist in the public forum held as part of the Global Ambassadors Program, “Enabling Advancement: Strategies to Promote Women’s Leadership in the Private Sector.”
One of the mentees who participated in the India Global Ambassadors Program was Sarika Bhattacharyya. At that time, Sarika’s biggest challenge was balancing her career as a human resources consultant with her passion for women’s empowerment. She had both a consulting firm, Altavis, and an NGO, Biz Divas. Under the guidance of two Global Ambassadors, Sarika was able to achieve a clearer vision of how to manage what at first seemed like competing interests. Rather than dividing her energy between the for-profit and non-profit sectors, Sarika has expanded her business to include diversity consulting. She also initiated an annual women’s leadership conference called I Inspire. Committed to leading by example, Jennifer traveled back to India in 2013 to participate in Sarika’s inaugural conference.
She then joined the Global Ambassadors Program held in Doha, Qatar in November 2013 and was featured as one of two keynote women leaders representing Bank of America at the Fourth Qatar International Businesswomen’s Forum, speaking about the importance of women’s leadership development and the impact of mentorship.
Jennifer Taylor speaking at the United States Ambassador’s Residence in Doha, Qatar