Diversity Manager for Eaton Corporation University Relations
Judy Johnson grew up in Sunflower County deep in the heart of the Mississippi Delta and received a degree in engineering at Mississippi State University (MSU) at a time when few women became engineers. She went on to earn a MBA from Mississippi College as well.
Johnson wasn’t content to just achieve on her own in a field that has traditionally been dominated by white males. Her trademark has been to reach out to women and minorities to encourage them to pursue careers in math, science and engineering.
Johnson currently works as diversity manager for Eaton Corp.’s University Relations out of Eaton’s world headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio. She develops and implements the strategy for recruiting women and minority students to work for Eaton.
“Judy emulates the characteristics admired of professional business women operating with high standards of integrity and ethics,” said Amber Thompson, manager of training and development for Eaton Corp. “She is also a role model to other professional women in balancing her commitment to her family, the community, and in coaching other professional women.”
Sandra Song, associate director of Women In Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, agrees about Johnson’s impact on others.
“She is a born mentor, and I have seen her work magic on the students she reaches out to and supports,” Song said. “It is because of corporate leaders such as Ms. Johnson that there will be a transformation of the work force to one that reflects the vibrancy and power of diversity.”
Dr. Clay Walden, director of the Center for Advanced Vehicular Services Extension at Mississippi State University (MSU), credits Johnson with working tirelessly to forge a strong relationship between Eaton, one of the state’s leading high tech industries, and MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering.
“This has included serving on numerous advisory boards and committees, as well as being an advocate of the cooperative education program,” Walden said. “As a direct result of her efforts, literally dozens of engineering students received their first start in industry at Eaton through this and other internship programs. I very much appreciate her contribution to the lives of many students and young professionals around our state.”
Similar sentiments are expressed by Dr. Royce Bowden Jr., head of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Bagley College of Engineering. He said Johnson is passionate about helping youth prepare for rewarding careers that help America prosper.
“She is also passionate about diversity in the workplace and spends a great deal of effort mentoring women and developing business leaders,” Bowden said.
Johnson has worked at Eaton Corp. for ten years. Due to her strong desire to live in Mississippi, she has been able to work “virtually” out of the Eaton Aerospace plant in Jackson, and travel to the company headquarters and other Eaton divisions and plants, as well as universities, as needed.
Prior to Eaton she worked at Aeroquip-Vickers (which was acquired by Eaton) supervising up to 120 employees. From 1977 to 1987, she worked at Siemens as an industrial engineer, as manager of manufacturing engineering, and as a supply chain materials manager.
“Throughout my career, I have been able to live out my passion for working to increase the participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics at a broad level, and particularly for under-represented populations,” she said. “Not only through my positions in engineering, recruiting and leadership development, but also through volunteer work at high schools and universities, I have been able to share the story about opportunities in technical fields.”
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