Jennifer Steinmann has a way of taking her passions and turning them into opportunities. With a knack for developing long-term client relationships and building strong teams while at Deloitte, Jennifer founded initiatives dedicated to hiring and developing young talent, leading her to become Chief Talent Officer and most recently Chief Transformation Officer (CTO). She was also a key player in founding the Salesforce Pathfinder Training Program, a joint program with Deloitte and first-of-its-kind workforce development program that provides participants from diverse backgrounds with technical skills and business training. It’s safe to say that as CTO she has not only made a transformational impact at her organization, but also in the lives of others – employees and the community. Read on to learn more about Jennifer in this trailblazing partner interview.
Can you share why you chose to call Deloitte home for the majority of your career?
Jennifer: It’s been amazing. I don’t think I’ve done the same thing ever for more than two years. You can have a very varied career, even in one organization. We have very similar values to Salesforce when it comes to our people. We don’t call it Ohana at Deloitte, but it’s very much akin to that. I think that our philosophy of our people being our most important asset brings the organizations really close together.
You were essential to launching the Salesforce Pathfinder Training Program, a unique workforce development program that delivers Salesforce technical training. Can you tell me more about that journey?
Jennifer: Salesforce and Deloitte started to explore things that we might do together that would have an impact on the workforce and community to help close the skills gap. Both organizations felt that corporate America had a need to diversify talent, as well as had critical needs for skills that were getting harder and harder to find. So, we decided to start exploring that together. One of the first conversations we had really centered around: What was each of us currently doing? Is there something we could do where one plus one equals more than two? That really was the starting point for Pathfinder, a first of its kind workforce development program that provides participants from diverse backgrounds with technical skills and business training.
How do you approach new opportunities on your career journey?
Jennifer: Throughout my career, each time an opportunity came up I would ask myself, “Can I really do this?” The second question I would ask is, “How does this fit with my personal objectives?” Instinctively, I would always say yes and jump right in. I leverage the skills I gained from past experiences and embrace the confidence that others have in me. Finally, each new opportunity has meant navigating new territory, with new responsibilities, and identifying the teams to make that work.
What have you learned in your career that has helped you continue to move forward?
Jennifer: Part of what allowed me to navigate different opportunities is identifying and relying on proxy experience. When I coach people and they say they haven’t done something before, and therefore aren’t qualified, I flip it and say, “What have you done that is similar that you could use as an anchor to carry you through to the next thing?” That’s critical. You always have to have an anchor to rely on and use those skills to move to a new opportunity that may look totally different.
What is a passion of yours outside of the office?
Jennifer: I’m on the board of the Boys and Girls Club in San Francisco and have been on that board since around the time my daughter was born, which was very intentional timing. I think about how lucky my daughter is in terms of where she was born and how many don’t really have that fortune. I feel a strong sense of responsibility to help out this next generation of amazing talent. I also wanted to make time to give back, and it’s inspiring that both Deloitte and Salesforce have made a commitment to the community and to developing talent.
What advice do you have for potential Trailblazers trying to get into the Salesforce ecosystem or tech in general?
Jennifer: If someone has an inkling that they might be interested, now is the best time. The barrier to entry is lower than ever before because of all the resources available, and there is an abundance of job opportunities in technology with companies challenged to find qualified individuals. Take that first step and jump in.
Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the “Deloitte” name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see www.deloitte.com/about to learn more about their global network of member firms.
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