News Jun 2, 2020

A Message from Chief Human Resources Officer Shelie Gustafson

Chief Human Resources Officer Shelie Gustafson shares reflections on Jacobs and our values.

People standing in a circle holding hands

Chief Human Resources Officer Shelie Gustafson shares reflections on Jacobs and our values.

In recent weeks, I have been reflecting on what makes organizations highly effective. Many experts have their formula for what creates a high performing company. There is one component that doesn’t get a lot of attention but is critical and that is empathy. Today, I want to highlight why empathy is important to our culture at Jacobs and our value, We Live Inclusion.

We are very fortunate to work in a company where we openly discuss and acknowledge the value of inclusion for our business, for our people and our clients. Without repeating all the positive reasons for inclusion, I want to hone in on one part which is the feeling of belonging. I truly believe that this is what all employees want, no matter their gender, race/ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, education, experience and background. I want Jacobs to be the place where ALL of you feel you belong. And to belong, you must be included and must feel heard. This is where empathy comes in. Empathy is listening to the message from both a logical and emotional perspective; it is a skill to be practiced and instituted as part of our culture.

Today, we have many challenges in our world. It didn’t start with COVID-19 but certainly that is prominent in our lives right now. In America, we are experiencing significant tensions politically and racially. And like in the U.S., there are tensions around the globe as a result of different ideologies and perspectives. We cannot separate our professional lives from these events as we are all impacted in some way. And some of you are impacted more than others.

At Jacobs, we are one global community. Since I started this role, I’ve said, “we are in this together.” And though this phrase has meant different things at different times, I truly mean it – we are in it together.

I will never know what it is like to walk in your shoes, nor will you know what it’s like to walk in mine. But with empathy, we can appreciate and value what each of us experiences. Let’s listen to understand – to truly benefit from all of our perspectives and wisdom.

Please join me in in committing to live our value of inclusion, practicing empathy in all situations and ensuring that every one of our team members feels that they belong in our Jacobs family.

Shelie Gustafson

Chief HR Officer


At Jacobs, we’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.