Author – President
Daisy Jenkins & Associates
By Tara Kirkpatrick
The first woman of color to serve as a VP at Raytheon and its first director of global diversity, Daisy Jenkins knows a few things about thriving in the workplace.
“I was continuously under the microscope knowing that my professional performance and achievements helped lay the foundation for the inclusion of more women and people of color into the leadership pipeline,” said the now author, speaker and president of her consulting firm, Daisy Jenkins & Associates.
“Of utmost importance to me was lifting others up along the way, sharing my lessons learned and helping to create equity and inclusion long before it was on the corporate radar,” she said.
Starting as a clerk at then-Hughes Aircraft Co., Jenkins climbed the ranks to VP of human resources at what is now Raytheon Missiles & Defense. She served the company for 29 years before working at Carondelet Health Network as its chief HR and administrative officer from 2010 to 2013. A respected authority on workplace issues, her recent views on leadership have been influenced by the COVID-19 crisis.
“It’s not enough for leaders to only pay attention to the bottom line,” she said. “There are issues and opportunities around optimizing technology, demonstrating innovative communication, retaining women in the workplace, addressing mental health needs and promoting a culture that embraces the well-being of all employees.”
The 2007 Tucson Woman of the Year and a Phenomenal Woman of the Year by the University of Arizona Black Alumni Association, Jenkins has written three books and for publications such as Huffington Post and Ebony magazine. Once a part of the Wildcat Mentor Society at the University of Arizona, she continues to mentor students, professionals and leaders across the nation. She is also a UArizona Foundation Board Trustee. Jenkins credits her husband of 54 years, Fred Jenkins, Jr., for always being her biggest supporter.
Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona, praised Jenkins’ extensive service on its board, as a former board chair, as a master of ceremonies at events and working with the agency’s leadership council for older adults.
“Daisy’s commitment to all facets of our work, across the entire life cycle, has significantly contributed to our growth, stability, innovation and ability to impact more than 200,000 children, families and seniors annually,” said Penn. “On a personal note, Daisy’s support and investment in community has also been an inspiration to me, and helped to make this some of the greatest work of my career.”