Jeanell English ’10
Jeanell English began her career as a diversity, equity and inclusion specialist who implemented unconscious bias and cross-cultural trainings, global diversity awareness campaigns, well-being programs and cultural integration sessions.
While working for Discovery, Inc., English transitioned into sport production, where she led the resource operations function for the European sporting arm of the business. Through this change, she applied her analytical and operational skills to enable the delivery of Discovery’s first broadcast of an Olympic Games to Europe – the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. She oversaw crew onboarding, medical, health and safety, contracting and local recruitment for a multinational crew of 750-plus people.
A self-described “cultural chameleon,” English has made it her mission to learn and grow through global cultural immersion. She has lived, worked and travelled the world, spending a significant amount of time in Europe and Asia. In 2010, she received her ILR degree at Cornell, where she was a member of the women’s track and field team. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business in 2017.
How did ILR change you?
ILR provided me with a foundational level of knowledge and curiosity that enabled me to enter the workforce with confidence. Not only did I gain a thorough understanding of labor history and an appreciation for progress, but I also developed a strong set of values which have guided both my career and personal life.
Authenticity, equity and collaboration are core to these values. ILR helped me realize how all three can and must exist in my life, both professionally and personally. I take great pride in facilitating their manifestation.
How are you making an impact through your experiences at ILR?
Working in media, and specifically in sport has helped me recognize the strength of people when given the space to create and the support to grow. It is a privilege to work in an industry which has the ability to shape culture and initiate necessary conversations on a global level.
In order to maximize external impact, the internal working environment must be prioritized. Over the past 10-plus years, I have introduced programs that matter to employees – learning about and catering to the diversity of an organization to deliver results. My career has been ILR in action. The theories and thought leaders I was introduced to continue to guide me as my career evolves.
How might the mission of ILR help shape the next 75 years of work, labor and employment?
The world is changing now more rapidly than ever. The human connection and the genuine celebration of diversity is key to that change being a positive one. It is within the mission of ILR to continue evolving its curriculum in sync with changes of the world. This evolutionary approach will ensure the steady supply of talented and thoughtful individuals who are committed to improving the future of work.
Work is now, more than ever, intertwined with all aspects of our lives. It is essential that ILR continues to invest in prompting debate, inspiring conversations and connecting minds. My ILR experience created an invaluable network of mentors, thought leaders and friends who continue to advise, support and inspire me on a daily basis. It is this network, these people, who will shape the next 75 years of work, labor and employment.