Honeywell VP Jennifer Nelson: new strategies drive growth

Honeywell VP Jennifer Nelson: new strategies drive growth

 November 25, 2019

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Working in the field of aerospace and defense with Honeywell can be very exciting. Honeywell’s products solve some of the toughest challenges in the sector and are built on a century of heritage. With the company’s passion for innovation and its solid reputation across industry, it’s easy to see why Honeywell is a place where female professionals choose to work.

One of the many talented women working in Honeywell’s aerospace arena is Jennifer Nelson who is Vice President, Mergers & Acquisitions at Honeywell Aerospace.

Jennifer’s work is exciting and varied as she evaluates and executes transactions, and other business development opportunities aligned to Aerospace’s strategic initiatives. Jennifer also leads Honeywell’s Aero Licensing team responsible for enforcing, protecting and monetizing Aerospace’s intellectual property rights.

Where Women Work took the opportunity to catch up with Jennifer to find out more about her role.

Responsible for helping to catapult company growth

“My team and I drive every type of inorganic strategy including acquisitions, divestitures, joint ventures, minority investments, partnerships, and licensing structures,” explains Jennifer regarding her job. “We help catapult growth and complement the organic strategies of every business. Smart acquisitions in good industries and thoughtful divestitures, partnerships and new business strategies are critical for growth.”

Working as a leader can certainly come with its challenges, but Jennifer has a robust skill-set to tackle challenges head-on. She describes herself as “committed, creative and driven” at work - but when she’s at home she’s also “kind, funny and pretty cool” according to her eight-year-old daughter.

“Leadership and influencing skills are essential in my position, as are the decades of M&A experience, business acumen, strategy and innovation muscles,” Jennifer adds.

It’s an exciting time to be in aerospace and defense

Honeywell Jennifer Nelson aerospace

When asked what makes her industry interesting to work in during the current climate, Jennifer immediately explains that the level of consolidation in the sector is interesting along with the speed of technological innovation. These aspects, she says, make her job very busy yet fun.

“The aerospace and defense industry is experiencing a lot of consolidation,” comments Jennifer. “In my role, I have an exciting opportunity to help drive the inorganic strategy for our business in this dynamic environment. Innovation is everywhere, from hybrid electric to urban air mobility to ‘Connected Everything’, and it’s so much fun to strategize for growth, helping to identify technology and market opportunities for acquisition.”

Honeywell’s supportive culture rewards results

So why does Jennifer think further women should join Honeywell and potentially embark upon aerospace careers?

Well, in addition to describing the work as exciting, Jennifer describes Honeywell’s culture as being supportive and a place where results are rewarded.

“Honeywell rewards results, hard work and the ability to attract, retain and grow strong teams. To support this, Honeywell’s leadership provides guidance and mentorship,” Jennifer explains. “I love a culture that gives me all the tools I need to succeed, so that I can leverage the best skills in myself to make a difference.”

Jennifer also feels supported by her peers in the Aerospace leadership team, by the Corporate and Aero leaders, and by her own team members. “It’s empowering to know that my voice can be heard, and my concerns are considered,” she says. “Honeywell has a culture that doesn’t encourage ‘yes-people’ — I feel comfortable voicing a different opinion and know that I will be heard and valued.”

Advice for potential Honeywell futureshapers

Honeywell Jennifer Nelson family

What advice might Jennifer have for those further women interested in joining Honeywell?

Jennifer shares her insight into what she tends to look for when she hires potential employees. “When I hire, I look for key behaviors, overall business acumen and drive, rather than whether a candidate can check all the technical boxes for a role. Smart, analytical, independent thinkers are my most sought-after asset, because a team of such people can accomplish almost any goal you put in front of them.”

She decided to take this approach to hiring after someone said to her: “hire for behaviors, not domain knowledge”. Upon becoming a leader, Jennifer swiftly learnt that no matter how good someone might be personally, they are only as good as the team surrounding them.

“It’s the people you hire and manage that are the secret to success, so getting that strong team is a core competency,” she adds.

Jennifer also suggests to female professionals “do what scares you”. It’s a simple phrase that reminds her to keep growing and attempt things outside her comfort zone. She explains “It keeps me from becoming too complacent in my current role, and pushes me to look for the next challenge in my career.”

Finally, Jennifer assures job seekers that Honeywell is a place where diversity of everything — including race, gender, and opinion — is valued. “When you join, embrace the opportunity to make a difference, not because you’re a woman, but because you are great at what you do,” she advises.

And for those looking to brush up on their business skills, Jennifer recommends reading The Everything Store by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, saying, “It may not work everywhere, but Amazon changed the game.”

Consider a career with prime employer, Honeywell

Honeywell is building a world that’s safer and more secure, more comfortable and energy-efficient, more innovative and productive.

Search and apply for exciting and rewarding job opportunities with Honeywell today.


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