Johnel Angel Evans ’92 has worked in human resources for more than 20 years at several Fortune 500 companies, including Medtronic, Honeywell, and International Paper. She attributes her passion for her people-centered career path to her mother, who also worked in HR, but also to her ability to find the best in people and positively affect company culture.
Now as Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity at Becton and Dickinson, a medical device and tech company in New Jersey, Evans has hit her stride. She has been a catalyst for change, including at her current job, and she’s often assigned to newly created positions that present opportunities to do things differently.
“I’m interested in impacting culture and encouraging inclusion in every way, because that leads to unleashing an individual’s potential and creativity and to, ultimately, driving innovation,” Evans says. And it’s the same kind of attention and encouragement she received during her time at GPS.
“What excites me is that I am charged with driving a company culture where our employees feel valued and respected and ensuring they have a place in the organization regardless of demographics, backgrounds, et cetera,” Evans says. Employees who feel engaged and included are not just more satisfied but more productive, she adds.
Excelling in Service
Evans has a gift for recognizing talent in others, something she’s been commended for in her career opportunities. Today as she reflects back, and as she spends time on campus now as a trustee on the board, she sees that GPS does just that for girls—teachers see the best in their students and work to unlock their potential.
“I excelled in the diversity of the types of activities I pursued while I was at GPS,” Evans says. “GPS provided me with so many outlets beyond academics to maximize my potential and figure out where I was at my best.”
After serving on the GPS Alumnae Council, Evans was excited to continue giving back of her time and talents as a trustee. She brings her business acumen, corporate perspective, and depth of experience in HR to the board and governance of the school.
“It’s a great opportunity to be a steward of the school and give back however I can to ensure the girls’ experiences and the school are successful and sustainable,” Evans says. “As trustees we commit ourselves to supporting GPS in its mission of educating girls, and being an alumna makes it that much easier. I know what GPS gave me, and I owe it to the girls to contribute what I have to offer to make their experience as good as, if not better than, my own.”