By Kierra Ransey
She wears a lot of hats.
When Jackie Hogan isn’t busy being the General Manager of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi, Inc., where she is responsible for all of the human resources functions including staffing, development, external affairs, supplier support, internal communication, among many other things, she is the wife of Bob Hogan and the mother of three children.
She’d never thought she would have made it this far though. Growing up in small-town Kentucky, there weren’t many options for her to consider.
“My goals have been reached and exceeded,” Hogan said in an interview. “Coming up in a small town in Kentucky, you didn’t really think beyond two or three career opportunities.”
Hogan is the example of the changes that can occur in a generation with education. Neither of her parents had an education above an 8th grade level; however, her and all of her siblings have attained success beyond what their parents imagined or expected.
“It really is amazing [how many changes occurred] in one generation from the poverty level to the education level,” Hogan said. “How often does that happen and in how many countries do you have the opportunity to make that change. It’s education.”
Even though her parents didn’t have much of an education, they encouraged their children to pursue their dreams. They wanted their children to do what made them happy even if it didn’t include a formal college education.
“They always wanted us to do what made us happy,” Hogan stated. There was never a push for us to go to college, but that is what they wanted.”
Hogan’s parents weren’t the only people who had an impact on her life. Many people in her community had a hand in shaping who she has become, from schoolteachers to local politicians.
“The mayor of our very small town was one of the people that saw something in me and helped me get summer jobs,” Hogan reminisced. “We had no political affiliations whatsoever, but he just helped me.”
Hogan also attributes her present success to a love of reading. She fell in love with the world of books after people read Bible stories to her and she hasn’t escaped that world.
“When you have a love for reading and you instill that in a child very early, it makes a difference in how they do in almost everything for the rest of their lives,” Hogan explained.
Because of a strong community and family unit, Hogan rose from a small-town Kentucky girl to a woman who is one of the managers of a corporation. Being a woman in an industry dominated by males doesn’t intimidate her; it makes her work tougher.
“Most of my career, there have been a lot of times where I am the only woman in the room,” Hogan said. “I’ve never really paid much attention to that, I just try to do a good job on whatever I’m working on. The guys around here will tell you that I don’t back down from much.”
Hogan’s role in Toyota and the community has given her a level of influence among many women, young and old. Women who once felt limited by glass ceilings look to Hogan to show them that there really are no limitations. She doesn’t take her responsibility as a role model lightly, but she actively engages in mentoring and advising women on how to survive and thrive in the business world.
“I never thought to myself ‘Wow I really want to be a role model’ but it at some point dawned on me that whether you want to be or intend to be a role model you are,” Hogan said.
Whether she is indirectly modeling behavior through her actions or directly mentoring women as the advisor of Toyota’s women’s leadership forum, Hogan knows the impact she has on the woman surrounding her.
IMPACT ON COMMUNITY
Hogan is just one of the examples of how Toyota has impacted the entire area of North Mississippi. Toyota has been an asset to North Mississippi, not just financially, but culturally as well.
“When most people think of Toyota, they think of those jobs and the financial impact that the payroll has had on the community, but we want to be known beyond that,” Hogan stated. “We want to be known not just for having good jobs, but we want to influence the culture of the community as well.”
The company has impacted the community in many different ways both directly and indirectly. One of the things that Toyota wants to do is make North Mississippi more business-friendly.
“One of the things that I hope we are doing for this area is raising the profile of the community as a good place to do business and a place where you have a good work force, a place where you are very business friendly,” Hogan said. “Whether it’s direct or indirect I hope we change [the community] in growth, in the standard of living, our employees, and continuing to bring more and more jobs into this community.”
Toyota is also working very hard to indirectly influence diversity in the community. They make sure that every employee has diversity training. They also make the people in supervisory positions go through extra diversity training. Hogan hopes that the training will not only affect the employees, but she hopes that the education will trickle out into the community.
“When folks are exposed to different cultures internally and they are exposed to the education of diversity and inclusion with the training and other opportunities, and partnering groups, they are able to take that back into the community. That can be a driving force for changing their outlook on life.” Hogan said.
Both Toyota and Hogan promote the idea that there are no limitations. Children growing up in the community can look at both Hogan and her place of employment and see that opportunities are limitless.
Hogan has proved that glass ceilings and limitations can be shattered.