Career Advice: Jean Santana: Aligning Goals with a Company’s Mission

In this week’s installment of our Career Advice video series, Linda Bell, Head of Content at Fair360, spoke with Jean Santana, Senior Director, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion Strategy & External Reputation Management at Eli Lilly and Company (No. 5 on the Fair360 2023 Top 50 Companies for Diversity list). 

Santana spoke about the importance of employees aligning goals with a company’s mission. Santana said he learned this lesson as a human resources executive.

“The biggest thing I learned was that it’s not just about putting people in jobs or matching people with opportunities. It’s about matching candidates with a mission, with a company’s mission. You can put people in jobs and put people in companies, but if they don’t really connect to that mission, you’re not going to get that long-standing relationship.”

In 2022, Santana moved into his current role at Eli Lilly.

“I don’t really look at it as a transition,” he said. “To be an HR professional in 2023 and to be an HR leader is what we all strive to be. You have to be able to have a DEI lens in every single thing that you do.”

Santana said it’s the company’s mission that helps employees make it through the tough days.

“For us in the DEI space and at Lilly overall, it’s about our patients,” he said. “Everything we do is about our patients. You just think about that … There’s someone out there that really needs the medicines that we’re providing. There’s something that I’m doing that’s helping someone. So for me, I think the biggest thing is that missions matter and connecting people to missions is something that I carry with me to this day.”


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