Every Thursday for the next few months, we will feature a new female leader from around the globe, highlighting their career achievements, biggest influences, and the advice they would give to other young women considering a career in the automotive industry.
Meet This Week’s Leader: Tena Jordan, Corporate Payroll Manager
“Never Give Up, Just Because You May Have Been Told ‘No’, There Will Be Many More ‘Yes’ Responses That You Will Receive.”
First Automotive Job: Human Resources Assistant
What attracted you to the automotive industry? I wasn’t necessarily looking to enter the automotive industry but wanted to work within the field of Human Resources. I was offered an awesome opportunity with a Fortune 500 company that allowed me to begin my career in Human Resources in June of 1997.
Most satisfying part of your job: The most satisfying part of my job is supporting our customers who are the employees of Penske Automotive Group. I also, enjoy collaborating with PAG team members throughout the company and within the other Penske Divisions on human resources, benefit and payroll related projects.
Proudest professional achievement: One of my proudest professional achievements is completing the 2021 Shift Activate Leadership program. This opportunity allowed me to learn directly from top leaders within the PAG organization. Leaders that have earned the title of “Penske Automotive Group Dealerships Named Best to Work For.” In addition, to being granted the opportunity to make a difference within the payroll departments across Penske Automotive Group by communicating, mentoring new team members, and by sharing valuable knowledge with internal and external team members. With this approach, I’ve been able incorporate team related goals that increase accuracy and process efficiencies. In addition to sharing how to approach and overcome obstacles by producing positive results.
Who was the biggest influence in your career? My grandfather and my uncle Henry both have had the biggest influence on my life and throughout my career. My uncle Henry has always been my biggest mentor continuously coaching me along the way. My grandfather by always encouraging me to work hard no matter what type of job position that I’ve worked in. Both have instilled strong morals and values to always focus on doing the right thing, to do my best, to never lose sight of my goals or who I am and to never forget the lessons that I’ve learned throughout my life. And most importantly of all, to always remain humble and to care for others no matter what position I hold in life.
Looking back on the last decade, how have you seen the automotive industry landscape change and evolve to engage more women? I’ve seen more women being welcomed into management roles where their voice is not only being heard but being listened to. My assertion is that women will continue to embrace the automotive industry if advancement opportunities are made within reach, negative perceptions about the work environment are removed and there is a work/life balance.
What hobbies do you enjoy? I enjoy all motor sports, especially racing (which is my favorite), riding my motorcycle, gardening and bonding with family and friends.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years? I hope to still be working for PAG, continuously and passionately embracing the core values of what makes PAG one of the best companies to work for, not only today, but in the future.
What advice would you give to young women considering a career in the automotive industry? First and foremost, identify a goal path and create a date driven agenda to track your progress. Most importantly of all, continue to learn, be willing to adapt to change and be prepared for small setbacks as those will come along the way. Take additional steps to move forward, never losing sight of where you’re going. Understand that we are often our biggest competitor, therefore, keep competing and always strive to be the best at what you do. You are your greatest investment.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Just because you may have been told no, never give up. There will be many more yes responses that you will receive along your journey.
Any other comments you would like to add? I would like to thank Mr. Penske for making Penske Automotive Group the company that it is today, I humbly thank him for all he has done for us at PAG. I would also like to thank the entire leadership team for mentoring me individually and from afar, believing in me and for granting me the opportunity to make a difference.