Molly Jenks
Molly Jenks is the director of marketing—industrial components division at Eaton.

For Molly Jenks, director of marketing – industrial components division at Eaton, the industry is in her blood. However, despite practically being raised in the warehouse with two electrical contractors as parents, it was not originally her plan to pursue a career in the industry. Jenks explains, “I left the tech sector while working toward my MBA to pursue a better work/life balance and quickly found a more flexible role at WESCO. I started in their marketing organization, moved to supplier relations where I managed distribution equipment manufacturers, partnered closely with Eaton and the rest is history.” 

We had the opportunity to ask Jenks a few more questions about her career. Here’s what she said:

 What is your favorite part of the job? 

I absolutely love working with people. Mentoring my peers, building strong teams and having the ability to witness my colleagues grow and succeed are what really energize me. Even in our increasingly virtual world, I always spend at least a couple of days in the field because that’s where I feel most inspired. Watching someone grow from a young sales engineer to a manager or witnessing people I’ve hired move up through our leadership development program—it’s incredibly rewarding to witness that kind of personal and professional growth.

 What is the biggest challenge of your job? 

The biggest day-to-day challenge in my position is ensuring our supply chain is always improving to better support our customers. This involves a lot of proactive thinking. At Eaton, we take great pride in our ability to predict industry trends so we can have the technology, materials and production capabilities we need to move quickly. The electrical industry is vastly different than the expedited two-day shipping we’ve all become accustomed to in the retail world. 

One piece of equipment could have hundreds of different components. Managing this complex supply chain takes a holistic approach. Working in a culture that embraces this type of supply chain innovation is critical, especially because electrical systems are at the heart of nearly everything our world relies on.

What are some of your long-term career goals?

I’m always aiming to broaden my professional knowledge. I firmly believe that a diverse experience is paramount for advancement, and this is what motivated me to take on my current role as the director of marketing for our industrial components division. With all my peers and colleagues, I consistently emphasize the importance of understanding all facets of business so that you’re never operating in a silo. For me, I thrive most when taking on substantial challenges and am enthusiastic about the impact and personal growth I can achieve.

What advice would you give to a young professional wanting to enter the industry?

My advice to young professionals entering the industry is similar to the advice I give myself and my teams every day. Don’t be afraid to take risks and challenge yourself. It is easy in the corporate world to get locked into one discipline or role, but it’s so much more rewarding to seek out new and diverse experiences. Embrace the hard work and the opportunities to learn from failure, as these experiences will shape you into a more resilient and adaptable professional.

How has the industry changed since you first started?

I’d say the biggest change I’ve witnessed is how we at Eaton have evolved our offerings to better help our customers solve their challenges. It isn’t enough today to simply sell products; you need to be a strategic partner that is equally invested in your customers’ success. 

This has led me to build teams with technical capabilities and an in-depth understanding of our customers’ markets, so we can offer the holistic solutions and expertise needed to make electrical systems a strategic asset rather than an afterthought.