Q&A with Jenny Flores ’00

Senior Vice President and Head of Community Affairs at Bank of the West

In preparation for the first event in the Cal Alumni Association (CAA)’s brand new Alumnae Career Advancement series, we spoke with alumna panelist Jenny Flores ’00 about her career in community affairs and her commitment to women’s career development. At our panel on March 28, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss Jenny’s career with her, ask questions, and share your own stories. We hope you’ll join us! Register today >>

CAA: Why do you think programs like the Alumnae Career Advancement series are important?

Jenny: They provide current Cal students and young alumnae with the opportunity to network with alumni further along in their careers, and to gain access to knowledge and networks that can help them move forward in their own professional journeys. On the reverse, it provides alums like me with the chance to reconnect with our alma mater in a meaningful way. We get to learn from and exchange ideas with the upcoming generation of leaders.

Why are women’s networks so important?

These types of networks provide a safe space to be authentic about the challenges that women face in the workforce. Learning from other women who have succeeded does a few things: it validates that we are not alone in this experience, and it offers us access to potential solutions and best practices for managing our careers with more confidence.

How can women executives support their juniors in career development?

By providing opportunities for staff to take on roles and responsibilities that stretch their abilities and challenge their comfort levels. By sharing authentic feedback on performance and growth areas. And finally, by supporting networking opportunities like the Cal Alumni Association’s panel.

How have female mentors influenced your career?

I have been extremely fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible group of women mentors who have offered advice when I needed it, who have helped me think through the fine balance of being a working mom, and who have cheered me on in good times and bad. These women are invaluable to my success, and I am deeply appreciative of their continued support. As a result, I always find the time to mentor others who come to me for guidance. I have a commitment to paying it forward.

How did your time at Cal prepare you for your role not only as Community Affairs Manager, but to oversee Bank of the West’s Charitable Investments and Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives?

Beyond academic rigor, I benefited from Cal’s diverse and expansive environment. I learned to respect different perspectives, take risks, and be persistent. These are life-lessons many young people learn in college, but I think Cal’s ongoing tradition of advancing human rights on a global scale influenced how I saw opportunities to contribute in an important and meaningful way.

Join Jenny Flores and other successful women at Alumni House for the Alumnae Networking Reception & Career Advancement Panel (March 28, $10–15).