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Women’s History Month: Jordan Rice, Assistant to the VP of Engineering

Meet Jordan Rice, Assistant to the VP of Engineering at Birmingham headquarters.

How long have you been with the company and/or in this current role?

I started my career at Southern Nuclear in 2012 at Plant Farley. I have been in Birmingham since 2017 and have been in this role since summer 2019.

Give us a brief description of your job duties:

The ‘Assistant to’ role is a temporary one that has afforded me an opportunity to develop relationships, gain insights into executive-level decision making, and learn more about my personal leadership strengths/weaknesses. Although there is no clear description of the role, the overall goal is to ensure the Engineering Leadership Team is successful. This includes supporting fleet initiatives and providing a different perspective to ensure all aspects have been considered while making decisions.

What other roles have you had at Southern Nuclear / Southern Company?

I’ve spent the majority of my career at Southern Nuclear in Engineering Programs. Outside of Engineering, I had the incredible opportunity to attend Senior Reactor Operator license class prior to moving to Texas for a short time. 

Was there a particular female mentor, trailblazer, or historic figure whom you admired or who inspired you at some point in your life?

I am very fortunate to have extraordinary women surrounding me as family, friends and co-workers. I am not sure I can name a single person, but I can describe the characteristics of those that inspire me. People who dare to be different, individuals who act with grace and stay calm under pressure and those driven by selfless motives. There have been so many influential figures that it is impossible for me to name just one.

What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

Women’s History Month is an opportunity to shine a light on the contributions and accomplishments of women for our culture and society, to reflect on how far we have come and recognize there is still work to be done.

Why and when did you become interested in the nuclear industry?

I think nuclear was in my blood before I was even born. My dad is a Navy nuke and worked at Plant Farley for years before retiring. Between my family exposure and my college senior design project (to design and build an operating pressurized loop), I’m not sure I really had any other option. 

What are some obstacles you’ve faced on your journey to success?

The obstacles I have faced have been self-inflicted. By that I mean, I would talk myself out of applying for a job because I did not check 10 out of 10 boxes, or I would negotiate with myself lower than what I wanted before ever entering into those negotiation discussions. Another example, I would simply remain silent on a topic that I was familiar with because I had convinced myself that my knowledge was limited.  

What advice do you have for women about being a woman in the nuclear industry?

Do not be your own obstacle. The industry is challenging enough without making it harder for yourself.

What do you wish others knew about being more inclusive of women in the workplace?

We must recognize that everyone has biases. Get familiar with your own biases then work to recognize when those biases impact your interactions or evaluations of others. To quote Maya Angelou, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”