Legal tech giant DISCO’s new Executive VP and Chief HR Officer Jignasha “Jig” Amin Grooms stands on the shoulders of the powerful women in her life.
By Laurel Sanchez, Photo courtesy of DISCO
Austin is in a period of incredible flux. In the wake of women fighting for certain rights, the city also stands in an era of remarkable triumphs. Among these triumphs is Jignasha “Jig” Amin Grooms. In April, Grooms was appointed as Austin-based legal tech company DISCO’s executive vice president and chief human resources officer. “As chief human resources officer, I’m determined to lead recruiting efforts to build a team in support of our mission to use technology to strengthen the rule of law,” she says.
The Gold GLOBEE HR Executive of the Year winner has a list of veritable giants under her belt. Names like Dell, Epicor and CISCO have continued to innovate with Grooms’ thought leadership regarding women in tech and DEI. This all stems from a lifelong passion for helping people. It’s a passion that propels and informs every aspect of Grooms’ career trajectory. “My first passion will always be working with people,” she says. “I discovered that early on in my life and wouldn’t be satisfied with a job where people weren’t the focus.”
Can you give us some insight into your childhood? What experiences put you on the path you are now on?
From a young age, I was influenced by my family’s volunteer efforts and commitment to social responsibility. As a result, I discovered my own desire to help others early on in my life. Following the lead of my grandparents and great aunt, I participated in volunteer efforts in my hometown back in India such as raising funds for schools in the community and delivering food to impoverished areas. These experiences shaped me into an aspiring human rights professional.
My career journey started in the legal industry but has evolved to managing all facets of HR in the corporate world. Despite the change in my career path, I have been able to do what I intended from the beginning. Provide people with the environment and resources they need to be successful.
Graduating from the University of Miami with a law degree, did you always want to work in the technology industry?
While technology has always fascinated me, pursuing it as a career choice was a pivot for me. After working in law for four years, Dell offered me an opportunity to sit in their enterprise business unit as a contract’s specialist. This role allowed me to leverage my law degree and understand the importance of business and sales operations in a technology company. I discovered my love for the field of human resources during a high-potential rotation program while still at Dell and have continued to work in HR for technology companies ever since.
What is the most exciting thing about working in the technology industry?
To me, the most exciting aspect of working in the technology industry is that it is constantly changing and can be used in innovative ways. With recent advancements in artificial intelligence, my teams are now able to foster equity in the hiring process and launch career matrixes to help employees understand how they can grow within the organization. These developments create new pathways to success for employees.
How have you seen the priorities of the industry change in your 20 years of working within it?
Technology has changed the way we think and function as a society. After more than 20 years in the industry, I have experienced the power of better, faster and more personalized technology. We are at a point now where implementing the latest technology is more of a necessity than a nice-to-have option. Companies that fail to upgrade risk losing business and employees. As this shift has taken place over the past two decades, I see potential for more companies to capitalize on modern-day technology such as artificial intelligence and cloud computing. The significant shift in the technology industry has essentially opened the world. It has allowed us to leverage global talent in a 24/7 capacity. Driving an unprecedented rate of innovation and business growth.
What has your experience been like as a woman in a largely male-dominated industry? What steps have you taken to establish yourself?
The lessons I learned from the female leaders in my life, starting with my family members, have stayed with me well into adulthood. They taught me that I am capable of whatever I set my mind to. Which has helped me establish myself in the technology industry. My great aunt, who was one of the first female attorneys and female drivers in Gujarat, India, set the precedent for me at a young age that women don’t have to be limited by gender. This lesson has been a guiding principle for me in my own life.
Tell us about receiving the gold GLOBEE award and how your career has changed since.
I received the Gold GLOBEE Human Resources Executive of the Year award as an executive vice president and chief human resources officer at Epicor Software. While I held this position for more than five years, this award specifically acknowledged my efforts to support employees during COVID-19 without compromising our people-first culture.
My focus on employees dates back to my first human resources job in global diversity for Dell and is a core value that I’ve worked to instill at every company I have been with since. When the pandemic hit and employees began to face increased challenges, Epicor doubled down on efforts to strengthen employee engagement and create a culture that led with empathy and prioritized the health, safety and well-being of employees globally. In my position, I increased transparency across the organization and adapted our people-team priorities to meet these new challenges.
In April 2022, I joined legal technology leader DISCO as executive vice president and chief human resources officer. I lead all of HR globally, including recruitment, learning and development, performance and talent management. I also lead globalization, facilities and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts for DISCO.
What has your experience been like so far with the nationally and internationally leading tech company DISCO?
Working at DISCO has given me the opportunity to use my human resources expertise in combination with my law background. At the same time, I am doing what I’m passionate about—improving the lives of customers, employees and communities.
Since joining DISCO in April, I have already witnessed exciting company milestones. This includes a new office opening in New York City and relocating our corporate headquarters to Downtown Austin. DISCO’s presence in these key markets provides access to top talent as we aggressively seek to expand sales, marketing, engineering, professional services and human resources teams.
What do you hope to change or implement within DISCO?
I hope to help build a company culture rooted in DISCO’s MAGIC (meaningful impact, all-in, grit and grace, innovation and craft) core values throughout the organization. In my opinion, all levels of the organization have a critical part to play in building the company culture. I view my role as one that encourages our employees to live DISCO’s values while simultaneously leading by example. Building the DISCO culture and living our values will help us provide a better customer experience to our clients.
What does the future of DISCO look like to you? How do you see yourself playing a role in that?
With new offices opening and the boom in the adoption of technology that delivers better legal outcomes, DISCO expects to grow both its customer and employee base globally, while expanding its product and service portfolio. I see myself playing a critical role by investing in talent that can support DISCO’s growth and helping build a culture that meets the legal market’s evolving needs. I also view my role as a means to foster customer satisfaction and increase retention as a result. The “human“ part of human resources has always been a motivating factor for me. I look forward to instilling that value across all departments at DISCO.
What career accomplishment do you hold the most pride in?
I am most proud of the fact that the work my team and I do has an impact on our employees’ lives. When I first started my role at Epicor, Hurricane Harvey affected the region where several employees lived. In response, I led my team to make phone calls to potentially affected employees. Offering support for them and their families. One employee who had been with the company for more than 20 years publicly expressed his gratitude for the act. He declared how much it meant to him and his family. This poignant moment validated what I’ve been taught my whole life. People don’t always remember what you said or did. But they will always remember how you made them feel. This is the greatest measure of success for me as an HR practitioner.