Company: Northrop Grumman
Diversity Team Name: Mission Systems Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council
Diversity Team Leader: Roshan Roeder
To pioneer a new path forward in innovation and technological advancements, Northrop Grumman believes diversity in its employees defines possible. The Northrop Grumman Mission Systems (MS) Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) team has put forth exemplary efforts in creating an inclusive work culture for a workforce of 23,000 employees worldwide, working primarily in STEM fields. The team has implemented various D&I initiatives that helped Northrop Grumman become Diversity-Inc’s top-ranked aerospace and defense company in 2019—17th overall ranking and #1 for people with disabilities.
The MS D&I Leadership Council team, which drove the sector’s diversity accomplishments, includes Vice President, MS Communications Business Unit and co-chair, MS sector D&I Leadership Council Roshan Roeder; MS Director, Diversity & Inclusion Pamela M. Roberts; and Lead Diversity & Inclusion Specialist Tiffany Ridley. Their collective efforts focused on four main strategic approaches: addressing full integration barriers; improving retention of people of color and females; identifying nontraditional talent sources (e.g., people with disabilities and people without degrees); and planning for sector-funded employee engagement activities.
They also successfully maintained a collaborative, diverse workplace by establishing various D&I initiatives, leveraging employee resource groups (ERGs), and participating in external national diversity conferences. They also collaborated with internal communication partners to showcase diversity initiatives that increased employee participation and awareness. These initiatives ranged from Heritage Month celebrations (e.g., Black History Month highlight in internal publications) and diversity panel participation, (International Women’s Day “Each for Equal, Challenging Stereotypes and Bias” executive panel) to diversity leadership training sessions (e.g., Transgender Employee Assistance Training sessions and Facilities Training for Gender-Neutral Restrooms) and inclusion events held throughout the year.
In 2019 alone, more than 275 ERG events were held across the sector to unify the workforce. For example, Summer Games hosted by an ERG, welcomed 775 employee participants, which led to 514 employee referrals for Talent Acquisition. The D&I team conducted training sessions for new ERG leaders, provided informational sessions on how to request new ERG chapters at each work location, facilitated bimonthly ERG steering committee and council meetings, and partnered with Talent Acquisition to host three virtual career fairs specifically for ERG-referred candidates.
Additionally, the team helped facilitate employee and executive participation in multiple national diversity conferences that honored employees who helped the company excel. One of these included the 2019 Great Minds in STEM (GMiS) Conference, during which the team led the GMiS workshop “Executive Leadership Coaching.” Also, eight MS employees were honored for their pioneering STEM-related work in the defense industry—four Black Engineer of the Year Award winners, two GMiS winners, one Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers winner, and one Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers winner.
These MS D&I efforts are highly recognized throughout the sector and company. In 2019, MS achieved the employee survey’s top strength in diversity— a first-time accomplishment for any Northrop Grumman sector. This Northrop Grumman Mission Systems D&I team is a 2020 Outstanding Diversity Team. They continuously focus on driving a diverse and inclusive organization by challenging the status quo; addressing unique barriers and challenges; and remaining focused on hiring, development, and retention.