Linda A. Mills

Linda A. Mills
President, Northorp Grumman Information Systems

Corporate Headquarters: McLean, Virginia
Primary Business: Global provider of advanced solutions for defense, intelligence, civil agency and commercial customers
Revenues: $8.4 billion
Employees: 24,000

2011 CEO in Action

At Northrop Grumman we understand that creating a workforce and workplace that values diversity and fosters inclusion and engagement is pivotal to creating and sustaining innovation, productivity and profitability. For me, it is very personal. Leadership starts at the top. I am committed to creating an inclusive workplace for our employees in all dimensions – ethnicity, gender, background, culture, thought and others. I chair our Diversity and Inclusion Council with representation from my executive leadership to set the sector’s strategic and tactical direction. This is not something new. Diversity and inclusion is a pervasive and continuing theme with metrics to measure our effectiveness and to drive change into the organization. Diversity and inclusion is one of the key metrics used to measure our overall business performance.

We measure the diversity of our population in our two most senior bands, as measured against external benchmarks. We are making a difference in our senior representation. While metrics are important, it is about our people and our culture too.

To expedite our change, I asked my vice presidents as leaders to commit to one diversity action annually. Our Annual Diversity and Engagement Reports highlighted their visible participation and enthusiasm. Second, we implemented a diverse slate of candidates for all manager openings, giving qualified, diverse applicants and our leaders more exposure to each other. Last, we have seven self-governing, vibrant employee resource groups with more than 3,000 participating employees. These groups are a tremendous source of ideas, energy and diversity engagement. Together these activities have vitalized diversity and are changing our culture.

I am determined to drive diversity and inclusion deep into the Information Systems culture. To this end, my Diversity and Inclusion Council focuses on measures of effectiveness and engagement. Are we hiring, retaining and developing the right talent? Are we measuring up to industry best practices? This focus on measurable outcomes will make a great program excellent. You can see the change.

Diversity is a critical business issue for the aerospace industry. Our country does not have enough scientists, mathematicians and technologists. Every individual makes a difference to our nation’s security and our future!

Education: BS, Mathematics; MS, Computer Science; Executive Education: Harvard University and University of Virginia
First Job: Systems engineer, Bell Labs
What I’m Reading: Thinking in Pictures, by Temple Grandin
My Philosophy: Be passionate about what you do and do your best.
Best Advice: Don’t be afraid of risk. Risk forces you to stretch and grow.
Family: Husband and two daughters
Interests: Traveling to new places and cultures; antiques; decorating and gardening
Favorite Charity: University foundations with an aim toward increasing women in technical disciplines