Diversity/Careers In Engineering & Information Technology Diversity/Careers In Engineering & Information Technology
Home About Advertise Sponsors Careers Supplier Diversity Resume Articles Events Contact Subscribe Alt Format

General Dynamics
US Patent Office
National Security Agency
Bonneville Power
Defense Threat Reduction Agency
Click here for Minority College Issue
September 06
August/September 2006

Champions of Diversity

Native Americans
Medical/healthcare IT
Homeland security
Comm service providers
Hispanic MBEs
WBENC in Miami
Resume Center
Supplier diversity
Diversity in action
News & Views
Preview Next Issue

Scripps Networks
PNC Financial
National Radio Astonomy

Article Archive

Diversity In Action

At Rohm & Haas, diversity is a strong recruiting tool

"ChE and ME degrees are a foundation for almost anything you do in the company," says a technical HR director. Even the CEO has an engineering degree

Resume Drop Box

Stacey Adams.

Stacey Adams: At Rohm & Haas, diversity is considered a business imperative.

'In the last four years, diversity at Rohm & Haas has taken a big leap," says Stacey Adams, corporate diversity director. "We've gone from the traditional workforce compliance/sensitivity training to considering it a business imperative."

Accountability starts at the top. CEO Raj Gupta heads up the chair's diversity council that sets strategic direction for the company. Diversity objectives are linked to management performance.

Rohm & Haas is an international company with operations across the U.S. and in Europe, Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region. Its specialty chemicals business spans dozens of areas, including adhesives and sealants; formulations for lotions, dishwashing liquids and laundry detergents; formulations for paints; and electronic materials found in I-Pods and cell phones.

Operating in a global market involves teaching execs and managers how to navigate cross-culturally. In fact, "On a daily basis, employees at all levels need to interact across cultures, with team members as well as customers."

Adams says it's her goal to establish a cultural mindset and accountability for diversity. "I expect diversity to be right behind safety on the monthly meeting agenda," she declares.

Diversity can be a strong recruiting tool. Rohm & Haas partners with SWE and has a senior exec on its board. The company also participates in conferences and job fairs put on by NOBCChE, SHPE, BDPA, the National Society of Hispanic MBAs and the National Black MBA Association. In fact, "We're number four in NBMBAA's list of top companies to work for," Adams notes with pride.

Charles Wallace, IT director for global architecture and infrastructure, is taking advantage of the groundwork laid by Adams and her
Charles Wallace.

Charles Wallace.

team. He needs to bring in people with business savvy as well as IT smarts. About a third of new hires in his high-tech organization are recent MS or MBA grads.

The global architecture and infrastructure group is responsible for worldwide delivery of everything electronic, from cell phones and desktops to communications networks and telephone systems for 130 locations. The hosting systems are managed centrally at Philadelphia HQ, where most of the 300 people in the group are located.

Global expansion at Rohm & Haas gives employees a chance to take on short- and long-term international assignments. The hottest opportunities are for IT folks at startup facilities in the Shanghai area. Some employees from outside the U.S. have returned to their home countries, on assignment to translate the Rohm & Haas culture "into what's appropriate locally."

Beth Albright.

Beth Albright.

Beth Albright is HR director for engineering ops and technology. She notes that Engineering hubs are in Bristol, PA and Houston, TX, but the company also places engineers at manufacturing facilities throughout the country.

"Engineering is a foundation for almost anything you do in the company," Albright says. "Even the CEO has an engineering degree." Rohm & Haas has about 65 percent ChEs and 30 percent MEs, with some EEs and IEs. Besides strictly engineering jobs, they work in production, ops, supply chain, logistics, procurement, plant management, research, processing, sales and marketing.

There's a rotation in R&D for PhDs, and an interesting opportunity to get involved in outside work. "We encourage our PhDs to reach out to partner with universities, pursue projects outside their immediate jobs, give back to the organization," says Albright. The company funds approved projects.

Adams uses both formal and informal tracking systems to find out how things are going with diverse employees in the manufacturing and IT organizations. Affinity groups, for example, provide ongoing feedback. The African American leadership network has been in place for ten years, the women's leadership network for five, the Asia-Pacific American for four, and the Hispanic for two years.

Rohm & Haas offers flexible working options, including a compressed workweek, job sharing, flextime and, in some cases, telecommuting. "Our entire consumer industrial specialties organization is virtual," says Adams.


Rohm & Haas Co
Rohm & Haas Co

Headquarters: Philadelphia, PA
Employees: 16,500 worldwide
Revenues: $8 billion
Business: Specialty materials for building and construction, electronics, food and retail, household and personal care, industrial process, packaging, paper, transportation and water management


BellSouth WPI CDI Anheuser-Busch Qualcomm Southwest Research Institute United States Coast Guard St. Jude Children Research Hospital
Pitney Bowes Nokia Textron Systems Target Dominion Microsoft NREL Siemens 3M
Johns Hopkins APL Defense Intelligence Agency Bloomberg Amgen Dell American Transmission Company Mayo Clinic InterDigital
Institute for Defense Analyses T-Mobile MidAmerican Naval Research Laboratory International Paper International Paper National Energy Technology Laboratory John Deere
Qimonda ITT Sandia Amylin DuPont IBiS Communications Intel U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Toyota
Pratt & Whitney Medtronic US Coast Guard Civilian Jobs Hess NOAA Micron GE Healthcare Phelps Dodge
    International Truck & Engine Eastman Kodak UC Davis Ford
Federal Highway

© 2006 Diversity/Careers. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Statement.