Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



August/September 2010

Diversity/Careers August/September 2010 Issue

Native Americans
Defense contractors
Medical technology
ChEs & EnvEs
Business intelligence
PhD Project
NACME: Connectivity 2015
NJIT Renard scholars

Supplier diversity

WBEs find success
News & Views
100 Black Men honor WBEs
WBENC plans for 2020
Regional roundup

Diversity in action
News & Views

Philadelphia Gas Works
Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA)
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Mentor Graphics Chrysler

Diversity In Action

Northrop Grumman has 14,000-plus jobs to fill this year

Exciting opportunities are waiting for diverse candidates who can contribute to the company's cutting-edge technology, says the hiring director

Northrop Grumman is focusing on identifying and developing internal diverse talent and ensuring diverse representation in its succession planning.Heather Laychak, director of corporate talent acquisition, notes that a backlog of business contracts is driving hiring needs at global security company Northrop Grumman Corp. The company currently has about 4,000 openings, most of them in engineering and other technical disciplines. It expects to fill more than 14,000 positions by year-end.

Northrop Grumman's 120,000 employees provide systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide. The company's engineering disciplines include aerospace, computers, computer science, cyber security and IT, environment, integration and test, IE, manufacturing, marine, materials, ME, optical, ops research, software, structural and systems. Much of the work is focused on advanced technologies.

Clearly, attracting and retaining a diverse technical workforce with a broad base of experience is a top priority at Northrop Grumman. "Beyond demonstrating strong technical expertise, the candidates we look for display our core company values of integrity, innovation, cooperation and trust," Laychak says. "We want to hire individuals who share our passion for protecting our nation and who are actively driven to contribute and lead the development of our cutting-edge technology."

Northrop Grumman has strong working relationships with SHPE, NSBE, AISES, SWE and more. It participates in their national and regional conferences. "Many of our people also serve on campus industry/employer advisory boards," says Sylvester Mendoza, corporate director of diversity and inclusion and EEO.

Diversity and inclusion awareness is extremely important at Northrop Grumman, Mendoza affirms. The company's strategy includes diversity and inclusion components designed for various levels of leadership, from basic awareness training through strategic talent management decisions to building a workplace that embraces all employees.

The company also offers "microinequities" programs for managers, and its e-learning library includes online training programs for diversity and inclusion. There are diversity and inclusion councils in the business sectors, and a new enterprise leadership diversity and inclusion council co-chaired by the company's CEO and president and a corporate VP and president of one of its sectors, Mendoza says.

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are another part of Northrop Grumman's diversity and inclusion strategy and framework. They provide opportunities for networking, community outreach, professional development and recruiting. All ERGs are open to everyone; specific groups include women; African Americans; Hispanics; Asian Pacifics; people with disabilities; vets; LGBT and GreeNG, focused on the environment.

There's also Connect1NG, for all generations of new hires. The group creates social and professional networking opportunities for new and transferring employees: leadership, mentoring, diversity, corporate citizenship and social-oriented events through a network of 11,000 employees across eleven states.

Through its organizational leadership review/succession planning process the company is committed to increasing diversity representation in executive and senior leadership positions. "We intend to accelerate development for these people to ensure readiness for expanded leadership," Mendoza says.

For example, a pilot "cohort program" includes discussion of issues that may affect advancement of women and people of color, and identifying ways to increase the capacity for "straight talk at all levels," Mendoza says.

"We are working with executive search firms to uncover diverse talent in the marketplace, while also focusing on identifying and developing our internal diverse talent and ensuring diverse representation in our succession planning," Laychak adds.

Other employee-friendly company programs include flexible work schedules, job-sharing, telecommuting, flex-time and part-time work options.

"We also offer opportunities for employees to get involved in recreational and community service activities," Mendoza says. Northrop Grumman supports National Engineers Week, Sally Ride Science Festivals and Mathcounts, and its operating sites sponsor local initiatives like mentoring, tutoring, school partner programs and FIRST Robotics teams, and support local science and engineering fairs.

The Northrop Grumman Foundation brings in teachers for professional development programs like Weightless Flights of Discovery, Space Academy for Teachers and the Earthwatch Educator Institute. The company's brand-new STEM education strategy will expand its STEM outreach and provide more chances for employee engagement.

The Northrop Grumman work/life services program offers personalized information, resources and referrals on a range of topics. The company even has a daycare center, appropriately called "the Launching Pad," at one of its facilities.


Northrop Grumman Corp
Northrop Grumman Corp

Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
Employees: 120,000
Revenues: $33.8 billion in 2009
Business: Global security company

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