Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



October/November 2018

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Diversity/Careers October/November 2018

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Diversity In Action

Shaw Industries champions diversity and STEM education

Shaw’s diversity mantra: “Diversity drives inclusion. Inclusion drives engagement. Engagement drives performance.”

Carpet and flooring company Shaw Industries, Inc is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. According to Lisa R. Buice, corporate diversity manager, the company offers a wide variety of opportunities for experienced information systems/information technology professionals and engineers.

“Our complex manufacturing and distribution operations, which include automation and computer-integrated manufacturing, require highly skilled professionals. We seek self-starters who can work both independently and in a team environment,” Buice says. “Professionals who exhibit passion, honesty, integrity, ambition, accountability, perpetual curiosity, and problem-solving skills help drive innovation.”

Hiring categories and trends
Shaw generally hires mechanical, electrical, chemical, polymer and industrial engineers for process or project engineering roles, she says. The company offers job rotations that can help engineers go beyond their traditional roles, in management, procurement training and other areas.

IS jobs at Shaw include designers, developers, analysts, system architects, system engineers, database administrators, project managers, programmers and more, says Buice. Although most IS employees have bachelors degrees in computer science, information systems, or a related discipline, a technical degree isn’t always required.

“Our computer-integrated manufacturing often brings IS and engineering associates together,” Buice notes. These collaborations create better products, foster a safer work environment and ensure efficiency.

Shaw engineers work to make the best possible use of natural resources. “Sustainability is important to the company, and engineers and IS professionals play key roles in ensuring we achieve our goals.”

Shaw typically has about a dozen open engineering and IS positions. The company recently invested more than $340 million in its manufacturing operations, which will generate more than 1,000 new jobs in the next few years, including many for highly skilled, experienced technical professionals, Buice adds.

Opportunities for students and grads
Shaw typically hires about fifty college graduates a year for entry-level process or project engineer positions.

“Social media is our number-one channel for seeking diverse candidates for technical jobs,” Buice notes. “We also participate in campus recruiting throughout the year, and work with student organizations including the Society of Women Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.”

The company offers comprehensive co-op, internship and trainee programs. Students may be eligible for internships and co-ops as soon as their sophomore year of college.

A robust complement of diversity and inclusion initiatives
“At Shaw we say, ‘Diversity drives inclusion. Inclusion drives engagement. Engagement drives performance,’” Buice reports. “Here, diversity is about inclusion and respect for people. Only by including and developing talented people with different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives will we ensure our place as a world-class organization that wins in the marketplace.”

Shaw’s twenty-two-member corporate diversity council is made up of leaders from throughout the company. It sets strategy and leads organizational diversity and inclusion initiatives, Buice explains. Thirty local diversity councils at key facilities engage associates in learning activities and events.

“Once a year, we convene a forum where more than a hundred local diversity champions, human resource managers, plant managers and diversity council members come together to learn about Shaw’s diversity and inclusion plan,” says Buice. “The forum also allows us to review expectations for diversity champions and the importance of inclusion.”

Networks and groups unite individuals
“This year we launched a women’s innovation network, which provides educational resources, training sessions for career development and core competencies, mentorship, and opportunities for volunteerism, networking and more,” Buice says.

Shaw also has a military and veterans employee resource group, which connects military service members, veterans and their families to employment opportunities at the company.

Supporting education for the nation’s future
To help cultivate the workforce of the future, Shaw supports education programs from reading to robotics, in partnership with state and local governments, academic institutions and local communities. Employees are encouraged to participate. Shaw helped develop a free summer camp for middle-school students. It focuses on science, technology, engineering and math.

Shaw representatives serve on the boards of two college and career academies. Shaw’s training and development experts spearheaded the development of the Mechatronics Pathway curriculum, a multidisciplinary engineering approach developed with the Northwest Georgia Technical College and other industry participants. Shaw representatives wrote standards approved by the Georgia Department of Education for use across the state.

“The company was named the first-ever College and Career Academy Business Partner of the Year by Georgia lieutenant governor Casey Cagle in 2013,” Buice notes. “We want to ensure that students are ready for twenty-first-century manufacturing jobs.”

Buice believes manufacturing is essential to the nation’s future. “In the United States, manufacturing employs two-thirds of scientists and engineers, produces ninety percent of U.S. patents, and represents more than half of our country’s research and development. And manufacturing produces both the goods and the jobs that sustain communities,” she says.

“Our ability to attract and retain the best possible people for our organization is key to staying competitive in a global economy,” Buice declares.


Shaw Industries, Inc.

Headquarters: Dalton, GA
Employees: 23,000
Revenues: $4.8 billion
Business: Carpet and other floor coverings

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