Lockheed Martin: leveraging talent for tech and diversity
Half the workforce and most career opportunities are technical; inclusion and recognition set a rewarding workplace tone. Internships provide real work experience
'We are one of the leading aerospace and defense companies in the world, so we hire a wide range of IT and engineering professionals,” says Kimberly Admire, vice president of diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity programs for Lockheed Martin Corporation. “Overall, about half of our workforce is in engineering, science and other technology-related roles.
“We hire everything from electrical engineers to computer engineers, systems engineers, mechanical and, naturally, aerospace engineers. Because of our large manufacturing facilities, we also focus on production and operations. Of course, we also hire people in finance, marketing and so forth, but the bulk of our hiring is in technical fields.”
Technical pros deliver real-time data to warfighters; manage safe movement of cargo around the world; and provide advanced sensors, decision systems, and weapons for land, air and sea-based platforms, and software for air traffic management for homeland security.
Lockheed Martin also works on IT systems used by government agencies to provide benefits to seniors. “Many people don’t realize that we are the largest information technology provider to the federal government,” Admire says.
Diversity is strong
“Internally, we have to create the right environment to ensure that we’re leveraging the talents and capabilities of all of our employees,” Admire says. “We start with a corporate sustainability council that provides an integrated approach from not only an environmental, health and safety perspective but also from a governance standpoint, a technology standpoint, and a diversity and inclusion perspective.”
She continues, “The sustainability council is made up of senior company leaders from across the organization. Our diversity efforts align with the strategic imperatives identified by this council, including employee resource groups (ERGs) and leadership forums.”
Women make up 26 percent of Lockheed Martin employees. A similar proportion, 25 percent, of its workforce is considered racially diverse.
“Seven leadership forums represent the traditional lines of diversity,” Admire says: African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, people with disabilities, women, veterans and LGBT employees. “These groups ensure an inclusive work environment that helps us retain talent, and provide a brand for us. Both our ERGs and leadership forums are involved in our recruitment efforts.”
Lockheed Martin has received a score of 100 for the last five consecutive years on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) sponsored by the Human Rights Campaign (www.hrc.org). The HRC Foundation’s CEI has become a benchmarking tool for U.S. businesses in LGBT equality in the workplace.
Recognition and partnerships
The company works to achieve recognition of its employees, and many have been honored by key professional organizations. In 2013, Lockheed Martin’s Nam Bui was named Asian American Engineer of the Year, and several Lockheed Martin tech pros were recognized at the Black Engineer of the Year conference.
“Participation in events like these helps create the Lockheed Martin brand,” Admire acknowledges, “and also provides important recognition for leaders and employees. It helps them establish themselves as role models internally and externally.”
Conferences and career fairs are often associated with these awards events. Lockheed Martin uses these opportunities to recruit, and has established relationships with professional organizations, mainly related to STEM fields. “We work with the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, Great Minds in STEM, Catalyst, Project Lead the Way and more.”
The company also works with 4-H and Girl Scouts of the USA. “As a corporation, we must ensure a continuous pipeline of STEM talent, and we have to engage early, because students are deciding whether they like math and science early in their academic careers. We partner with organizations that encourage kids to stay in school, get good at math and science, and pursue relevant college degrees.
“The kids are thrilled with our technology,” Admire reports. “Of course, they often associate technology with games, but they’re interested when they learn that they could even pursue gaming as a career.”
College connections and internships
Lockheed Martin works with a long list of schools including the University of Maryland, the University of Southern California and others. It also works with historically black colleges and universities, and with schools that are close to its locations across the country. Admire calls these “backyard schools.” The local relationships may involve employees serving on advisory boards and committees, or sponsoring research projects.
“Lockheed Martin has a national internship program that hires students with technical skills,” Admire says. “The bulk of our technical interns are in fields consistent with current and anticipated technology-related needs. We provide meaningful opportunities for our interns so they learn about our corporation by having the chance to contribute in a real way.”
Typically, the company seeks candidates with bachelors, masters or PhDs, with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 and above in their field of study.
“Our goal is to give talented individuals exposure to our organization with the hope that they like us and we like them, and it results in a hire,” Admire says with a smile.
Employees of Lockheed Martin engage in a wide range of community outreach efforts. “Understandably,” says Admire, “a number of these are STEM-related. For example, we have an initiative called ‘Engineers in the Classroom’ where employees go into the classroom and directly support STEM-focused activities.
“We also have employees who work with the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association. We’re doing a lot with the United Service Organizations and with the Wounded Warrior Project, helping veterans transition into the workplace, either at Lockheed Martin or somewhere else. We have a large veteran population and we like to direct significant efforts toward that group.”
||Bethesda, MD (U.S.)
||Global security and aerospace; advanced technology systems, products and services