Northrop Grumman LGBT Employees and Allies Make History in San Diego
Along the streets of University Avenue and Balboa Park in downtown San Diego on July 14, a crowd of more than 250,000 people descended to watch the annual San Diego LGBT Pride Parade in celebration of the LGBT community. Among the dozens of colorful floats lined up, a large crowd hovered around a 1/16-scale NASA Global Hawk model rising above a cloud of rainbow-colored balloons.
This group was a Northrop Grumman contingent gearing up to make history. “We are the first-ever aerospace and defense company to march in the San Diego LGBT pride parade,” said Kevin Eisenmann, chair of the Pride in Diversity Alliance (PrIDA) chapter of San Diego.
“Fostering a safe place for all employees to fulfill the highest level of professional growth is what we’re about, and there is no better way to celebrate strength in diversity than with your entire community.”
PrIDA is an employee resource group for all employees, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. With a membership of more than 1,000 employees across the company, various chapters organize professional development sessions, recruitment efforts and activities that promote diversity and inclusion awareness. For example, the PrIDA San Diego chapter also launched a “Safe Space” campaign to foster a more inclusive workplace for LGBT employees and sponsored a roundtable panel discussion with Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) and Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere (COLLAGE).
“For me, being an ally to LGBT employees is more than just supporting equality: It’s about supporting a community because they support me,” said Luke McQuage, Facilities engineer. “Walking alongside many of my colleagues and hearing their stories and struggles reinforces my commitment to them and to diversity and inclusion.”
While PrIDA engagements were in full swing from San Diego to Palmdale, Calif., and across the country in Virginia, New York, Illinois and Florida, Northrop Grumman also earned the top spot on the 2018 Human Rights Campaign scorecard for LGBT workplace equality for the fourth year in a row.
“At Northrop Grumman, we strive to create an inclusive space where every teammate can safely bring his or her whole self to work and feel confident their unique contributions are valued,” said Cynthia Curiel, sector vice president ofcommunications and PrIDA executive sponsor for the San Diego chapter. “That’s what our focus on diversity and inclusion is all about.”