The Value of a Collaborative Culture

Will Fuller, College Intern, Digital Communications

How often do early career engineers get to make an impact right after joining a company? Microwave design engineer, Jenna Griffiths, is one of many who have been able to make a significant difference.

In her four-year journey at Northrop Grumman so far, she feels truly comfortable to be her authentic self and to contribute in a meaningful way and be recognized for it. The inclusive, collaborative culture that she works in and cultivates has provided her with rewarding experiences and extensive networking opportunities.

“Northrop Grumman is a company that supports employees not only in the workplace, but also in their day-to-day lives,” Jenna says. “Our company's leadership recognizes that success is an outcome of a culture in which all members are able to contribute in their own distinctive way. Differences are not tolerated here – they’re valued.”

Jenna, who participated in Northrop Grumman’s Professional Development Program (PDP), believes the three-year rotational program enabled her to gain impactful experience while developing a holistic understanding of the enterprise.

“During my time in the PDP, I was able to rotate through various engineering groups to attain a breadth of experience while building a solid network within the company,” Jenna says. “In particular, I found it very helpful to be part of a community of other early career engineers.”

“We work together to meet our project goals, and we learn from each other along the way.”

Solving challenging problems and working on new projects aren’t the only awesome part of her job. She couldn’t ask for a better team to work with, too. Thanks to the PDP program, Jenna rotated through various engineering groups, which allowed her to discover the best team, project and business unit for her advancement.

“Every day, we’re working on some of the most cutting-edge technologies and solving challenging problems. I love performing analysis and simulation on a new design and seeing our work come to life when we build it,“ Jenna says. “We work together to meet our project goals, and we learn from each other along the way.”

While Jenna is gaining meaningful skills and immersing herself into new assignment opportunities, she also is very active in our employee resource groups (ERGs). Jenna is a chairperson of the Rolling Meadows, Illinois site of the ERG called Pride in Diversity Alliance (PrIDA). In addition to in-house activities, PrIDA members, like Jenna, participate in large-scale events like the Chicago Pride Parade.

“Not only is the parade a great opportunity for employees and their families to celebrate diversity, but it is also allows us to reach out to our community to let them know how much they matter to us,” Jenna says. “There's no better feeling than when a member of the community enthusiastically waves to you at the parade and says, ‘Northrop Grumman, I'm so glad you’re here!’ ”

Aside from company development and service opportunities, she also attributes her professional growth to her experience as a mentor in the High School Involvement Partnership (HIP) STEM Program.

“Being involved in these types of programs has allowed me to further expand my network while making a positive contribution to my site and our community,” Jenna says.