Employee Councils Provide Authentic Voice on Inclusion and DiversityApril 2019
Topics: Inclusion, Human Resources
Effective teams and leaders reflect the diversity of the world around us. Through our employee councils, we increase the reach and impact of MITRE's broad diversity and inclusion efforts.
"Our councils are a true grassroots voice for inclusion and diversity at MITRE," says Adrienne Thomas-Loftin, head of Inclusion and Diversity. "They affect what leadership acts on, and their voice and actions are a catalyst for meaningful change."
Employee councils at MITRE represent perspectives directly from the company's diverse workforce, offering both support and resources to co-workers, while providing leadership with a boots-on-the-ground lens into varying elements of inclusion and diversity. The councils are led and run by MITRE employees who are empowered to define their own goals and priorities. Each council has an officer champion or senior leader, who attends meetings and provides a corporate strategy perspective.
Employee councils collaborate, advocate, and support MITRE and its employees, and are a crucial part of MITRE’s broad diversity and inclusion efforts both internally and externally.
Council members and leaders support MITRE’s recruitment efforts, and as a result, the company has been recognized as a leader in building and retaining a diverse workforce and has been named a top employer by STEM Workforce Diversity Magazine and Woman Engineer Magazine, and a Top 10 supporter of HBCU Engineering Schools. MITRE also partners with associations and industry, such as the Society of Women Engineers and Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AIME), to increase interest and engagement in engineering and STEM careers.
Councils also help educate and bring awareness to the workforce through the organization of volunteer activities for STEM and underserved communities, in addition to leading internal events such as the Black History Month and Veterans celebrations.
The councils and affiliate groups, such as NextUp for early career professionals, have delivered several visible and concrete enhancements for MITRE. One such example is the outside accessibility audit currently underway thanks to the Accessibility Council, which sets out to ensure all buildings are inclusive for employees and visitors with disabilities. The audit includes basic access as well as emergency routes.
Another example is seen through the efforts of the Women’s Council, who initiated MITRE’s recent conversion of some of its parking spaces near building entrances at the Bedford, Massachusetts, campus to be reserved parking for expectant mothers. The Women’s Council sought this amenity and is working with facilities to evaluate parking at other campuses.
MITRE's employee councils and their missions include:
- Accessibility Council—Bring awareness and access to advocates and employees with disabilities.
- Multicultural Employee Resource Group (MERG)—Bring together employees from differing cultures.
- Multi-Gen Council—Provide a platform for multiple generations of employees.
- Pride Council—Bring together LGBTQ+ employees and advocates.
- Veteran Council—Connect veterans and advocates.
- Women's Council—Provide a pathway to bring together women and advocates.
By engaging employees for grassroots approaches to diversity and inclusion, MITRE fosters innovation and helps solve the biggest challenges to the safety and stability of our nation.
—by Jordan Graham
Explore more at MITRE Focal Point: Inclusion and Diversity.