DAHLGREN, Va., – Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) is excited to announce a new corporate sponsorship and partnership with the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) that will begin July 2021 and run through June 2022.
NSWCDD made the decision to invest in this strategic partnership to expand its Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) hiring pipeline and overall technology network.
“Collaboration is key in the world of research and development, and this partnership provides an excellent opportunity for us to attract new talent to NSWCDD, and foster innovation through knowledge sharing across the SWE network,” said NSWCDD Technical Director John Fiore.
SWE is a nonprofit educational and service organization with more than six decades of experience empowering women to succeed and advance in the engineering field. The “driving force” behind SWE is to showcase engineering as a highly desirable career field for women through the array of training and development programs, networking opportunities, scholarships, and outreach and advocacy activities, according to swe.org.
“This partnership is going to help us expand our recruiting efforts across female science and engineering students, allowing us to connect with thousands of female students, as well as offer an opportunity for members of our workforce to become more engaged in SWE opportunities,” said NSWCDD Chief Technology Officer Jennifer Clift. “SWE hosts the world’s largest conference for female scientists and engineers and presents an incredible opportunity for workforce development, professional networking, recruiting, and sharing of technical information.”
One of SWE’s objectives is to develop women engineers at all stages of their personal and professional lives, according to swe.org.
Since NSWCDD is a research, development, testing and evaluation center, the majority of the workforce is made up of scientists and engineers. With workforce development being one of NSWCDD’s top strategic goals, the SWE partnership will help accomplish those objectives.
SWE was founded in 1950 with more than 40,000 collegiate and professional members. NSWCDD now joins other corporate members such as Honeywell, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Microsoft, and IBM in the push for female scientists and engineers.
Looking to the future for NSWCDD, SWE will help support workforce development, female retention, technical knowledge sharing, and meet its recruitment goals, as it engages with a diverse candidate pool of females pursuing careers in STEM disciplines.
The SWE mission is to empower women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering and technology professions as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity and inclusion.
NSWCDD has nearly 4,000 government employees, and among them, Dahlgren is represented with 1,128 women, with 924 of them being scientists and engineers.
Dahlgren’s technical workforce has continued to remain 24% women with growth in female leadership from 32% in 2017 to 38% in 2021.
According to data provided by the NSWCDD Equal Employment Opportunity Office, the number of women in leadership roles has increased from 2016 to 2021 as follows:
Department head: 16.67% to 42.86%
Deputy department head: 0% to 42.86%
Division head: 34.48% to 53.57%
Branch head: 26.83% to 35.25%
The senior female leadership is comprised NSWCDD chief of staff, three technical department heads, Senior Scientific Technical Manager (SSTM) for Warfare Systems Software S&T and Development, and Clift. Clift and the technical department heads are also SSTMS making the total of five female SSTMs.
This corporate sponsorship will allow NSWCDD to attend SWE events throughout the year, including the annual SWE conference. Participation in such events supports the continued growth of the workforce, provides opportunities for the workforce to present keynote and technical briefings, which promotes technology sharing. SWE strives to be a prime facilitator for creating personal relationships, support systems, and networking between women in engineering and technology.
Being able to attend these gatherings will allow NSWCDD to “provide information about our laboratory to current and future female scientists and engineers, and provides yet another avenue to collaborate and engage with the engineering community and broaden our network,” explained Clift.