KEYPORT, Wash. (NNS) -- Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division, Keyport hosted its first Leadership in a Diverse Environment (LDE) Event on Aug. 29. The theme of the event was "Breaking the Barriers and Conquering Biases."
In 2017, Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers hosted their first Warfare Center-wide LDE Event in the Washington, DC area. To build on the success of that event, NUWC Division, Keyport developed a second event to share NAVSEA's efforts in building diversity awareness and creating an environment of workplace inclusion.
“Encouraging and maintaining diversity in the workplace are crucial components of the future success of our organizations,” said Kim Strombach, NUWC Division, Keyport LDE Lead and Change Agent. “By creating a team of people who think differently from each other, leaders can stimulate creativity, spur insights, and increase efficiency.”
The leadership team symposium focused on the effects of unconscious biases and understanding how perceptions and stereotypes influence individuals and organizations.
Chief Harold Scoggins, Fire Chief for the Seattle Fire Department gave the keynote address and spoke about his experiences with unconscious biases. Other guest speakers included Pam Lisiewicz, special projects lead for NAVSEA, Lynn Rodriguez, a former Navy Seabee diver, and Pastor Wes Davis, a local church leader.
After sharing their perspectives and experiences, the guest speakers participated in a panel discussion along with NUWC Division, Keyport’s Technical Director, Alan Kent. Each speaker answered a different question and was given the opportunity to engage with the audience and other panelists.
“This was a great event, the guest speakers were outstanding and the audience was very engaged,” said Kent. “It reinforced in my mind that there is room for improvement in building a culture of inclusion. It was also helpful for me to hear from others about their experiences and the tools they employed to make improvements.”
Following the panel discussion, the speakers and event attendees participated in a group activity focused on discovering individual biases and identifying potential solutions to eliminate them.
Personal videos emphasizing the importance of diversity in the workplace were provided by Congressman Derek Kilmer and Don McCormack, Executive Director, Naval Surface and Undersea Warfare Centers, and presented during the LDE Event.
“My job is to man, train and equip Warfare Centers for today’s Navy, tomorrow’s Navy, and the Navy after next,” said McCormack in his video. “To do that, we need to make sure we are as inclusive of an organization as we can, we need to attract the best of the best from all of our diverse organizations and groups within the nation.”
Another Warfare Center-wide LDE event is slated to take place in December.
For more news from Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division, Keyport, visit www.navy.mil/local/nuwcd/.