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Carderock Leadership in a Diverse Environment Training Event to focus on building women leaders

By Margaret Zavarelli, NSWC Carderock Division Public Affairs | NSWC Carderock Division | May 1, 2018

WEST BETHESDA, Md. —

In a keynote speech in November at Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson challenged Warfare Center employees gathered for the Leadership in a Diverse Environment (LDE) training event to build better teams through inspiration, chasing better performance and dedication. Carderock Division will advance these goals at its LDE training event May 31, focusing on the challenges and opportunities facing women in leadership.

“Hearing from Navy leaders and from the 120-plus attendees from across all our Warfare Centers helped further crystallize awareness that our diversity is our strength,” said Kathy Stanley, Carderock’s chief of staff. “We’re taking that momentum to focus specifically on Carderock, in particular women in leadership – and by that we mean not just our current leaders, but building and supporting our future leaders. We want to provide tools and knowledge to them.

The day-long event includes a wide spectrum of presentations and discussion panels, from Department of Defense senior leaders talking about their decades of experience to a breakout panel of new professionals at Carderock, each about five to 12 years into their career, that is being organized by Emily Dress and Eva Roche, both engineers in the Ship Signatures Department.

“Our focus on this panel is what new professionals need to advance in their careers, the challenges associated with being a new professional and work-life balance,” Dress said.

Dr. Paul Shang, Carderock’s acting technical director, said that while the training event’s focus is women in leadership, the agenda is being crafted so that all staff, men and women, newer professionals and supervisors, will take away new insights.

“We all need to be change agents and leaders, and to help ensure that our workforce continues to grow as a diverse body, so we’re interested in getting a mix of attendees from all the codes and career fields,” Shang said.

Roche, who also attended November's LDE event, said she was struck by the speakers' calls for inclusion of diversity, specifically of women. 

"I vividly remember Vice Admiral Raquel Bono saying that culture is the behavior an organization is willing to tolerate,” Roche said. “In order to build a culture of diversity, we need to provide women the courage to do something different, the confidence to step forward and the competence in their skills to get the job done. Being around so many change agents, both men and women, who wanted to accomplish these goals was truly inspiring."

Keynote speakers will be Dr. Julie Christodoulou, Materials Division director at the Office of Naval Research, and retired Air Force Col. Victoria Bowens, director of diversity and inclusion for the Department of the Navy. On the “Women in Leadership” panel discussion will be Robin White and Susan Tomaiko from Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), both members of the Senior Executive Service (SES); Steffanie Easter, SES, who previously served as the assistant commander for acquisition for Naval Air Systems Command and is currently serving as the principal deputy to the assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology; and Neaclesa Anderson, head of Carderock’s Office of Counsel.

Retired Capt. Heide Stefanshyn-Piper, former Carderock Division commander and astronaut, will share video and stories about her two space missions (STS-115 and STS-126). This specific morning session will be open to all hands (training event registration is not required).

Breakout sessions include “Dealing with Difference” and “Balancing Work and Personal Life,” led by staff from the Department of the Navy Civilian Employee Assistance Program, and “The Science of Self Defeat.”

Cmdr. Sarah Rice, a project manager with PEO Integrated Warfare Systems, will talk about Lean In Circles (small peer groups who meet regularly to learn and grow together, founded by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg). In 2015, the Department of Defense partnered with LeanIn.Org to launch Lean In Circles throughout the department and all military branches. To read Secretary Ash Carter’s letter about Lean In Circles or to learn more about them, link to the NAVSEA iNFUSION Wiki page at https://wiki.navsea.navy.mil/display/NWCWIL/Lean+In+Circles

Online registration for Carderock’s Leadership In a Diverse Environment training event is open on the command’s intranet page at the link https://cuthill.crdr.navy.mil/intra/events/leadership/. There is no registration cost for the event, but labor needs to be covered by each respective attendee’s department.

To learn more about the Warfare Center-wide LDE event Nov. 27-28, 2017, Carderock’s event May 31 and Lean In, link to Fusion and follow these hashtags: #LDEE, #leadershipinadiverseenvironment, #LDECarderock and #LeanIn. The link to Fusion is https://fusion.navsea.navy.mil.