MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. —
Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Corona received a top Society of Women Engineers (SWE) award Oct. 20 at the annual Women in Engineer conference in Minneapolis, the world’s largest conference for women engineers.
The Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award recognizes NSWC Corona’s outstanding commitment to recruiting and advancing women engineers, ensuring upward mobility of women across its ranks and for consistent outreach and recruitment aimed at building a vibrant science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce.
“I have had the pleasure to work for Corona Division … for over 33 years,” said Dianne Costlow, SES, NSWC Corona’s technical director. “During that time, I’ve been able to witness our organizational change first hand – embracing diversity and inclusion, and making a commitment to the advancement of women engineers and scientists.”
The Society recognized the warfare center for its culture, programs and overall commitment to recruiting, hiring and promoting women in STEM fields through various programs, such as internships for high school and college students, local university recruiting events, on-boarding, targeted career development, education opportunities, technology forums, and training that focuses on leadership, technical and business priorities.
During the acceptance speech, Costlow noted the warfare center’s leadership made a concerted effort for 15 years to develop policy and practices to ensure equal consideration for all employees.
“Women scientists and engineers from Corona’s recruitment and promotion strategies have resulted in a growing trend toward closing the gender gap,” Costlow told the audience of more than 1,000, highlighting Corona has been working locally for many years in outreach. “Working with our local community…we have been priming the STEM pump, supporting the annual Science and Technology Education Partnership event that attracts over 5,000 students from 4th grade through high school to learn about STEM careers.”
Costlow added that 17 percent of Corona’s scientists and engineers are women, with an equal percentage of women in the science and engineering supervisory and leadership positions. Each position has equivalent relevant pay at all levels in the organization, she said.
Costlow herself helped Corona achieved a major milestone when she became the first female technical director in the command’s history in January 2017, formally entering into the Senior Executive Service three months later.
NSWC Corona is headquartered in Norco, Calif., and is the premiere center that analyzes warfare and missile defense systems, provides systems engineering for live-virtual-constructive training ranges, and sets measurement and calibration standards for the Navy and Marine Corps. Capt. Rick Braunbeck commands the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) field activity with a workforce of more than 3,300 scientists, engineers, contractors and support staff and annual business of more than $450 million each year.