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NEWS | May 10, 2021

NSWC Panama City Asian American Pacific Islander Spotlight: Mary Kim

By Cierra Burch NSWC PCD Public Affairs

Mary Kim currently serves as an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and Diversity & Inclusion (DI) Specialist, Complaints Manager, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Manager at Naval Surface Warfare Center Panama City Division (NSWC PCD) in Panama City, Florida.  Her federal career began in 2006 at Misawa Air Force Base, Japan as a Department of Defense Educator, followed by five devoted years with the Department of Veterans Affairs.  In 2015, Kim transferred to the Department of Air Force, where her career in EEO continued before she transferred to the Department of the Navy at NSWC PCD.  Kim’s daily responsibilities include continuous efforts to improve the human relations climate, removing and addressing barriers within the workplace, and educating employees to eliminate discriminatory practices.  Kim trains all new employees on EEO programs and policies, processes all discrimination complaints for the command, and ensures all employees understand and adhere to EEO/DI policies.  “Growing up as an Asian American has definitely shaped who I am today and enhances my abilities as an EEO practitioner,” states Kim.  “I have often questioned my credibility and how I valued myself because often times Asians were not portrayed positively, but it has taken many years to change that mindset and being in the EEO profession has helped.”  Kim can recall numerous times of being stereotyped or called racial slurs while growing up which made her feel ashamed and embarrassed for being Asian; however, she now can address that type of behavior and has the ability to empathize and help others.  Kim started out as a teacher and education is still an integral piece as an EEO professional now.  Kim believes that we should every day learn something new; whether it is understanding your co-worker better or learning how many countries are in Asia because the more we learn, the more open are our minds.  Kim is passionate about her profession in EEO/DI and takes pride in being able to support the NSWC PCD workforce and mission.