February 2006 
Volume 04, Issue 9 
Main Feature

A team looks ahead

Logistics Support Systems shapes its face of the future

Imagine the "face of Boeing" in 2016. What do you see? Leaders in the Logistics Support Systems business unit of Integrated Defense Systems will see an organization that reflects the global nature of its business and fosters a culture of inclusion and respect, thanks to work being done by the LSS Strategic Diversity Team.

A winning team

Here's a roster of the Logistics Support Systems Strategic Diversity Team.

Ed Schaniel (executive champion) Long Beach, Calif.
Kathleen Cronin St. Louis
Mona Fowlkes Long Beach, Calif.
Marjorie Hansen Meza, Ariz.
Jenni Hunt St. Louis
Mukesh Luhar Long Beach, Calif.
Lucia Melton Oklahoma City
Joe Pagano St. Louis
Barbara Riney San Antonio
Lynndriette Rome Fort Walton Beach, Fla
Lynda Scarborough Wichita, Kan.
Betty Thomas Wichita, Kan.
Rose Thomas Oklahoma City
James Vince Long Beach, Calif.
Darlene Woodruff Philadelphia
Gilbert Zapata San Antonio

Established in 2002, the team has been laying a foundation to change the face of the future in pursuit of three objectives: to ensure the growth of future leaders; to make Boeing an employer of choice by college recruits; and to emphasize the importance of identifying, aiding and enhancing relationships with diverse suppliers. These efforts earned the organization a Global Diversity Process Improvement Award.

The team established three main thrusts—college recruiting, mentoring and supplier diversity—and used benchmarking, partnering with other organizations and diversity education as tools to help them meet their objectives.

"Our strategies focus on helping the businesses to understand the total value of diversity—not just compliance," said Yvonne Johnson, team lead and dual support leader for both IDS Product Support and Training Systems & Services in Logistics Support Systems in St. Louis.

The virtual group divided into sub-teams, each tasked with developing a plan to address one of the three areas.

The team's college recruiting thrust focuses on attracting and retaining top talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. Johnson observed that people considering working at Boeing want to know that Boeing has an inclusive environment.

The team developed a plan to preassess certain colleges and create a college recruiting partner index, to determine who the key players are in the recruiting process. The resulting network helps fill job requisitions with qualified candidates from varied backgrounds in a timely manner.

A strong mentoring plan developed by the team will help women and people of color gain visibility to senior management, learn about the roles they perform, and work on developing the skills necessary to attain leadership positions. The program for this thrust area will roll out in 2006, Johnson said.

The team's goal is to engage mentors and protégés, and it uses the existing Performance Development Partnership process as the program's foundation. Johnson said the mentoring plan is open to all LSS employees, but in its leadership presentation about mentoring, the team reinforces the importance of being aware of including women and minorities.

The supplier diversity thrust area focuses on educating subcontracting personnel about how to interact effectively with minority and women-owned businesses.

"We need to improve our subcontract award opportunities with diverse suppliers. The team is attempting to address cultural barriers which may be a factor in supplier selection," said Lynda Scarborough, supplier diversity team lead and Supplier Management manager in Wichita, Kan.

Team members developed a plan to influence those relationships through education and awareness. There now is a diversity module at Supplier Management leadership team meetings, and plans in place to recognize minority-owned businesses.

These three thrusts already are producing results. In addition to strong performance on metrics internal to the Strategic Diversity Team (see box below), the team cited improvements in employee satisfaction. According to the 2005 Employee Survey, 73 percent of responding LSS employees feel diverse perspectives are valued, and 80 percent feel they are treated fairly regardless of differences. Both figures are higher than total Boeing percentages and industry averages.

"If people feel valued and respected, they will be more productive, and our success depends on employee satisfaction," Johnson said.

—Debby Arkell


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