Over the years, the Northrop Grumman Women Engineers (NGWE) Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and the Society of Women Engineers – Chicago Regional Section (SWE CRS) have had quite a partnership.
A SWE membership recruitment drive held within Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC) at the Rolling Meadows, IL site actually was the beginning of the NGC ERG – 19 years ago. These new SWE members started an internal women engineers group, which eventually became the official company ERG and consisted of hundreds of members.
This ERG turned into a win/win situation. The women engineers at NGC ERG had common ground and were able to get to know each other; they found out they all had common interests, were gaining recognition within the company and were happy to learn about SWE through their ERG.
Part of the monthly ERG meetings consisted of a discussion on SWE CRS happenings and events. These discussions prompted ERG members to attend SWE CRS events and volunteer for several of its related committees. Eventually, SWE CRS officers and committee chairs formed.
The ERG had a group of members that judged the SWE CRS scholarships for many years. That was very convenient in the days of paper applications. The interest seems to rotate over the years including: planning programs, newsletter, publicity, coordinating the signature professional development event and the collegiate liaison effort. It was easy for a committee chair from NGC to find volunteers to help with her committee. All she had to do was announce at an ERG meeting what she needed and she had a couple of volunteers. The NGC ERG always has a big presence at the SWE CRS annual awards banquet, where NGC buys tables, and supports a scholarship and the student section award. One of the consistent and easy ways NGC has supported SWE CRS is by providing printing services. It started with the newsletter, then the ballots, professional development material and banquet programs. It was something really easy for NGC to do with a print shop on the premises.
In the years that followed, five NGC employees became SWE CRS president! Because of the high profile SWE involvement of the ERG members, the ERG and SWE CRS stayed closely tied. The newest members of the ERG are now learning about SWE and are encouraged to attend events and conferences. The SWE CRS will always have a way to communicate its needs and events to the NGC members in this way.
For more information about NGC ERG visit www.northropgrumman.com. Want to share your own NGC ERG story? Like NG on Facebook and Tweet them on Twitter, @NGCNews. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #SWEmyERG.