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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Draper Laboratory Celebrates Women's History Month

Draper Laboratory continued its annual workforce diversity and inclusion awareness activities by celebrating Women’s History Month throughout March with a variety of events intended to raise awareness of women’s contribution to a wide range of fields.

Throughout March, the Lab highlighted female leaders on posters and monitors, including famous female inventors, chefs, political figures, military officials and World War II factory workers. Employees also created a mosaic with thoughts about women who have had a positive effect on their lives, and the cafeteria featured food from famous female chefs, accompanied by music from female performers.

The month also featured a networking “Lunch with Draper Leadership,” which addressed topics including project management and team leadership and gave employees the opportunity to ask questions about how to build networks within the organization as well as how to prepare themselves for the types of situations that they would likely encounter in leadership roles throughout the organization. Draper President Jim Shields was one of the senior leaders who participated in the discussions along with technical and administrative leadership at all levels. 

“Recognizing that diverse perspectives are required for solving the nation’s most challenging problems, it is critical that we not only recruit the best talent from all demographics, but that we fully engage each and every employee once here,” said Sharon Donald, a division leader at Draper who oversees the Lab’s diversity and inclusion efforts. “Our Diversity & Inclusion Initiative places equal weight on both these critical aspects.”

Donald, who leads Draper’s Embedded Navigation and Sensor Systems division, a team of approximately 75 engineers working to develop advanced navigation, sensor and communications systems, was honored by Mass High Tech as one of its “2011 Women to Watch” on March 23. 

In February, Draper began its 2011 diversity awareness activities by celebrating Black History Month with posters and monitor notes that showcased African and African American contributions to science, medicine, education, sports, entertainment, and the military. The celebration also included a quiz bowl on black history, food from areas throughout the African Diaspora in the cafeteria, and an arts and crafts fair that focused on African American heritage.

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