Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division’s second group of Many Voices initiative participants presented their Capstone Projects to the command’s senior leadership and department heads on Nov. 17, 2022.
According to Robert Turner, the deputy director of NSWCPD’s Equal Employment Opportunity office, the Many Voices Initiative is a six-month program aimed to create conversations around racism, diversity, equity, and inclusion in employees’ professional and personal lives and is based upon the 2020 “Many Voices—One NAVSEA – A NAVSEA Forum: Candid conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion.”
“The initiative promotes diversity and inclusion through facilitated open conversations, which consist of six different groups of 12-15 NSWCPD employees meeting for 90 minutes each month and engaging in lively exchanges about difficult subjects,” Turner said.
Each session was facilitated by SmallWorld Group LLC, with discussion topics including Inclusive Diversity, Unconscious Bias, Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology and Leadership, Psychological Safety and Creating Inclusive Zones, Meaningful Conversations and Building Trust, and Leading Teams Driving Results. Finally, the capstone presentation gave the participants the opportunity to brief command leadership on what they learned and provide recommendations based on those findings.
“The Capstone briefing to the leadership board gave the groups the opportunity to use what they learned during the sessions to address concerns at NSWCPD and gain approval of the projects from leadership to move forward with recommendations to enhance the organization and make a difference,” Turner. said.
Cohort topics presented to NSWCPD leadership and department heads included Equity in the Promotion Process, Communication is Key, Build Effective and Inclusive Interdisciplinary Teams that Value All Career Fields, Digital Tools Strategy, and Emotional Intelligence.
“Our cohort was tasked with examining the impacts of emotional intelligence on the command and how it could improve morale,” said Shreyansh Shah, an NSWCPD mechanical engineer and participant in the Many Voices initiative. “It was empowering to be placed in a cohort of capable colleagues and set loose on a problem that could positively impact the command. We were able to engage a variety of groups within the command to understand how to hold morale boosting events and provided our recommendations directly to leadership.”
Shah continued, “I then had the opportunity to stay engaged in various command initiatives to increase morale such as WARA (NSWCPD’s Welfare and Recreation Association) and the Division 43 (Hull & Deck Machinery Systems) social committee, giving me more insight into how to maintain morale in high performing organizations.”
NSWCPD employs approximately 2,800 civilian engineers, scientists, technicians, and support personnel. The NSWCPD team does the research and development, test and evaluation, acquisition support, and in-service and logistics engineering for the non-nuclear machinery, ship machinery systems, and related equipment and material for Navy surface ships and submarines. NSWCPD is also the lead organization providing cybersecurity for all ship systems.