'Inclusive Leadership' a key theme at this year's AALN Leadership Conference
Leidos employees and senior executives recently convened to discuss career growth, leadership, inclusion, and diversity during the second annual African American Leidos Network (AALN) Leadership Conference. This year’s conference featured panel discussions and group strategy sessions focused on the conference’s official theme: Inclusive Leadership.
Launched in May 2016, AALN is one of nine Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) that Leidos created to provide opportunities for employees to collaborate on shared interests and work to support diversity in the workplace.
Paul Engola, Leidos’ chief human resources officer and head of business partnerships, kicked-off the virtual half-day conference. As an executive sponsor of AALN, Engola provided a warm welcome by highlighting the importance of inclusion and diversity to Leidos’ continued growth.
Quanna Frost, a senior security systems engineer under Leidos’ Intel Group and vice chair of AALN, followed with a presentation highlighting the 37 employees that were honored at this year's 35th Annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA). The 2021 class was the largest in Leidos’ history.
The conference featured a group panel discussion with all five Leidos Group Presidents, including Gerry Fasano, David King, Jim Moos, Liz Porter, and Vicki Schmanske. The panel answered questions geared toward their personal and professional backgrounds, and how they have handled adversity in the past. Overall, the discussion offered conference participants a unique opportunity to see a personal side of each president.
“It was very impressive to see Leidos leadership participate in this panel and show their support for inclusion and diversity at Leidos,” said Jennings Stambaugh, an operations manager under Leidos’ Civil Group. “It speaks volumes and serves as a tangible example of Leidos’ commitment to the Inclusion & Diversity program.”
This year’s conference included a special appearance by Leidos Chairman and CEO Roger Krone. This was Krone’s first time speaking at the AALN Leadership Conference and he used the opportunity to offer continued support for Leidos’ ERGs.
“At Leidos, we are committed to building a society free from prejudice and racial injustice,” said Krone. “Empowering our employees to lead conferences like the AALN Leadership Conference will help create a better future for us all.”
The conference culminated with the introduction of the Enterprise Inclusion Council. This new internal working group is dedicated to advancing diversity and inclusion efforts across the company. The discussion was led by Roy Stevens, executive vice president and chief of business development & strategy. It also featured a fireside chat with Dr. Gary May, a Leidos board member. Dr. May led a discussion touching on some of the adversities he faced throughout his career and how diversity can drive success in a global workforce.
“I look forward to the AALN leadership conference every year, and this year did not disappoint,” said Taneshia Reeves, vice president within Leidos’ Intel Group. “The speakers were exceptional and it was great to see leadership embracing the need for continued education around inclusion and diversity topics.”