On April 1, students from the College of Engineering and the Villanova School of Business (VSB) attended a Diversity Leadership Dinner at the Villanova Conference Center, where they had the opportunity to network with Boeing employees and to learn about the aerospace company’s commitment to diversity.
The students invited to the dinner are the leaders and members of diversity chapters on campus, including the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Women Engineers, the National Association of Black Accountants, and Villanova Women in Business. Before dinner, Dawn Stanfield-Scott, the Diversity Manager at Boeing’s Ridley Park, PA, facility, overviewed Boeing’s diversity strategy, mission, and goals. "We want everyone to understand and benefit from diversity," Stanfield-Scott said.
During the meal, the students discussed what they had learned, as well as their experiences and aspirations, with the Boeing representatives at their tables. "Diversity refers to more than just cultural differences," said Jude Coompson EE '11. "It describes all the experiences we have in our lives, if we are open to new opportunities."
Victoria Brown, the Manager of Customer Relations at Ridley Park and a Boeing employee for 30 years, advised students at her table about preparing themselves for the working world. She encouraged students to attend career fairs, update their résumés, find a mentor within their field, and develop interpersonal skills. "What matters on the job is how well you communicate and get along with others. Employers want to know that you are a team player."
One of the focuses of Boeing’s charitable strategies for higher education is to improve access and ensure educational and professional success of students from a variety of backgrounds. The company supports student chapters that encourage professional growth and mentoring. Boeing provided a grant to the College of Engineering and VSB to develop diversity programs and networking events such as this dinner.