NEW YORK, NEW YORK, USA, September 21, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Out for Undergrad (O4U), the premier not-for-profit organization supporting high-achieving LGBTQ+ and otherwise diverse undergraduates in reaching their full potential in life and work has named Angie Gonzalez from Northrop Grumman as the O4U 2021 Engineering Conference Director. Gonzalez is an Electronics Engineer, graduate student at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, pursuing a Master’s in Systems Engineering and Point Foundation Scholar Alum.
Dr. Cindi Love, O4U Executive Director said, “We are so delighted and honored to have Angie join our volunteer leadership team. As a seasoned O4U volunteer, Angie has consistently brought a passionate and constructive voice to our work to improve programming for career development as well as diversity, equity and inclusion for all of our stakeholder groups—undergraduate attendees, volunteers at Conferences, our national Board and Conference Boards. Angie is highly intelligent, introspective, empathic, authentic and fun, the perfect type of leader in these very challenging times with COVID and our efforts to dismantle structural racism in corporate recruitment. I look forward to partnering with Angie to raise our already record breaking standard for diverse student recruitment, supporting our sponsoring employers in the development of more diverse mentors and improving our own organizational performance.”
Gonzales said, “What I really love about my job is that I get to contribute to our country’s most advanced technology. I also love that I feel empowered to bring my complete authentic self to work everyday and that all of my diverse identities are embraced and accepted. Attending the O4U Engineering Conference as a student in 2017 and being involved with the organization since 2018 has equipped me with tools and skillset to navigate my entry to the professional world in ways I could’ve never imagined. Through O4U, I have found my voice and a vast network of successful LGBTQ+ folks in the corporate world. Becoming the Conference Lead for the O4U Engineering Conference was my goal from the get-go, so I am very excited that my time has come and that I will lead the O4U Engineering team to our best conference yet!”
Love continued, “Angie will be a catalyst for continued improvement in creating the type of welcoming environment that we want to achieve. In 2018, we started a systematic restructuring of our organization. Starting in 2004, we did a great job identifying and supporting the nation’s highest achieving white, gay, cisgender and male undergraduates within the Ivy’s and elites, but over time, realized that we were missing many high-achieving students from our cohorts. We adopted use of the Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Benchmarks (GDEIB) in January 2018 and did our first assessment.
The GDEIB revealed that our best efforts needed modification to ensure that all qualified students had access to O4U. We applied the same assessment and change management process to our National and Conference Board recruitment and selection process. Slight adjustments to eliminate implicit bias had substantive and positive impact. The 2020 Engineering student class was more than 70 percent people of color, more than half of that group underrepresented minorities. Board diversity has significantly improved and overall Conference team composition as well. I constantly remind myself as a leader that diversity is achievable, but inclusion is believable. We will feel that we’ve done well when we retain volunteers year over year and they express a real sense of belonging. This work is never complete.”