In 20th Year, L3 Technologies Engages in Expanded Diversity & Inclusion

by LP Green, II

At the start of 2017, L3 Technologies (L3) celebrated its 20th anniversary year with a new name and reaffirmed commitment to excellence. For more than two decades, the global top-10 defense contractor has played a critical role in the protection and defense of freedom worldwide. So it’s not surprising L3 also chose this year to launch DOTIE, an ecosystem approach to expand and embed Diversity of Thought, Inclusion and Engagement into the company’s culture. Led by LaTonia Pouncey, L3’s Corporate Manager and Head of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), the multi-year business initiative is all about empowering and celebrating the people of L3.

Let’s start with you, LaTonia. How long have you been at L3 and when did you get involved in its D&I efforts?

I joined L3 in 2005, working on our corporate health and welfare, 401K migrations and executive compensation. When the Corporate VP of HR asked me to take on this new role in 2011, I was thrilled—but a little nervous, too. L3 hadn’t had a dedicated leadership position in D&I before, and I knew the important role it could play in L3’s future. I consulted several business leaders before signing on, and it has been a great journey ever since!

Since this was an entirely new leadership position at L3, how did you know where to begin?
To develop an effective D&I strategy, I needed the input of other L3 managers and leaders. I started by listening to their ideas about diversity and inclusion to earn their trust. I hosted many collaborative events, including a Women’s Exploration Forum, conferences, career fairs and Leadership Roundtable Forums. This brought together diverse managers and executives from different business units, functional areas and levels to discuss D&I, understand best practices, and identify areas for improvement. One of the things I’m proudest of is how many new and collaborative relationships were forged at these events. Ultimately, our strategic conversations led to the formation of L3’s Corporate D&I Leadership Council, supported by our CEO and Chairman, Mike Strianese, and Chris Kubasik, L3’s President and COO, as our corporate sponsor and chair.

What is L3’s D&I strategy?

As a global company, we knew that to be competitive we had to continue to build a diverse and inclusive workforce. But from our research and discussions, we learned L3 leaders wanted more ways to encourage diversity of thought to fuel creativity and innovation, one of our core values. So the corporate D&I office and council partnered with L3’s Organizational Development Leaders on a pilot survey of employees and leaders on inclusive leadership at L3. The result was an “ecosystem” approach around DOTIE: a multi-year strategy incorporating a variety of programs and actions to embed Diversity of Thought, Inclusion and Engagement into everything we do.

When will DOTIE be rolled out and what are some of the programs and actions being implemented?

DOTIE has three phases currently, all spaced out over the next three plus years. The framework focuses heavily on increasing employee engagement and inclusion, the biggest gap and opportunity for L3’s D&I efforts moving forward. Our Phase One Pilot is under way and concentrates on education and awareness, leveraging L3 corporate communications to introduce the principles of DOTIE into our leadership messaging, internal forums, website copy, recruiting and branding. We also have plans to introduce inclusive leadership learning with management and to pilot Employee Resource Groups (ERG) to create more pathways for engagement.

Phase Two builds upon the lessons and actions taken in Phase One by expanding DOTIE communications, inclusive learning and ERGs to involve more employees and leaders throughout L3. Phase Three, which we anticipate will begin 2020, focuses on completing implementation of our DOTIE strategies organization-wide and reassessing and refining our efforts with an Employee Engagement survey. If we’re successful, the principles of DOTIE will naturally be part of every business decision made at L3.

So let’s fast forward to 2020 and beyond. What’s next when DOTIE is embedded in L3’s culture?

We will continue to grow our strategy to positively impact our workforce, workplace and marketplace. The best part about DOTIE is that it’s a living and breathing framework that will continue to evolve with the diverse needs of our people and our company. L3 employees will always play the primary role in L3’s success, and I’m confident the actions we’re taking today will ensure a diverse, inclusive and engaged workforce for many years to come.

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