The next awards are for recipients who have made an impact on Advancing Inclusion and Global Perspectives. This award recognizes those colleagues who:
- create an inclusive workplace,
- promote respect for their colleagues,
- encourage collaboration and diverse viewpoints,
- act as cultural interpreters to resolve misunderstandings, and
- raise awareness about the value of diversity and inclusion.
The first Excellence Award in this category goes to the co-leads of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Women’s Network. Bonita Burke is Assistant Group Leader of Counter-WMD Systems. Julie Arloro-Mehta, is Associate Staff in the Interceptor and Sensor Technology Group.
Team Burke Mehta, as they are called, has had an enormous impact on advancing inclusion and global perspectives at MIT Lincoln Laboratory. Their colleagues say that they have brought new life to the organization. As soon as they were handed the baton, they helped transition the group from the Lincoln Laboratory Technical Women’s Network to Lincoln Laboratory Women’s Network—making the group inclusive of the full demographic of women working at Lincoln Laboratory.
Bonita and Julie had a vision. They wanted to build a model that could strengthen all Employee Resource Groups across the MIT community. After working with a broad group of women to identify areas for improvement, they developed a highly collaborative 10-year strategic plan to focus their efforts and resources.
They created an annual diversity summit featuring workshops and speakers from MIT and industry, and they worked to ensure that all areas of the Laboratory were participating. They have also have driven internal workshops, book groups, and Laboratory-wide presentations.
In short, they are working to eliminate barriers that get in the way of their colleagues’ success. As one nominator shared, “Bonita and Julie have taken our diversity, equity, and inclusion to a new level, that is being felt across the Laboratory and across the Institute.”
Bonita, and Julie, thank you for working to make MIT Lincoln Laboratory a place where all contributions are valued. Congratulations on your Excellence Award.