Sandia named a top employer for Native STEM professionals

By Valerie Larkin

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Laurence Brown (163), Tribal Government Relations manager and co-chair of the AISES Corporate Advisory Council, says, “This is a great recognition of the tremendous talent pool of American Indian professionals at the Laboratories.”

Sandia has been named one of the Top 50 Workplaces for Native STEM Professionals by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES).

Employers who made the list have demonstrated they foster an inclusive work environment, have programs that support individual staff members, and have recruited STEM professionals from Native American and Alaska Native populations within the last two years. This is the first time Sandia has received this recognition.

Esther Hernandez, Sandia’s chief diversity officer, says, “This recognition helps brand not only Sandia but also the national labs as a good place to work. This has been an area of focus for us, so it’s an honor to be on this list.”

AISES is a national nonprofit organization focused on increasing the representation of American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, First Nations, and other indigenous peoples of North America in STEM studies and careers.

Sandia’s American Indian Outreach Committee (AIOC) supports AISES through various volunteer activities, actively recruits the organization’s students, and annually nominates Sandians for AISES professional awards. Aaron Niese, AIOC chair and manager of Software Simulation and Data Processing, says, “AISES is nationally known in Native STEM advancement. Receiving this visibility is great for Sandia.”