The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Remarks of Betsy Bosak
Director, Affirmative Action, Diversity and Employee Relations
TRW Space & Electronics
Thank you for inviting me to speak regarding the steps TRW took in the wake
of the attack on America. TRW has a long history of being a progressive employer.
It is a key part of our strategy to recruit the talent we need to be successful.
Our commitment to diversity is well established, and we were able to utilize
our employee network groups to address many of the concerns that arose
internally in the weeks following the September 11th incident.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., many
Muslims and Sikhs throughout the United States were being harassed and some
even physically attacked as people vented their anger. To ensure our
employees were safe, we placed calls to some of our Muslim employees to
discuss TRW's commitment to a harassment free workplace. We then asked them
to speak with other Muslim employees throughout the company to reassure them
that if they experienced any type of harassment they should contact our
diversity office and we would act quickly to remedy the situation.
As a reflection of our commitment, Dave Cote, TRW Chairman, President and
CEO expressed TRW's sympathy regarding the attacks in a company-wide
posting on the intranet in which he said:
"Our thoughts are with the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks
and their loved ones. This is a most difficult time, but the courage of
those who are helping the rescue efforts as well as the outpouring of
sympathy and support received from people everywhere remind us that the
human spirit is alive and well. Together we can overcome any obstacle."
To help employees deal with these attacks, the company quickly took the
- Created a Web site titled TRW Unityto post important and relevant
TRW information and announcements; listed resources and numerous volunteer
opportunities and charities; as well as employees' personal stories related
to the September 11 Attack Against America.
- Hosted an employee panel presentation about the Islam, Sikh, Hindu and
Buddhist religions. The session originated in Redondo Beach and was
audio-conferenced throughout the country to TRW sites at Rancho Carmel,
Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Warner Robbins, Ga.; Dayton, Ohio; Oklahoma City, Okla.;
Cambridge, Mass., and White Sands, N.M. The purpose of the panel was to raise
awareness of the values, beliefs and customs for each of the religions
represented and to provide valuable information so employees could better assess
information being broadcast by the media.
- Held noontime seminars hosted by the Employee Assistance Program to
allow employees to discuss their feelings and to help alleviate some of
their personal stress from the tragedy.
- Held a moment of silence on September 14th in remembrance of those
who lost their lives.
- Posted flags at the entrance of every TRW Space & Electronics building.
- Increased physical security around many of our domestic facilities by
reducing vehicular entries; increasing security patrols; searching bags, parcels
and containers of all visitors; and establishing a hotline for employees to
report anything they believed might compromise security or safety. In addition,
once the fear of anthrax in the mail arose, TRW distributed information regarding
what employees should do if they were concerned about suspicious mail or
packages received at work or at home. The announcement also advised employees of
the appropriate steps to take if they came in contact with a biohazard of
- Developed special procedures and trained all mailroom personnel to ensure
their safety in this time of crisis.
Furthermore, the company identified a number of ways that employees could
personally help the victims. Contributions by the company and employees to
date total close to $1 million. These contributions arose through:
- A company donation of $400,000 to the Red Cross and the September 11 fund.
- The company went on to match the first $200,000 of employee contributions
to the American Red Cross
- Two TRW Presidents and Chief Executives personally matched TRW employee
Red Cross donations to a total of $10,000 each.
- One poignant story was an employee's contribution of $615 that came with a
note indicating that his family had just received its IRS refund for $600,
which the family had planned to use to purchase a new home computer.
He wrote: "…we are an average middle class family with four children.
When tragedy struck on September 11th, it was a very easy decision to
donate our money. The extra $15 is from our wonderful children…"
- Employees at our facility in Northern Virginia were offered a special vacation
cash-out donation program, which made it easy for them to donate the value of
their accrued vacation to the American Red Cross. TRW is matching
up to $200,000.
- An employee raffle for a toy fire truck raised $600 for HEROES, Inc., an
organization that assists widows and children of law enforcement officers
and fire fighters who gave their lives in the line of duty.
- Employees raised money through bake sales and other efforts to purchase
food for the recovery efforts at the Pentagon and to donate to the Red Cross.
- Blood drives were sponsored and supported throughout the country at numerous TRW
As you can see we at TRW took a number of timely actions to address employee
concerns and fears in light of the attacks of September 11th.
Our response has been noteworthy not only in support of our employees but in
the money raised for the victims of the disaster.
In conclusion, I would again like to quote our CEO, Dave Cote, who in a
Webcast to all employees on Sept. 19, said:
"This attack on America and the civilized world will change us, but we will
become stronger. All of us can help. We can help by not living in fear; by
recognizing the civilized world will not tolerate these outrages; by supporting
our governments, and particularly the U.S. Government, as they work to prevent
We are committed to support you, and the rest of the government, in every
way we can.
This page was last modified on December 14, 2001.
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