For over two decades, Sandra Evers-Manly has built a remarkable career at Northrop Grumman. She joined the aerospace giant as an intern following her junior year of college at just 22 years of age. Today, she’s the Vice President of Global Corporate Responsibility and the President of the Northrop Grumman Foundation. Along the way, she’s received multiple awards for her tireless work as a champion of diversity and inclusion from corporate, entertainment and civil rights organizations.
Ms. Evers-Manly grew up in Mississippi and is the first cousin of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers. His legendary activism inspired her from an early age to confront and address inequality wherever she saw it. “I would always ask my mother, ‘Why don’t you see us on TV?’” she recalls. “My mother finally said, ‘Change it.’” And so she did.
Her contributions at Northrop Grumman have helped make the company a model of diversity in its industry. Diversity Inc. Magazine ranked Northrop Grumman Number 23 overall in the country for diversity and inclusion. This lofty designation includes a number 2 ranking on its lists of top companies for both people with disabilities and for the influence and accessibility of diversity councils, as well as the number 1 ranking among top companies for veterans. And as recently at 2016, Diversity Business Magazine ranked Northrop Grumman number 3 on its annual list of America’s Top Organizations for Multicultural Business Opportunities.
While spearheading innovative and effective diversity initiatives inside the workplace, Ms. Evers-Manly’s also helped turn Northrop Grumman into a powerhouse of community outreach. In 2008 she established the Northrop Grumman Foundation to work directly with K-20 institutions and non-profit organizations that deliver diverse and national-level STEM programming for students and teachers. Over the years the Foundation has expanded its mission and now gives generously to disaster relief efforts and active military and veteran support groups as well. Through a combination of matching gifts and grants, the Foundation’s total giving surpassed $15.5 million in 2017 alone. Ms. Evers-Manly remains the Foundation’s president to this day.
Ms. Evers manly is recognized throughout the company by all employees as a voice of responsibility, ethics and diversity. “She is our role model for helping to make this company a great place to work and simultaneously striving to be better than we are,” a senior director at Northrop Grumman Technica. “She is the #1 champion for Employee Resource Groups and believes that it is the diversity of our people that makes the difference in our ability to be innovative and to meet the critical needs of our customers.”
In addition to her dedication to diversity and inclusion in the corporate arena, Ms. Evers-Manly has been a game changer in Hollywood as well. In 1996, she founded the Black Hollywood Education and Resource Center to “remove the veil of invisibility that shrouds African Americans and other minority groups from the main stage, and to spotlight diversity and the stellar contributions of black film and television artist,” as its mission statement expresses. She is also the executive producer of multiple film festivals, including the annual “Sistas Are Doin’ It For Themselves Film Festival” which she helped establish in 1991.
Ms. Evers-Manly currently serves on the Defense Industry Initiative on Business Ethics and Conduct, as well as a fellow at the groups Ethics Resource Center, and she’s a past president of the Beverly Hills/Hollywood Chapter of the NAACP. In 2011, she received a prestigious Deborah Award from the Anti-Defamation League, which recognizes women for outstanding leadership in their professional and civic endeavors.
GMiS honored Ms. Evers-Manly with the Chairman’s Award at the 2018 HENAAC Awards Show in Pasadena, CA.