Work/Life Integration Award
For combining a demanding career with true, consistent advocacy; for commitment to retention and advancement of women engineers; and for positively impacting quality of life for working parents.
Sarah Pearson is a subcontracts manager at Lockheed Martin in Moorestown, New Jersey. She currently supports the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) national security cutters production and deployment program and is responsible for procurement and delivery of air surveillance radars, radio frequency cabinets, and software engineering services for the USCG fleet. She received an Evening of Excellence award (2021), her division’s highest honor, for her previous subcontracts work supporting International Aegis programs.
Pearson joined Lockheed Martin in 2002 through its Engineering Leadership Development Program. During her years as a systems engineer and an integration and test lead, she contributed to the successful development, certification, and deployment of multiple international Aegis shipboard products.
A working mother herself, Pearson felt a need to organize and advocate for employees striving to integrate family and work life, and to help them navigate often complex parental and maternity leave policies and processes. She founded the Moorestown Parents Alliance to provide engagement, mentoring, and resources to help working parents balance successful families and careers. For her efforts, Pearson received a Lockheed Martin Diversity and Inclusion award (2018).
Pearson raised parents’ concerns and issues with site, division, and corporate leadership, and laid a foundation for change. Due in large part to Pearson’s advocacy, when Lockheed Martin overhauled its benefits package in 2019 for all 90,000-plus U.S. employees, they added a second week of family leave and four new weeks of paid parental leave available to both mothers and fathers. Since then, more than 5,000 employees have benefited, and the company has seen more women continuing their careers after starting families. More men have taken extended paternity leave, further bolstering women’s ability to return and remain in the workforce.
Among the Parents Alliance’s many successes is improved support for nursing mothers in the workplace. Pearson worked with management to implement best practices across five mother’s rooms, and two additional rooms were established in classified areas to facilitate a growing number of new mothers.
She organized a group of members willing to share experiences and advice on topics ranging from parenting multiples to coaching kids sports. She hosted presentations including Respectful Parenting, Estate Planning, and College Planning. She also steers members to other diversity, equity, and inclusion groups, such as PRIDE (LGBTQ) and Able and Allies (disabilities and caregivers) for additional family resources and support.
Parents Alliance also touches surrounding communities. Under Pearson’s leadership, it partners with local organizations to host charitable drives, and members regularly volunteer at Lockheed Martin STEAM (science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics) events and local schools.
Pearson has pioneered and participated in many women in STEAM-focused activities at Lockheed Martin. She initiated the site’s Junior Achievement volunteer program and volunteered during the establishment of the company’s Women’s Impact Network, Women in Engineering Day, and Engineers Week programs. Throughout her nearly 20-year career, Pearson also has mentored new hires and young engineers.
She holds a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University and an M.S. in systems engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a world traveler, an avid reader, an enthusiastic gardener, and especially loves spending time outdoors with her husband and two young sons.