While at TRW, Northcutt served on the company's affirmative action committee and advocated to improve its pregnancy leave policies. As one of few women working in engineering, Northcutt became increasingly involved in the women's liberation movement. She helped put on demonstrations, strikes, speeches, press releases and whatever she could to help the cause with the National Organization for Women. She spoke at Houston City Council many times, and in 1974 the mayor of Houston, TX named her the first Women's Advocate for the City. In this position she helped pass a great deal of legislation improving the status of women. She negotiated an agreement with the Houston Police Department enabling women to become police officers. She got the Houston Fire Department to agree to let women serve as firefighters. She led an important equal-pay study going through the entire Houston municipal payroll. She was so dedicated to improving equality that she counted women's versus men's bathrooms throughout all of Houston, helping to bring even this number into parity.