The Society of Women Engineers Honors Raytheon CEO for Advancing Female Engineers
Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner Raytheon, and published on October 20, 2018. Go to Raytheon's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
The nation's leading organization supporting female engineers has honored Raytheon Chairman and CEO Tom Kennedy for his efforts to mentor women, improve gender equity and implement policies that encourage workplace diversity and inclusion.
The Society of Women Engineers, also known as SWE, presented Kennedy with the 2018 Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award at its annual conference in Minneapolis on Oct. 19. The award is given to men or companies who contribute significantly to the acceptance and advancement of women engineers, according to SWE.
"I believe you need diversity and inclusion, especially diversity of thought and diversity of cultures, to foster a culture of innovation," Kennedy told the more than 1,000 women engineers and business leaders in attendance. "Diversity is a business imperative."
The organization also recognized two Raytheon engineers: Mary Roybal, a chief technologist with Raytheon's Missile Systems business, who received a Fellow Grade for advancing women engineers throughout her career; and Letia Blanco, a systems engineer with the company's Space and Airborne Systems business, who received the SWE Distinguished New Engineer Award.
In nominating Kennedy for the award, a number of female engineers and company leaders authored testimonials speaking to his career-long record of creating diverse program teams, encouraging women to seek leadership roles and helping to grow the ranks of female engineers.
"One of Tom's most notable attributes is his passion for implementing a truly diverse and inclusive culture at Raytheon," wrote SWE member Dr. Ellen Ferraro, director of research and technology in Advanced Technology at Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business. "This passion comes through when he speaks about the business imperative for the advancement of women, the need to identify barriers and remove them, and the desire for Raytheon to be a top company for diversity and inclusion."
Heidi Shyu, former assistant secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics and Technology, worked with Kennedy in the '80s and '90s and wrote that his focus on promoting women dates back.
"Throughout his career he advocated, mentored and urged young females to take on leadership roles," she wrote. "Tom always made sure that his leadership team is diverse and inclusive of women. His strong advocacy helped young women to pursue leadership roles."
Kennedy noted in his remarks that the number of women graduating with engineering degrees hasn't noticeably improved since he graduated college in the 1970s. As CEO, Kennedy has supported initiatives that encourage young students to consider careers in science, engineering, math and technology. One specific area Kennedy highlighted is Raytheon's new partnership with the Girl Scouts on the organization's first-ever national computer science program.
"We want to inspire more middle and high school girls to pursue the exciting careers of the future economy, especially in engineering, cybersecurity, robotics and artificial intelligence," Kennedy said.
Kennedy became Raytheon CEO in March 2014 and chairman in October 2014. The first new board member appointed under his tenure was Letitia Long, a female engineer and one of the first female leaders in the nation's intelligence community. With the appointment of Ellen Pawlikowski in September 2018, the Raytheon board of directors now includes an industry-leading five women.
In the nomination, Ferraro and others pointed to the early 2016 launch of a strategic plan that, at Kennedy's request, used researched, process- and culture-focused efforts to improve the recruitment, retention and development of women.
Highlights of the plan included revamped talent acquisition and development processes; required training on topics like mitigating bias and inclusive leadership; a new performance rating system; diversity-related annual goals for every level of leadership; inclusive benefits like the industry's first paid parental leave program; and an internal communications campaign called Diversity 2020 to help foster a diverse and inclusive environment.
Half of Raytheon's engineering vice presidents are now women. In 2017, women were promoted into engineering fellow and principal engineering fellow roles at an increased rate.
"I am confident that our efforts to recruit, develop, retain and motivate women across Raytheon will continue to advance with Tom as our CEO," wrote Randa Newsome, vice president of Human Resources and Global Security, in the nomination.
"My commitment to these women engineers, and to all the women at Raytheon, is to ensure the company provides an environment where they want to join, stay and grow their careers," Kennedy said.
It's been six years since Sarah Cooper graced us with her 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. But how on earth can we appear smart in our new virtual world, in which for many of us, going to work is just sitting in one long series of probably-not-necessary Zoom meetings?
1. Dial in.<p>Dialing in rather than joining via the link instantly boosts your credibility. Who calls into Zoom meetings? People who are still busy and important enough to be leaving their houses! But you needn't actually be one of those people, or even more than a foot away from your computer to pull off this maneuver. (Remember, this article is called *seeming* smart, not being smart.)</p><p><strong></strong><em>Bonus: </em>If it's a large meeting at which attendance will be taken, the person running the meeting will inevitably ask, "Who's calling in from 443-322-2121?" That's when you raise your metaphorical hand, jump off mute, and say "[Your name] here. Really looking forward to hearing your perspective on [meeting topic]." And voila! You've stolen the meeting spotlight.</p>
2. Don't come on camera—ever.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODU5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjMwNjI3OX0.4fLyq2CvkZAJ7n_03esZepY37mOdyGdDdTEUYt5XEU0/img.png?width=980" id="bc7e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fbbf21cc5d8c863b30654ae6993b04f5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>Much like the "dial in," this technique works because it makes you appear aloof. If <em>The Crown has </em>taught me anything, it's that the key to maintaining a sense of mystique and prestige is to keep people at arm's length—and if you absolutely <em>must</em> touch them, wear a glove.</p>
3. Only communicate via chat.<p>Once you've mastered the art of staying off camera, you can level up by communicating exclusively via the chat box. Don't come off mute at all, even if the speaker asks your opinion. You are the elusive chatter and you will not be forced into actually participating in said meeting.</p>
4. Ask to share your screen.<p>Being aloof is great, but it's all about balance. Sprinkling in some active participation will really shock and impress your colleagues if you catch them off guard, so save this technique for when you've strategically <em>not </em>participated in a string of meetings.</p><p>Spend a few minutes prior to the meeting prepping a few inspirational slides with words like "synergy," "optimization," and "redefining 'culture'", or spend a few minutes poking around in Google Analytics. </p><p>Then wait for the opportune moment to say, "Can I just share my screen for a moment? I have some really interesting data I'd like to share...." and BAM — brilliance established.</p>
5. Show off your Zoom-saviness.<p>Try saying, "You know you can mute people, right?" to the host when they beg whoever's got the lawn mower and crying baby in the background to put themselves on mute for the nth time.<br></p>
6. Create an alter ego.<p>This tactic requires commitment, but the pay off is certainly worth it. Join the Zoom meeting from your normal account + name, and then join it again on a second device from an alias. Have your alter-ego ask some probing or stat-based questions in the chat and have the answers ready ahead of time. It should work something like this:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Your alter ego Charlene</strong><strong>:</strong> "Does anyone know what percentage conversion rates increased by in Q2?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Real you</strong>: *doesn't miss a beat* "It looks like Charlene has a question in the chat. That would be 36%."</p><div>Never mind that no one on your team knows who Charlene is or why she's at this meeting, they'll be too blown away by your brilliance to notice. (Bonus points if you use this strategy in conjunction with techniques 1, 2, 3 or 4!)</div>
7. Place an obscure object in your background that exudes intelligence.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODYxOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzk5Njg2Mn0.V9_-3Ij3v_QndseqlrXRt5Nn39EJ97-itjls5zzYPf8/img.png?width=980" id="a369d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="604a2f04b53c2e3bc801bfa5256f367b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>We're talking a telescope, or perhaps a hardcover copy of <em>War & Peace </em>(no one need know that its only purpose in your life is as a makeshift yoga block).</p><p>If you don't have any suitable props at your disposal, do not despair: download some screenshots of Sheldon's apartment from <em>Big Bang Theory </em>or the chalkboard in <em>Good Will Hunting </em>and use those as a virtual background.</p>
8. Ask "Is this really the best course of action given the current climate?"<p>Economic collapse, COVID, racism… No need to specify whether you're referring to one or all of the above; just sit back and watch your boss squirm amidst the ambiguity.</p><p>This strategy pairs very well with techniques 2 and 3. You can prep additional vague-but-probing questions ahead of time and pepper them into the chat box throughout the meeting:</p><ul><li>How will this scale?</li><li>Do we really have the bandwidth for this right now?</li><li>What's the value-add here?</li></ul>
9. Remind everyone that you have a paid Zoom account.<p>"Oh, it looks like we're getting the 40-minute warning. I have a paid account, do you want to switch to my room?" It's helpful, with just a touch of condescension. Everyone knows condescending people are smart. And everyone knows that people with paid Zoom accounts are super important.</p>
10. Tell everyone you have a hard stop.<p>When pressed for details, share your philosophy on "work-from-home" balance and how committed you are to getting up once an hour to walk to your refrigerator.</p>
11. Ask the screensharer/host to "pull something up" for everyone.<p>Ask the presenter to navigate to a screen that only you know how to navigate well. Laugh maniacally while they suffer from crippling performance anxiety. Let them struggle for as long as is tolerable before saying, "Oh you know what? I can just share my screen if you want. That would probably be easier." BAM you're the hero. Don't worry, no one will even pause to consider that you could have proposed this course of action from the start.</p>
12. Say Zoom fatigue as many times as possible.<p>If you're too tired to employ any of the other strategies, just say "I know everyone is experiencing a lot of Zoom fatigue, so we can keep this meeting short." Then hang up as quickly as possible. Meeting averted! </p><p>After all, there's no better way to demonstrate your intelligence in a virtual meeting than to demonstrate why it wasn't really necessary in the first place. </p>
I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."
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