July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Mental health has always been important, but has been an especially important topic to focus on during these last four weeks, when people of color have continued to suffer disproportionately from COVID-19 while also fighting for racial justice all across the country.
Freddie Mac partners with the experts<p>"Supporting mental well-being is more important than ever. The global pandemic and recent civil unrest have shaped an environment that is especially ripe for generating emotional stress and triggers that may exacerbate or induce mental health conditions," explains Freddie Mac manager Sarah Crump. "We are committed to a stigma-free, inclusive culture and endeavor to support employees the best we can. We developed internal campaigns to share resources—including ones tailored for the Black community and allies—from our partner the National Alliance on Mental Illness. We also have increased communications around our Employee Assistance Program and raised the visibility of our workplace counselor."</p><p><em>Learn more about Freddie Mac</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/freddie-mac" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
MINDBODY centers wellness in everything they do<p>"Mindbody recognizes the systemic inequalities surrounding an individual's wellbeing specific to mental health, especially people of a minority demographic," says manager Morgen Monie. "We are committed to providing our employees and customers an environment where you can be your authentic self as a part of our team, or when working with our team." She highlights specific initiatives available to employees:</p><ul><li>Employee Assistance Program: paid-for visits for team members to meet with a medical professional, councilor, or advisor in topics pertaining to all dimensions of wellness.</li><li>Wellbeing Day & Volunteer Day: days given to employees to take care of themselves, their families, and give back to an organization of their choice</li><li>Free telehealth access, ensuring consistent access regardless of geography</li><li>Free virtual wellness classes taught by Mindbody team members, including yoga and meditation</li></ul><p><em>Learn more about MINDBODY</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mindbody" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Relativity makes it easier to ask for help<p>"People often feel shame in admitting mental health struggles, so it's vital to normalize having open conversations about it at home and in the workplace," says Senior Wellness & HR Program Manager Cherry Mangat. "Minorities face additional barriers such as fewer resources, less dialogue and more stigma, so they're less likely to seek help. Especially today, these factors are magnified. Relativity aims to foster an environment where everyone feels welcome, safe and free to be themselves. We've focused on key areas such as launching an employee resource group focused on mental health, adding the Headspace mindfulness app, offering company-wide training, and creating a role dedicated to employee wellness."</p><p><em>Learn more about Relativity</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/relativity" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Procore creates a culture of inclusion<p>"As someone who struggles with anxiety and depression, I feel fortunate to work for a company like Procore that puts their employees first and encourages us to do the same for our families," says Cynthia Griffin, Senior Recruiter at Procore. "Procore's African Descent Council (PAC) has been a pivotal part of my growth at Procore and has given me a sense of belonging and community that I continue to lean on today. Through our partnerships with Joyable and ComPsych Guidance Resources, we also have access to counselors, coaching, and other interactive resources that provide us with personalized support."</p><p><em>Learn more about Procore</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/procore-technologies-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Smartsheet shifts priorities to center mental health<p>"With work and life becoming increasingly intertwined amidst a global pandemic and the fight for racial justice, employers have a responsibility to both support and actively encourage good mental health practices among their employees," says Katie Bouwkamp, Smartsheet's Director of Global Culture Communications. "Smartsheet has made this a priority, adding several employer-sponsored benefits this year, [including] BetterHelp online counseling, a paid mental health day, and a 10-session wellbeing series. We've also made space for employees to share their own experiences and resources, including an employee-led workshop on mental health during uncertain times. This combination of employer- and employee-owned initiatives has allowed for more authenticity as we continue promoting good mental health."</p><p><em>Learn more about Smartsheet</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/smartsheet" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
PwC uses tech to support self-care<p>"At PwC, people are given the 'green light' to talk with a trusted colleague or expert help," says a PwC spokesperson. "The firm offers a comprehensive set of benefits around mental health and well-being through their<a href="https://pwc.cm/tp/rj6_tOKmq.J-K" target="_blank"> <em data-redactor-tag="em">Be Well, Work Well</em></a> initiatives, including providing free 24/7 access to a coach or therapist through a mental health app and<a href="https://pwc.cm/tp/rj6-Vi3at.J.K" target="_blank"> new benefits</a> including executive coaches that provide 1:1 and group well-being sessions, access to meditation apps and the creation of an internal social networking community. The firm has also introduced racial trauma counseling in conjunction with the<a href="https://pwc.cm/tp/rj6_81mOw-J.K" target="_blank"> six actions</a> they are taking with respect to racial justice."</p><p><em data-redactor-tag="em">Learn more about PwC</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/pwc" target="_blank"> <em data-redactor-tag="em">here</em></a><em data-redactor-tag="em">.</em></p>
MongoDB destigmatizes mental health<p>"We want to break the stigma around mental health and provide employees with valuable tools and the support they need, at work and beyond, to face life's challenges," says Danielle James, D&I Manager at MongoDB. "We offer mental health programs where employees can receive confidential assistance from qualified professionals, including Employee Assistance programs, and free access to Headspace and therapy sessions. We host company and department-specific days off to support mental health, and regularly organize internal events to destigmatize mental health, including an employee panel sponsored by the CEO and educational sessions with health partners.<a href="https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/employee-benefits-that-make-a-difference-at-mongodb" target="_blank"> Learn more about our benefits</a> and read<a href="https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/breaking-stigma-around-mental-health-meet-yulia-genkina" target="_blank"> one employee's mental health journey</a>."</p><p><em>Learn more about MongoDB</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/mongodb" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Autodesk recognizes the importance of mental health<p>"Mental health is as important to our wellbeing as physical health," says Industry Marketing Manager Leona Frank. "Supporting the mental health of minority employees through robust programs and accessibility to resources recognizes the impact of racial trauma on the community. It is not easy to experience tragic and repeated examples of racial violence and injustice in our world, and then come to work and be fully present as if nothing has happened to our hearts and communities." She says that taking care of employees' mental health is "good business," noting, "Mentally healthy employees make better collaborators, can drive innovation, and are more productive. Overall, they have resiliency that allows them to respond effectively to critical business needs. At Autodesk, we are provided with tools and resources like Bravely that helps us connect with a professional coach, Flexible Leave policies, including extended paid time off, parental leave, and caretaker leave, and an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that give employees access to confidential assistance."</p><p><em>Learn more about Autodesk</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/autodesk-inc" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
Raytheon Technologies fosters a culture of learning through experts<p>"Our Raytheon Technologies Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a rich resource of information and resources to assist all of our employees," says Raytheon Technologies' Kaley Young. "We have on-site EAP consultants that provide short-term, solution- focused counseling to employees and their family members on a variety of issues, including those issues that impact employees from a minority background such as the effects of racism on mental health, medical care, and housing. Additionally, the on-site consultants [teach] seminars [like] 'Having Difficult Conversations During Times of Social Unrest.'"</p><p><em>Learn more about Raytheon Technologies</em><a href="https://powertofly.com/companies/raytheon-technologies" target="_blank"> <em>here</em></a><em>.</em></p>
RI&S top engineers offer career advice in virtual workshops
Below is an article originally written by Raytheon Intelligence and Space, a PowerToFly Partner. Go to Raytheon Technologies on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more. The picture above features Claudeliah Roze, RI&S technical director, Mission Modernization and Solutions, working on a Raytheon Technologies-built drone manufactured in the company's Indianapolis facility. Roze is active as a volunteer for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education as well as serving as a mentor to women engineers new to the workforce.
Only 11% of executive positions in Silicon Valley are held by women, according to a 2019 Harvard Law School study. This gender disparity across the industry is one of the reasons why employees at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, one of the four businesses that form Raytheon Technologies, participate in the Women Impact Tech event series.
Its mission: "To provide a platform of professional growth for women in tech by connecting companies dedicated to diversity, inclusion, and female leadership with the top female technologists in the country."
Their event series brings together top female engineers to engage in discussions around what they are doing — and what they can be doing — to impact the future of women in tech. Two Raytheon Intelligence & Space engineers participated in virtual WIT panels, June 8-12, 2020, to share their experiences as female leaders in engineering.
Claudeliah Roze, RI&S technical director, Mission Modernization and Solutions, spoke on a panel titled "Ways Tech is Changing the World in 2020." Roze spoke about how Raytheon Technologies plays a key role in the Global Positioning System, and how GPS impacts society in ways people don't know about it.
"Many of us think of GPS as a way to find the latest and greatest restaurant; however, it's used in medical equipment for critical and precise timing as well as by our first responders, trying to locate injured or very sick people," she said.
Roze said she went into engineering not only for the challenge, but also the opportunity to improve people's everyday lives.
"One of the things that I tell people that I mentor is that when you're constructing your engineering career and you're figuring out what you want to do, you have a responsibility as an engineer to also think of the human side of it," she said "How can I take technology to make life safer and better for the everyday person? I tell them to keep in mind our civic responsibility as citizens of this great world."
Affecting change and influencing the paths of future engineers is also what drew in Kate Maxwell, RI&S director, Engineering Transformation Strategy. Maxwell spoke on a WIT panel about "The Courage to Lead: Inner Dimensions of Culturally Conscious Leadership."
The session focused on the importance of diversity and inclusion; how critical it is to actively listen to each other; and why courageous leadership is necessary to eradicate systemic racism.
"What companies are starting to realize is that if their employees bring their authentic selves to work, and be able to show up as who they are, without having to carry that mental load of trying to conform to a different standard, or trying to hide some part of them, that's really where you get that diversity of thought," Maxwell said. "That's when people start to become more innovative, and you can start to create new products and capabilities and disrupt your business itself, which is a really positive thing. We know the top performing businesses are the ones that put a lot of emphasis on diversity and inclusion."
Her advice to the attendees focused on the importance of diverse perspectives, allyship and creating a safe space where employees can bring their authentic selves to work.
"Have the difficult conversations and lead with empathy and compassion," Maxwell said. "Recognize that you might not have the right words, but it is better to have these tough conversations than to be silent. Be an active ally.
"And on the career front, lean into the discomfort and the fear. Raise your hand for the hard things. It will help you to grow," she said. "Do not discount the value of mentors and champions. Cast a wide net and remember to pay it forward as you grow your career."
And these discussions did not stop at the end of the panels. Our RI&S panelists have continued to receive feedback from attendees via email and have broadened their apertures as a result.
And Maxwell even picked up a new mentee — her panel moderator.
Moving forward, both women agree: never be afraid to have the uncomfortable conversations. In the words of one panel attendee, "What a crucial time to have this discussion."
"Especially in times of world-impacting events like we're experiencing now, we need to be able to bring our full selves to work. So open those dialogues and be active listeners," Roze said. "Without them, we won't get to much of a solution."
To learn more, you can listen to their panels on demand:
• Unique opportunity for experienced professionals seeking to return to work after taking a 2+ year career break
• Comprehensive 14-week paid program w/benefits
• Offers resources, networking and personalized development plans
• Provides leadership exposure, professional development, mentorship and coaching
• Eligible for consideration for a full-time role at the end of the program
Bring your knowledge, experience and creativity back to the workforce through exciting and challenging opportunities. Our next cohort will run from September 21, 2020 – December 23, 2020.
Resumés must be submitted by July 31, 2020 for the Fall 2020 Cohort.
For more information on the RTX Re-Empower Program and view available opportunities, visit:
If you don't see a specific position of interest, please submit your resume for consideration via the following link:
In May, the PowerToFly team co-hosted an interactive discussion with several of leaders in cybersecurity, Aerospace AI, Computer Learning, Cloud Computing, and a number of fields at the forefront of tech and business from Raytheon Technologies.
Our panel of speakers from Raytheon Technologies included:
- Douglas Greene, Director, Raytheon Technologies
- Kierstan Bell, Manager III Software Engineering
- LaQuasha Johnson, Systems & Electrical Engineer
- Sandee Robinson, Software Section Manager / Integrated Product Team Lead
- Sandra Winn, Senior Talent Business Partner Hardware Engineer
By April, most of us knew that Pride month would look and feel different this year. And by May, not only did we know it would look and feel different, we knew that it should. It wouldn't be right to celebrate Pride without acknowledging the contributions of the Black trans women who led the Stonewall Riots 51 years ago and made Pride as we know it today possible — Pride began with a protest, and although Pride parades have been cancelled this year, many LGBTQ+ individuals are celebrating by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement in the fight against racism and police brutality.