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Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



April/May 2010

Diversity/Careers April/May 2010 Issue

Women of color
Insurance IT
Aerospace & defense
Civil engineers
Fisher of CECOM
Black Engineer of the Year
MinneWIC conference

Veteran-owned suppliers
News & Views
NMBC gala
WBENC: ready to connect
Regional roundup
Supplier diversity

Diversity in action
News & Views

Ford Boston Scientific
National Radio Astronomy Observatory Rockwell Collins
Bonneville Power

Diversity In Action

Raytheon IDS continues to grow in defense and government

IDS techies are adept at solving large, complex problems. “We continue to build a diverse technical workforce every day,” says the HR VP

Joanne Bockmiller, VP of HR and learning: in addition to engineering a Six Sigma background is desirable. Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems (IDS), accustomed to global reach, strives to create an environment where commitment goes beyond the office walls. Continuous learning, community outreach and a variety of employee resource groups all help the company recruit and grow diverse talent. A strong technical background is central to it all.

“We’re looking for people who are adept at solving large, complex problems,” says Joanne Bockmiller, VP of HR and learning.

Raytheon is an eighty-eight-year-old company; today it specializes in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. IDS employs 15,000 of Raytheon’s 75,000 worldwide team. The division includes more than 2,100 folks working overseas.

IDS is supported by a variety of engineering disciplines: systems design and test, ME, hardware design, reliability and safety engineering, and quality engineering. In addition to engineering expertise, a Six Sigma background is highly desirable. “Those are some of the most sought-after skills,” Bockmiller says.

The division also employs software engineers and information and security pros. It continues
to grow in the defense space.

“Most of our sales go through the U.S. government,” says Bockmiller. “Many of the programs require U.S. security clearance.”

IDS works with a number of groups to find prospective employees. “We support organizations such as NSBE, SWE, the Urban League, IEEE and various military organizations,” Bockmiller notes.

Veterans bring valuable field experience to the systems IDS develops. Folks with international experience may be offered oversees fieldwork.

There are ten networking and employee resource groups at Raytheon, each sponsored by
a Raytheon senior leader. Groups are based on ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and disabilities.

These and other groups support members’ professional development and engage in community outreach. IDS employees support schools in Lawrence, MA, one of the poorest cities in New England. IDS folks tutor students in science and technology, and participate in STEM programs like You Go Girl, First Robotics, and Stand and Deliver, an IDS junior-high and high school mentoring initiative that began with fourteen mentor-student pairs and now boasts more than
a hundred.

The organization also works with Special Olympics and the Walk for Hunger. “There’s a tremendous amount of community participation,” Bockmiller says with pride. “These are just some examples of our involvement.”

A strategic aim at IDS is to find and groom new talent, Bockmiller says. For example, college students can intern at IDS throughout their college years; occasionally juniors in high school are selected to begin Raytheon internships. “This long-term experience gives them a chance
to see the business and for us to evaluate them as well,” says Bockmiller.

About a year ago Raytheon put in a program to pair new employees with experienced professionals. “We find the more senior folks are listening to and understanding the concerns and the challenges of the early career folks,” Bockmiller says. “People absolutely love this program. The early career folks are getting an opportunity to develop their leadership skills and understand what it’s like to be on the other end of the mentoring process.” Employees also have access to traditional mentoring relationships with Raytheon-wide mentors and locally-based advisers.

Company benefits outside of work include childcare and eldercare assistance, educational and advanced-studies programs and a virtual career center. Fitness centers and flexible work schedules are also workplace perks.


Raytheon IDS
Raytheon IDS

Headquarters: Tewksbury, MA
Employees: 15,000
Revenues: $12.2 billion (North America)
Business: Defense and homeland defense systems; command, control, communications and intelligence systems; mission support services

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