Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



June/July 2012

Diversity/Careers June/July 2012

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Diversity In Action

Raytheon needs techies with engineering & IT skills

The company's website lists more than a thousand jobs, most of them technical or engineering-related, says the director of global talent

Cybersecurity pros and enthusiasts are in high demand at Raytheon, as are program-management, web development and logistics specialists, and people with mission-capability radar solutions and training knowledge.

"We have a variety of needs for people with engineering and IT skill sets. Our website has more than a thousand jobs listed, most of them technical or engineering-related," says Kristy Kucharczak, director of global talent acquisition.

Technology giant Raytheon specializes in defense, homeland security and other government markets throughout the world. It provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in areas of sensing, effects, and command, control, communications and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services.

From 10 to 15 percent of hires are new college grads. "We consider college hires the pipeline into the company," Kucharczak says.

Raytheon's many thousands of employees have a variety of careers and experiences. Needed skill sets depend on the job, of course, but in general the company is looking for systems engineers, cyber info intelligence analysts, info specialists, radar specialists and program managers with experience in large-scale programs, Kucharczak says. The level of hiring activity, naturally, depends on what proposals the company wins.

The need for security clearance also depends on the job. About a third of Raytheon jobs don't require any security clearance, but the rest require clearance at levels like "secret" and "highly specialized."

As a result, veterans are an important recruiting focus, including transitioning military and service-disabled vets. Raytheon has a partnership with the Wounded Warriors Project, and a strong presence in the U.S. Business Leadership Network, a major advocate for hiring vets with disabilities.

To recruit other diverse techies, Raytheon works with groups that include the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers, and with many historically black colleges and universities, says Hayward Bell, the company's chief diversity officer. Members of employee resource groups (ERGs) also participate in recruiting.

Raytheon recently launched a redesigned careers website and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

"We encourage applicants to check out these sites," Kucharczak says. She adds that job applicants should apply through Raytheon's website, but should first gather relevant information about the company through the social networking outlets.

People who choose to join Raytheon will find an inclusive culture immediately, Bell says. From day one, new employees are meant to feel a part of the company. Raytheon has a formal mentoring program, and informal mentoring occurs within the ERGs and across the company. As employees grow their careers, Raytheon offers development programs at every level. There's a program for execs, and a "leadership excellence program" for folks just a little below the most senior levels. The company also provides programs for people at mid-career level and those on "front-line" jobs, Bell adds. "It's important to mentor and develop all employees."

For the past seven years Raytheon has held internal diversity summits across the country. This year employees at the summit received "a robust set of tools and tool kits to continue the competency-building journey," Bell reports.

Over time Raytheon wants to implement "inclusive culture creation," Bell reveals. "There are various ways we approach that. Leaders model behavior and set expectations for people. We have first-class material we've developed externally and internally with partners, and we've gotten good feedback," he says.

Raytheon has a variety of diversity councils across the company that work with the ERGs. "We engage lots of our people in diversity efforts through teams and sub-teams, councils and structures."

One example is the enterprise council, made up of executives on the board of directors who report directly to the CEO. Another is an executive diversity leadership team, and still another is the senior leader advisors, subject matter experts on Bell's team who report to the CEO and provide guidance to the ERGs on global-level issues.

Every company business has a council or councils, and ERGs participate in all levels of activities. For example, in the Native American ERG a global business president is connected with a senior leader advisor, and chapter presidents have local sponsors assigned to the group.

The company has eight ERGs, with dozens of chapters around the country and in Canada, Australia and the U.K. They represent Raytheon women, Hispanics, Native Americans, people with disabilities, young employees, African Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, and lesbian-gay-bisexual and transgender people and their allies.

For seven years Raytheon has scored 100 percent on the Human Rights Campaign's Equality Index for being a GLBT-friendly environment. "We were the first defense contractor to hit one hundred percent," Bell says.

Succession planning is important at Raytheon. A formal program helps develop people, identifies their skills and feeds the talent pipeline, Bell says. The program is reviewed annually by business function leaders and the CEO.

The company emphasizes strong work-life balance. Flexible work arrangements, such as a 9/80 schedule with every other Friday off, are offered throughout the company as well as a robust employee assistance program. Raytheon works with Bright Horizons, a daycare organization near HQ. There are some onsite gyms, and sites that don't have them offer heavily discounted gym memberships. The company also offers tuition reimbursement and domestic partner benefits.

The company supports a strong community relations program and encourages volunteerism. For example, employees help their communities by adopting schools and mentoring students through the MathMovesU program, a company initiative committed to increasing students' interest in math and science education.

At Raytheon, Bell says, "we're effective when we retain people, develop them and position them for future contributions.

"It's just not about the demographics, it's making sure you have a full career. The real answer for us is to create the culture to do that," he concludes.



Headquarters: Waltham, MA
Employees: 71,000
Revenues: $25 billion in 2011
Business: Products and services for defense, homeland security and other government markets worldwide

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