Scholarship, Internship Programmes for Black and Hispanic Students
Raytheon Technologies has struck new strategic partnership agreements with two non-profit organisations – the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers – in an attempt to create more opportunities for students of colour to advance in STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] education. Marie Sylla-Dixon, Chief Diversity Officer at Raytheon, described the partnerships as “important steps in developing and diversifying the next generation of engineers for our industry.”
The agreement with TMCF establishes a Raytheon Technologies NextGen Pipeline Program, which will see the organisation and the company offering scholarships and internships to students who attend the historically black colleges and universities the non-profit publicly supports. The focus will be on providing skills applicable to the workplace, practical experience, and possible job placement. It will be open to those whose studies encompass engineering, technology, finance and supply chain subject matter. “We are very excited about the partnership with Raytheon Technologies and know that it will create visibility into industries that may be new to many of our talented students,” said Dr Harry Williams, CEO of TMCF.
With SHPE, Raytheon is establishing the Equipando Padres (Equipping Parents) programme, designed to support guardians of first-generation and low-income students on engineering degrees. “This program creates structure, processes, and resources that enable Hispanic parents to be an asset for their child,” said SHPE’s Board Chair, Miguel Alemañy. “We are so grateful that Raytheon Technologies understands this key component is missing for many of our students, and that together, we can help more Hispanic engineers succeed.”
Raytheon published a diversity, equity and inclusion report earlier this month, which includes its diversity statistics and its first EEO-1 disclosure – an analysis of the workforce in categories prescribed by the US’s Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The firm has undertaken to publish an EEO-1 disclosure annually. Just under 30% of the company’s US workforce identify as people of colour, but only 15.3% of its executives are non-white.
The report notes research which underlines that diverse companies are more profitable, while Sylla-Dixon argues that diversity has a direct impact on a company’s ability to innovate and optimise its products. “Top talent from around the world has their pick of great companies where they can build their careers,” she writes. “What we know for sure, especially when it comes to attracting and retaining the best and brightest, is that people want environments where they can work, grow and belong. That’s why a culture grounded in a rich diversity of ideas, perspectives and experiences is so important.”
[A feature examining the issue of diversity in defence, including the issue of neurodiversity, will appear in MilTech 1/2022, published in January. Editor]