Raytheon Technologies’ WILL Rise: Building a Legacy with Heart (Spotlight Story)
Raytheon Technologies CEO Gregory Hayes gets to the heart of the matter when speaking about the importance of acting on the company’s values to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture where everyone can thrive. One of the largest aerospace and defense companies in the world, Raytheon Technologies’ foundation is built upon a strong, storied commitment to workplace diversity and inclusive practices, and Hayes is committed to continuing to advance progress on that critical front. Even in the face of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the company doubled down on its efforts to make meaningful change both internally and externally. An integral part of that approach is the company’s WILL Rise program (WILL is an acronym for Women in Line Leadership), which aims to accelerate the professional development and advancement of women in Aerospace & Defense leadership positions. The foundational components are mentorship and sponsorship, but there is also ample opportunity for networking (both with peers and leaders), practical training, and coaching sessions. Many of these components aim to combat deep-seated beliefs that often hold women back, such as the tendency not to apply for roles for which they are not 100% qualified. Each cohort of 64 high-potential women is selected through a robust nomination and approval process that includes their leadership, HR and the WILL Rise Board. From there they move to a “pod” of 10-12 women, led by a dedicated Executive Sponsor. Since its inception, 81% of the first cohort’s participants received a promotion or desired job change within the company.