Raytheon CEO: Catalyst CEO Champion for change
Raytheon Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Kennedy has joined an elite group of corporate leaders who have pledged to advance more women into positions of leadership within their organizations.
Catalyst, a global nonprofit aimed that promotes the interests of women in the workplace, has recognized Kennedy as one of more than 60 chief executives it names as Champions of Change.
"Organizations succeed when there are diverse voices and perspectives in the room," Kennedy wrote in a LinkedIn post, speaking of his longtime commitment to increase diversity and inclusion. "Raytheon’s commitment to workplace gender equality, diversity and inclusion starts at the company’s highest levels, where 36 percent of our board of directors is female, and informs all aspects of our employee lifecycle."
Throughout his 36-year Raytheon career, Kennedy has built diverse work teams and encouraged women to become engineers and to pursue positions in corporate leadership. In 2018, the Society of Women Engineers presented Kennedy with tits annual Rodney D. Chipp Memorial Award, which honors men or organizations who accept and advance women engineers.
After Kennedy became CEO of Raytheon in March, 2014, and chairman in October of the same year, one of his first initiatives was to share with employees his strong support of diversity and inclusion. The first new board member appointed during his tenure was Letitia Long, a female engineer. In 2016, Raytheon launched a strategic plan under Kennedy’s direction to recruit, retain and develop women.
"I believe you need diversity and inclusion, especially diversity of thought and diversity of cultures, to foster a culture of innovation," Kennedy told an audience of more than 1,000 women engineers and business leaders at the 2018 SWE annual conference. "Diversity is a business imperative."