At Raytheon Technologies, Hispanic inclusion starts with authenticity
The company's newly reorganized employee resource group aims to show members a pathway to professional success
Gustavo Delcampo likes to express himself.
He uses big hand gestures. His eyes open wide when he’s making a point. Sometimes in the middle of a sentence, he’ll drop in a bit of Spanish and restate it in English without missing a beat.
His emphatic speaking style, he said, is part of his identity – and a direct reflection of his Mexican heritage. But it’s also been something he’s toned down at times during his career in the United States – particularly whenever he felt pressure to fit the traditionally accepted description of a professional.
“The main thing is not to fall into stereotypes – in this case, the Latino temper. We’re passionate. So when you become passionate in discussion, that doesn’t look good,” said Delcampo, a director of enterprise supplier quality at Collins Aerospace, a Raytheon Technologies business. “It’s like walking on eggshells.”
While he’s grown more comfortable over the years, he said there’s room for improvement in creating a company where all employees can express themselves freely and authentically. That’s part of the reason he volunteered to co-lead Raytheon Technologies’ newly reorganized employee resource group for Hispanic and Latino employees and allies. That group, along with eight similar organizations that serve communities within the employee population, is part of Raytheon Technologies’ plan to build a more diverse, equitable and inclusive company culture.
“Our employee resource groups play a huge role as we move forward,” said Shanda Hinton, the company’s chief diversity officer. “They are going to be such an incredible piece of our strategy in how we activate, how we show up in terms of our recruiting programs, and in finding ways we can create a stronger, more inclusive culture. With their experiences in leading globally and across the enterprise, our ERG leaders are truly going to be our leaders of the future.”
A plan of action
Raytheon Technologies’ Hispanic employee resource group, known as RTX HOLA or Hispanic Organization for Leadership and Advancement, has set several priorities to strengthen the company’s culture of inclusion:
In recognition of the company’s efforts thus far, Raytheon Technologies has earned a five-star rating from the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility in two of the four major categories on the organization’s Corporate Inclusion Index. Specifically, the company was recognized for its employment practices and governance, including:
- A recruitment strategy that includes focus schools such as the University of Puerto Rico to help hire early-career employees and enable them to develop professionally.
- Having a Hispanic employee population of 11.5%, compared to a benchmark of 8%, and having a low rate of attrition among Hispanic employees.
- The inclusion of diversity in the company’s shareholder proxy statement.
- The presence of a full-time diversity and inclusion team and a chief diversity officer.
“There’s a lot of progress that’s been made, but there’s a ways to go. I want to continue that journey so we can make things better.”
Gustavo Delcampo | Chair | RTX HOLA
“At Raytheon Technologies, we are all leaders with a shared responsibility to ensure everyone can bring the best version of themselves to work,” said Shane Eddy, an executive sponsor of RTX HOLA and the president of Pratt & Whitney, a Raytheon Technologies business. “Our values of innovation and excellence are fueled from having an inclusive culture where employees feel respected, valued and empowered, and that’s how we excel as an organization.”
“Our ERGs, such as RTX HOLA, play an integral role in creating this environment by bringing awareness about different cultures and providing a workplace in which employees can be themselves,” Eddy said. “In turn, this allows us to attract and retain the best talent and to create an unbeatable team.”
Apart from the big-picture actions recognized by the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, RTX HOLA is also looking for everyday ways to show what its members are contributing to the company, said Esther Casas, the group’s co-chair. For example, she wants to encourage Hispanic engineers to develop more intellectual property, apply for fellowships and write whitepapers.
She also wants to inspire the group’s members to pursue promotions and other paths to career advancement – and not to wait for those opportunities to come to them.
“When I grew up, I was told, ‘You should be thankful you have a job. Be grateful and give it 110 percent. Don’t ask for more,’” said Casas, a first-generation American who grew up in El Paso, Texas. “Then later on, I realized I should have asked for this, I should have asked for that.”
“It’s important to show what we’re capable of doing. My journey wasn’t easy. I struggled some. But I really enjoy my career.”
Esther Casas | Co-chair | RTX HOLA
Through mentorship, and after attending events that featured senior leaders of Hispanic heritage, she learned it was up to her to pursue the promotions she wanted.
One of those leaders shared a piece of advice that still resonates with her today: If you feel you’re ready for the job you’re pursuing, you might be aiming too low.
“That really opened my mind on how to move forward,” said Casas, who now works as a senior manager of supplier assurance at Raytheon Intelligence & Space, a Raytheon Technologies business. “I learned I had to advocate for myself.”
For Delcampo, showing Hispanic employees how they can rise to more senior positions is one of the group’s most important functions. It’s also a way to redefine what leadership and professionalism look like – right down to the way people use words and gestures.
“It’s like making a turkey – it takes time and temperature. Time and exposure,” he said. “Being exposed to new things, and being around folks who are different from you, it just becomes normal.”