Finding voice: a look at our Indigenous employee resource group

Lincoln, the global chair of RTX RAIN – the company’s employee resource group for the Indigenous community – had signed up for a “personal branding” training where participants learn to advocate for their own career advancement. A fellow RTX RAIN member had developed the idea for the employee resource group in 2021.

“For Indigenous people, culturally, it’s not within our nature to self-promote,” said Lincoln, an associate director of talent management at Collins Aerospace, an RTX business. “Humility is something practiced and praised within our culture. The class really teaches you how to talk about yourself and your accomplishments in a way that’s more comfortable.”

Lincoln and Thomas Reed, global co-chair of the ERG, joined a cohort of 25 members in the bi-weekly sessions – Lincoln in 2022, Reed the previous year. After 17 years working in the heritage Raytheon business at RTX, Lincoln said the course gave her the tools – and the courage – to pursue a new role at the company.

The course, now in its third offering, has a long wait list and a track record of tangible results – including promotions and pay raises – for many who have participated. It is one of several ways RTX RAIN is supporting the growth and development of its members and giving voice to the company’s Indigenous workforce and allies.

Supporting the Indigenous community

RTX RAIN, or the RTX Alliance of Indigenous Nations, is the company’s employee resource group for Indigenous people and allies. The group’s priorities include:


Providing career guidance through a personal branding course  


Securing land acknowledgement plaques at RTX sites 

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Promoting Indigenous community recruitment by partnering with external organizations 

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Expanding global membership through in-person site visits 

Portrait of Sarah Lincoln

“As we’ve expanded, we’ve gotten to know about new global Indigenous groups, and it’s a reminder of where we’ve come from.”

Sarah Lincoln | Global Chair | RTX RAIN

Honoring ancestors, forging the future

In June 2023, Lincoln watched as a plaque was placed at a Pratt & Whitney site in Lethbridge, Canada, acknowledging that it stands on ancestral Indigenous land. That plaque was the first of its kind at the company, and the group is partnering with colleagues across RTX to install additional markers at other sites. They include the Raytheon Diné Facility, which stands on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico.  

“All of these places were home to many, many Indigenous people for thousands of years, so acknowledging those people existed – and that we have Indigenous people working at this company – that makes it incredibly meaningful to be recognized and that we add value to this company,” said Reed, a principal electrical engineer at Raytheon, an RTX business. 

“It’s so personal. It’s so meaningful,” Lincoln said. “One thing that resonates for me is celebrating the resilience of Indigenous people around the world. As we’ve expanded, we’ve gotten to know about new global Indigenous groups, and it’s a reminder of where we’ve come from.” 

Recruitment is another important goal for the group. 2023 has been its best recruiting year to date, Reed said, in part because of RTX’s longtime corporate sponsorship of the American Indian Science & Engineering Society. Members of RTX RAIN attend the organization’s events to connect with prospective employees, and in 2023 that led to seven new full-time hires.

And the community continues to grow. After Lincoln, Reed and members of RAIN traveled to ten RTX sites across the U.S., Canada and Mexico in the past year to introduce the ERG to more employees, RTX RAIN saw a 15 percent increase in membership. The “road show” also led to six new RTX RAIN site chapters formed in the U.S. and Canada, and new connections made with employees in New Zealand. 

“It’s a group of people you want to keep coming back to,” said Reed of the RTX RAIN community. “That’s a big part of our recruitment and retention draw – that no matter what happens in your day job, there’s a positive place you can go to with people who are similar to you or care about the same things.”

Portrait of Reed Thomas

“Learning how to use your voice, and understanding that what you have is valuable, is such a big deal.”

Thomas Reed | Global Co-chair | RTX RAIN

 ‘Widening the circle’

For Reed, the group’s ongoing work to support and expand its membership globally has led the community to begin “widening the circle. It’s increased our inclusivity quite a bit,” he said. 

Like Lincoln, he received multiple job offers and saw his career at RTX advance after completing the ERG’s personal branding training. 

“Learning how to use your voice and understanding that what you have is valuable is such a big deal,” said Reed. “Imposter syndrome is very prevalent in our community. This program is essential in helping people understand their value and share what they have to offer with the world.”