Leading with authenticity
For RTX BXN global chair LaWanda Scott and co-chair Luidgi Felix, 2024 is a year to continue building on the group’s four focus areas: talent retention and recruitment, employee advancement, innovation and culture.
The group’s new mentorship program addresses several of those priorities at once. The eight-month program will launch with 30 pairs of mentors and mentees. They will meet one-on-one and in monthly group sessions, and, at the end, mentees will have the option to serve as mentors for a future cohort, said Vincent, who is also the chair of the RTX BXN chapter at Pratt & Whitney.
“This program is a culmination of previous lessons learned and our personal experiences,” she said. “We are making sure our mentors are comfortable with encouraging mentees to lead with authenticity.”
“We want to get away from asking people to assimilate to how a specific individual might define professionalism – and empower them to lead with an authentic voice, lean into their lived experiences, and embrace the lessons learned.”
Supporting employee advancement is a broad focus for RTX BXN. The ERG is planning to increase the number of Black technical fellows at the company. Current fellows – employees in temporary assignments to pursue advanced study of a topic – will participate in a series of roundtable discussions and lunch-and-learn sessions. RTX BXN leaders also regularly attend external conferences and career fairs, and they recruit at Historically Black College and University campuses.
The ERG recently launched a new awards program to recognize employee excellence, contributions and community service throughout the year. RTX BXN is also expanding its global presence, with celebrations of Black History Month in Canada and in the UK.
“Learning about each other culturally is how we create innovation,” said Felix, an associate director of mission assurance at Raytheon, an RTX business. “It brings people together from diverse backgrounds, and the conversations are so rich. It’s about educating ourselves – understanding cultural behaviors so you can try to eliminate the unconscious bias.”
Partnering across the company’s employee resource groups is another important goal for the group. For example, RTX BXN is collaborating with RTX WISE, or Women Inspiring Success and Empowerment, to co-host a virtual Women of Color event for employees.
“We will talk about our perspectives, the intersectionality of women of color in the organization, and the empowerment of women of color,” said Scott, an associate director of operations strategy and customer support at Pratt & Whitney.
“Our company understands the impact of diversity, equity and inclusion on our ability to meet customer demand, and we are creating that gateway,” Scott continued. “This is the legacy for RTX BXN. We’re building the foundation – not just for us but for generations to come.”