Creating access to opportunity – meet our employee resource group for women

That made her feel overlooked, but also over-observed – often at the same time.

“I felt unseen in access to opportunities, and understanding what’s out there and available. There’s an invisibility factor,” said Terry, an associate director in sustainment operations at Pratt & Whitney, an RTX business. “Or feeling like you need to be careful of what you say, because if you’re the only one, you think, ‘Do I represent for all?’”

Then, in 2019, she joined an organization that later became RTX WISE, the company’s employee resource group for women.

Through networking in the group, she learned of a new role in a different part of the company and found support from other women leaders in pursuing it. She got the job and took her career in a new direction. Now, as the global chair of RTX WISE, those experiences drive her to help all women at the company build their professional networks, find mentors and pursue career opportunities.

“You’re hoping to put things in place that will have lasting impact – not just on you but also those in the future,” she continued. “It’s about making a difference for those women coming behind us – so that they don’t have to go through the things we’ve had to face. I’m passionate about that.”

Building visibility, opportunity and allies

RTX Women Inspiring Success and Empowerment, also called RTX WISE, is part of the company’s commitment to strengthening inclusion and creating equitable opportunities for employees. The group’s major objectives include:

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Supporting professional development through expansion of the group’s “Let’s Talk” mentorship program

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Advocating for a more equitable and inclusive culture by building allyship for women

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Building community through the group’s weekly virtual networking and discussion series, “Wednesday Wisdom”

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Addressing unique needs for women by creating events focused on women of color in collaboration with other ERGs

The power of connection

RTX WISE global co-chair Kimmy Callan understands the importance of creating connections and opportunities for women across the company. While studying engineering in college, she remembers sitting in classes with mostly men and hoping to find a place to connect with more women and allies later in her career.

She found that support and visibility at RTX.

“I don’t think you can overstate the power of representation and seeing someone in a spot you aspire to be,” said Callan, a value stream leader in electric power systems at Collins Aerospace, an RTX business.

The group’s virtual “Wednesday Wisdom” series is one way RTX WISE fosters that environment. Every week, participants meet to discuss topics including how to combat unconscious bias, how to access lesser-known employee benefits, and to recognize the achievements of individual members.

“These programs are really to connect women across the company but also help them branch out and discover new opportunities,” Callan said.

RTX WISE global co chair Kimmy Callan

“I don’t think you can overstate the power of representation and seeing someone in a spot you aspire to be.”

Kimmy Callan | Global Co-chair | RTX WISE

The group is expanding its mentoring program, called “Let’s Talk,” globally this year. The 10-month program puts participants in small groups of 10 to 12, with one executive mentor and topics chosen by the participants.

“You can be early in your career or late in your career, and it gives you exposure to the company in a different way,” Terry said.

Continuing to expand allyship for women is another priority.

“Allies bring diverse perspectives to our community,” Terry said. “Similarly, by sharing our own viewpoints, we contribute to a richer dialogue. Together we’re able to cultivate a mutual understanding. In moments when we’re not present, we know that our allies, who now know our perspective, are there advocating for us.”

As part of an overall effort to highlight intersectionality – the idea that people have complex and multifaceted identities – RTX WISE is partnering with the company’s other employee resource groups. One example of that work is the group’s Women of Color initiative, a series of virtual workshops where ERG leaders hear from guest speakers.

“It’s about building community and partnership and giving people the opportunity to acknowledge shared challenges and experiences,” Terry said.

RTX WISE global chair Nicole Terry

“It’s always important to find a place where you feel safe, where you feel heard, where you feel seen.”

Nicole Terry | Global Chair | RTX WISE

Safe, heard and seen

For Terry, joining the women’s employee resource group five years ago was a defining moment.

“It pushed me in my approach to my career. It has allowed me to step outside of my comfort zone a lot more,” she said. “It has stretched me as a leader.”

Now, Terry is building on the company’s culture to create space for all women to succeed.

“It’s always important to find a place where you feel safe, where you feel heard, where you feel seen,” she said.