Clayton M. Jones

Clayton M. Jones
CEO, Rockwell Collins

Headquarters: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Primary Business: Aerospace and defense
Revenues: $4.72 billion
Employees: 19,000

CEO and CDO as One at Rockwell Collins

At Rockwell Collins, we’re deeply aware that the future of our company depends on our ability to attract, retain, and engage people—and the ability of those people to provide innovative solutions for customers around the world.

I’m a firm believer that diversity drives innovation. That is one of the reasons eight years ago we established an Office of Diversity, which I chair as chief diversity officer. In that role, I’m supported by our senior leadership team, who serve as my Executive Diversity Council.

As a result, I am personally responsible in ensuring that diversity strategies are owned at the executive level and reflect the highest priority of senior leadership at Rockwell Collins.

Last year, we used this model to expand our diversity and inclusion strategies, ranging from the continued development of Diversity Focus—a nonprofit consortium we initiated in our headquarters city, Cedar Rapids, which connects community organizations supporting diversity—to enhancing active employee resource groups that offer mentoring and professional development opportunities.

Over the past year we have made significant progress raising awareness of the value of hiring people with disabilities, as well as veterans.

We expanded diversity partnerships to include such organizations as the Student Veterans of America and the U.S. Chamber’s Hiring our Heroes program. We also increased our level of engagement with the National Organization on Disability and the Employer Assistance and Resource Network, seeking their counsel and guidance in driving efforts to become a more educated and disability-friendly company.

Each of these organizations brings a unique perspective that we believe supports our long-term hiring and retention strategies.

We’re pleased to have earned some recognition for our efforts this year—including being named by DiversityInc as one of the top ten companies for people with disabilities in 2012.

At Rockwell Collins, the complexities of our products and solutions necessitate diverse abilities across our workforce. I’m convinced that creating a more welcoming and inclusive environment for people with disabilities and veterans is another facet of our diversity journey that will provide innovations required to make our company successful far into the future.

Education: BA, University of Tennessee; MBA, George Washington University
First Job: U.S. Air Force Officer
What I’m Reading: How will You Measure Your Life by Clayton Christensen and The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
My Philosophy: Strive to achieve your full potential, and help others achieve theirs as well.
Best Advice: Keep your professional and personal life in balance; you control that priority.
Interests: Golf, skeet/trap shooting, music