Clayton M. Jones
Chairman President and CEO
Corporate Headquarters: Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Primary Business: Aerospace and Defense
Revenues: $4.7 billion
2011 CEO in Action
As a child growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, in the 1950s and 60s, I witnessed a nation torn by racial animosity. I also observed the first steps in a process to replace hatred and fear with tolerance and acceptance. That experience influenced how I think about diversity, even as the definition has grown to include the many perspectives found in today’s workplace.
Historically, Rockwell Collins’ diversity efforts were focused almost exclusively on compliance: following laws and regulations to avoid negative consequences.
But in 2005, as we discussed the company’s future, it became clear that diversity wasn’t just something we had to do to avoid negative consequences. It was something we should do because it was good business. And it was something we must do, to ensure success in the economic and cultural world of the 21st century.
Today, our diversity and inclusion programs are dramatically different from those of yesteryear. Focused around three key initiatives—People, Workplace, and Marketplace—all strategies foster a culture that values differences as a competitive advantage. Enterprise wide education efforts provide leaders and employees worldwide with essential concepts and tools. Employee networks provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and building of community. Partnerships with educational institutions and organizations bring new voices and perspectives.
We’ve even reached out to our local community. In 2005, Rockwell Collins partnered with companies in our home region of eastern Iowa to launch Diversity Focus, an organization to promote diversity awareness, act as an information clearinghouse and advance new ideas to foster a more diverse community.
Even as we celebrate our successes, we also look to the future. Rockwell Collins’ marketplace is changing rapidly, with international opportunities growing daily. As we expand into new markets, we challenge ourselves to expand our understanding of diversity and inclusion. How does a company based in America’s heartland welcome and integrate a global workforce? How do those voices infuse, inspire and lead our company forward? And how do we build an environment that makes that possible? We’ve expanded our diversity and inclusion efforts globally to help answer these questions, and I look forward to this next leg of our journey.
As a boy, I saw how a dedication to diversity could change a society. Today, I am proud to lead an organization that sees the valuefrom a moral perspective and a business perspective—to do the same, globally, for generations to come.
Education: Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee; MBA from George Washington University
First Job: U.S. Air Force Officer
What I’m Reading: Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand and The Age of the Unthinkable, by Joshua Ramo
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.
Family: Wife Debbie; Daughters: Lindsey and Melissa
Interests: Golf, skeet/trap shooting, music
Favorite Charity: Alzheimer’s Association