William H. Swanson

William H. Swanson
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Raytheon Company

Headquarters: Waltham, Massachusetts
Website: www.raytheon.com
Primary Business: Aerospace and defense
Revenues: $25 billion
Employees: 71,000

Business Leaders Need to Act as Role Models

We have long recognized that diversity of talent and diversity of thought are important parts of a foundation for innovation. We rely on these imperatives to meet the challenges of our marketplace, and to help us generate some of the best technologies, systems and solutions our industry has to offer.

Tomorrow’s engineers, scientists and technologists will come from all walks of life. And they must work seamlessly together across complex organizations in order to perform effectively as teams.

As business leaders, we need to act as role models by providing all of our teammates with welcoming environments that foster the kind of innovative thinking and problem solving that truly diverse teams are known for. We have a responsibility to provide an atmosphere where everyone feels valued and empowered to perform to their full potential—individually and collectively.

When a culture values and respects diversity, it will also be able to retain and attract the best talent. Still, building an inclusive culture is not always easy. I like to think of it as a journey. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and personal reflection to recognize and change behaviors as individuals. Thus, it is something we all need to keep working as we strive to be better.

Raytheon provides a wide range of initiatives to support the personal diversity journeys of its employees. Through diversity summits, learning modules, competency models, leadership speaking panels and employee forums, resource groups and a variety of other resources, we directly engage our teammates with opportunities to experience and understand the importance of diversity at every level. Our approach includes going beyond what is obvious by actively advocating for diversity of thought and diversity of opinion in addition to diversity of background.

Our diversity, our inclusiveness, is really at the core of what we do and how we do it. When we value and respect each other and leverage our differences, experiences and backgrounds, we are at our best in providing the innovative and affordable systems and solutions our customers depend on.

Education: BSE; MBA
First Job: Golf course pro shop
What I’m Reading: Profiles in Courage, by John F. Kennedy
My Philosophy: Think about the second and third order effects.
Best Advice: Get alignment on actions.
Family: Married with no children—I spoil everyone else’s.
Interests: Wine, food, classic cars
Favorite Charities: Charities associated with education