Solving today’s critical technical challenges requires diverse thinkers at the table, with engineers, scientists, information technology professionals and mathematicians coming together from all walks of life.
Women, however, remain sorely underrepresented as engineers, hampering our nation’s ability to solve some of the most daunting problems of the future. According to a 2012 U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee report, only 14 percent of engineers are women.
Raytheon Company, including our global Missile Systems business, which has several women in key engineering roles, is working to increase that metric.
As we recognize National Engineers Week, which started Sunday, we stand strong in our commitment to inspire young New Mexico students – girls and boys – to become the engineers of the future. Their energy, creativity and inspired minds are critical to a strong and secure future.
Raytheon-Albuquerque has been part of the city’s thriving advanced manufacturing scene since 2011. Formerly Ktech Corporation, Raytheon-Albuquerque has extensive experience in explosive pulsed power, diagnostics and effects testing.
Engineers also develop linear accelerator technology for government and commercial applications. The company brings its high-power microwave, compact pulsed power system design, and radio frequency and particle code simulation capabilities to its customers, which include the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense.
To aid in the development of a pipeline of inspired young engineers, RMS-Albuquerque stepped up to help organize the first MathMovesU event in partnership with the University of New Mexico. Hosting more than 120 students, Raytheon engineers expanded regional access to critical science, technology, engineering and math resources. Through their efforts, Raytheon engineers generated excitement and interest in careers in STEM, helping to cement the future competitiveness of the region.
MathMovesU and other signature Raytheon programs are aimed at increasing the number of women engineers – and all engineers – in our company and in our nation.
Perhaps most inspirational for Tucson girls are Raytheon’s women engineers. Take Laura McGill, deputy vice president of Engineering at RMS, who helps make some of our most critical decisions. Laura assists in overseeing 6,000 engineers in 50 programs. She helps develop our strategic direction, and is responsible for attracting the best and brightest minds.
Sharon O’Neal is another Raytheon engineering leader making a difference. In 2003, hoping to inspire her third-grade twin daughters and other young women to seek careers in engineering, she founded Math, Science and Technology Funfest – now Arizona STEM Adventures – which has exposed more than 68,000 students and educators to STEM opportunities. Sharon oversees 450 engineers at the RMS Software Engineering Center.
Raytheon’s Carla Sayan recently was named the National Most Promising Engineer of the Year by the Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers. This senior information systems engineer has worked on critical initiatives and applications in next-generation information systems, and is an active volunteer and mentor.
We salute Laura, Sharon and Carla for all they do to encourage young women to become the engineers of the future and we continue to work for a day when women have an equal number of seats at the engineering table.