Raytheon Technologies today announced that it is partnering with Girls Who Code (GWC) to launch GWC’s Leadership Academy, a semester-long program for over 100 U.S. college students. Program participants will join GWC advisors and Raytheon Technologies mentors to build their leadership, technical and professional skills while growing their network of peers studying STEM fields.

The program, which targets STEM students who will soon enter the workforce, will launch on Aug. 30, 2022. The Leadership Academy aims to provide students from historically underrepresented groups with increased exposure to tech careers by empowering them with a supportive community of peers and professional development opportunities. Students in the Leadership Academy come from more than 80 colleges across the U.S. and about 90% identify as Black, Latina, Indigenous, or first-generation college students.

“We are incredibly proud to be the inaugural partner for the Girls Who Code Leadership Academy, helping empower more students to explore and ultimately thrive in STEM-related roles,” said Vince Campisi, senior vice president of Enterprise Services and chief digital officer for Raytheon Technologies in a statement. “Building on our successful collaboration, this new program will continue to identify new ways to close the gender gap and will be a vital part of how we transform the future of our talent pipeline together.”

“At Girls Who Code, we understand that to prepare our students for the workforce; we must not only equip them with the resources they need to build on their technical skills. To help them thrive, we also need hands-on engagement that will teach them the fundamentals of growing their networks through leadership,” said Tarika Barrett, CEO of Girls Who Code in a statement. “We’re overjoyed to partner closely with Raytheon Technologies on this pilot program and are excited by the opportunity to continue to provide students with the tools and confidence they need to make a difference.”

This four-month pilot program will include small cohort meetings – designed to provide opportunities for shared learning, career mentoring, and community-building – as well as a Give Back Project. Participants will receive guidance from peers and Raytheon Technologies mentors as they plan, manage, and execute community service projects. Volunteers from the company will also participate in speed networking events and technical interview prep sessions with the students.

Raytheon Technologies’ partnership with GWC is part of the company’s Connect Up initiative, which supports building a more diverse technology workforce by improving STEM education opportunities for women and students of color. Programs such as the Leadership Academy have the potential to help fill current and future tech talent shortages with young leaders who are well equipped with the skills to thrive across all industries. Raytheon Technologies has partnered with Girls Who Code since 2018.

Gina Macris

Gina Macris is a career journalist with 43 years’ experience as a reporter for the Providence Journal. She retired in 2012. While at the Journal she wrote two series about her first-born son that won prizes from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association. Gina now publishes the Developmental Disability News.