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Pentagon's fifth largest contractor welcomes gay employees

“If we can create a welcoming culture — change our DNA so inclusion and respect are part of it — then we’re going to attract and retain more world-class people.”
— Larry Harrington , Raytheon’s vice president of internal audit

This is great news — it’s too bad the stiff suits at the Pentagon aren’t taking this path. They’re too busy dismissing the world-class service members simply for being gay. (Boston Globe):

Raytheon has instituted a series of initiatives to recruit and promote racial minorities, gays, transgendered people, and people with disabilities, making the company the undisputed leader in changing the complexion of an industry long dominated by white men.

…Raytheon faces the looming retirement of the baby boom generation and decided it must cast as wide a net as possible for new talent to help develop the technologies of the future. It found that minorities of many backgrounds have steered away from defense contractors on the assumption that they had an unwelcoming work environment and culture.

…Last October, Raytheon won the National Freedom Initiative Award from the US secretary of labor for hiring people with disabilities. In 2005, Raytheon became the first defense company to receive a “100” from the Human Rights Campaign Foundation, a gay rights group, on its annual scorecard of “Best Places to Work.”

“They have set the bar really high for other defense industries,” said Luis Vizcaino , a spokesman for the nation’s largest, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization. “What we saw is that they are setting a trend.”

Hat tip to Steve at SLDN’s The Frontlines, who said: “If only the U.S. armed forces were so forward thinking. Instead, the military continues to dismiss 2 LGBT people every day. No doubt, many of them end up in supportive work environments like Raytheon, utilizing the skills they obtained while serving our country.”

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Pam Spaulding

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