BAE Systems President and CEO Linda Hudson Discusses Strengthening the STEM Workforce at Jan. 30 Titans Breakfast

On Jan. 30, 500 attendees gathered at The Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner for the latest NVTC Titans breakfast featuring Linda Hudson, President and CEO of BAE Systems. During the event, which took place two days prior to her retirement, Hudson discussed the importance of strengthening the nation's science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) workforce in order to strengthen national and economic security.

Linda Hudson.
Linda Hudson addresses the audience at the Jan. 30 Titans event.

During her address, Hudson highlighted the “explosive demand” for skilled STEM workers, stating that the “STEM workforce is one of the greatest natural resources the United States possesses.” However, she emphasized that the workforce is a “renewable resource,” and, in order to remain a world leader in STEM, America must “embrace and develop obvious – but overlooked – historically unconventional sources of talent: women, minorities and immigrants.” According to Hudson, to prevent the STEM shortage from becoming a crisis, the country must make it a national priority to change the “STEM equation” and utilize “the tremendous resources living and studying among us.”

In utilizing these resources, Hudson suggested establishing a common vocabulary for discussing STEM issues, reexamining the approach to STEM higher education to create a more inclusive environment by encouraging students and promoting a greater understanding of the reasons why unconventional populations avoid or leave STEM. "We have seen America's science and math report card, and we have fallen off the honor roll," she said. In order to reverse the trend, Hudson believes companies must educate and inspire the upcoming STEM workforce, not only to keep the country’s economy strong but to keep national security strong as well.

Linda and Todd.
Linda Hudson answers audience questions as Todd Stottlemyer, CEO of Acentia and emcee of Titans breakfast, looks on.

During the audience question and answer session, Hudson discussed her experience as a woman in the defense industry, BAE’s dedication to cultivating talent from within, the importance of encouraging middle school students to study STEM, the effects of defense cuts on public companies and the importance of parental encouragement and support.

Click here to read the full text of Hudson’s remarks.