Women in Defence Charter to improve gender balance within industry launched by Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan at DSEI

The Women in Defence Charter has been launched at Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) by the Minister for Defence Procurement Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

The Charter commits signatories to work together to build more gender balanced enterprises. Signatories pledge to drive inclusion and diversity within their organisations and provide opportunities for women to succeed at all levels.

Leading names already signed up

The Charter is a collaboration between the Ministry of Defence, Women in Defence UK, ADS, Defence Growth Partnership and the wider industry – from key names to SMEs and reflects the aspiration of the defence community to improve gender balance at all levels. The Charter has already been signed by the MoD, ADS, Airbus, Atkins, Atlas Elektronik UK, Babcock, BAE Systems, BMT, Boeing Defence UK, Boeing in the UK, General Dynamics, GKN Aerospace, Jacobs, JJ Churchill, KBR, Leidos, Leonardo, Lockheed Martin UK, MBDA UK, MRL Public Sector Consultants, Northrop Grumman, Oxley Group, PA Consulting, PwC, QinetiQ, Raytheon UK, Rolls-Royce, Saab UK, Safran, Serco, Thales UK, TMD Technologies, Turner & Townsend.

The Charter:

  • commits organisations to supporting the progression of women into senior roles in the defence sector by focusing on the executive pipeline and the mid-tier level
  • recognises the diversity of the sector and that organisations will have different starting points – each organisation should therefore set its own targets, where appropriate, and implement the right strategy for them
  • requires organisations to publicly report on progress to deliver against any internal targets to support the transparency and accountability needed to drive change
  • aims to enable women to thrive, enhancing the individual and collective impact of women across defence and in doing so, improving the overall output of defence.

We set our sights on modernising defence

Defence Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “I am proud to announce that the MoD is signing up to the Women in Defence Charter. This demonstrates an upstanding commitment to diversity and equality across all aspects of defence.

“The MoD already employs amazing women, both in and out of uniform. As we set our sights on modernising defence, the Charter’s emphasis on building a fair and balanced defence enterprise is a not only something to support, but also an aspiration we are serious about achieving.”

Diverse teams, better business decisions

Ruth Cairnie, Patron of the Women in Defence Charter and Chair of Babcock, said: “Experience shows that diverse teams mean better business decisions and more innovative solutions. This is particularly relevant in the UK defence sector, which thrives on collaboration as well as competition. Those who sign the Charter are committing themselves to actions which will make a huge difference, and our people, the sector and the country will reap the benefits.”

Sophie Thomas, Women in Defence Charter Industry Co-Chair and Zephyr Programme Manager at Airbus, said:

“The Charter gives us a unique opportunity to harness the momentum that has been gathering across our society for gender balance, helping to build a working environment that is more balanced and fair for women, which will benefit the defence sector as a whole.”

“Women are an important in our businesses; encouraging and supporting their careers will maximise opportunities and I encourage all companies to sign the Women in Defence Charter.”

“Airbus is proud to be a signatory to this Charter which echoes our commitment to building a balanced working environment.”

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