Women in Defence was launched in 2011 with the vision of promoting equality of opportunity across defence and security disciplines. The organisation aims to inspire, challenge and develop, to build a better environment in which people can work, learn and drive.
For the past few years, Women in Defence has celebrated the incredible work, provided inspiration and promoted the value of women in the sector through their annual awards. Since the launch, over 1900 nominations have been made with over 300 stand-out individuals and teams a year.
This year, our Principal Naval Architect, Catherine Ingram has been nominated and shortlisted for an Equality of Opportunity Award for leading change through the Technical Women’s Forum, of which she is a founding member. She also supports our business with improving recruitment, belonging, equality, personal development STEM engagement, health, and work life balance.
“Equality of opportunity is fundamental to our organisation, making sure that everyone is valued for their strengths, skills and experience. Diversity within our teams brings different perspectives and strengthens our abilities to think broadly, so we present innovate solutions to our customers.”
The Technical Women's Forum was initially a gathering of female engineers but has grown to include other functions of the business and from all genders. The group was originally founded by Catherine and Anne Straw, Managing Naval Engineer who have worked alongside others to turn the vision into a reality. It has helped with education, understanding, and behaviours around the company.
Through Catherine's hard work and passion, she has started to create an environment where equality can be discussed, all genders are supported, and the results and benefits can be seen across the business.
Initiatives driven by the Technical Women’s Forum include: gender-independent collateral to attract a wider range of candidates in recruitment; ensuring PPE is provided for both genders in the business; identifying challenges to support childcare and caring responsibilities; organising in-house confidence training and; engaging with wider defence and support organisations to learn, baseline and share ideas to support equality.
Our Head of Design & Engineering Business Line, Mark Stanton commented:
"Catherine's nomination is a great celebration of her hard work, commitment and success. We wish Catherine the best of luck and we are so proud that she is getting the recognition she deserves."
An in-person awards dinner is planned for 24th March 2021 - the event will recognise exceptional people and teams working in the defence community, including the Armed Forces, the Civil Service, MI5, defence industry and the defence 3rd sector. Women in Defence promotes the value of women in the industry and aims to inspire, develop and challenge, to improve defence for everyone who works across it.