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Embracing Change Through Insightful Conversations 

At Women in Defence UK, challenging established beliefs and practices is integral to our mission. As we conclude 2023, we reflect on our series of Challenge Interviews, which have been pivotal in questioning established norms and fostering change. These conversations, more than mere dialogues, serve as significant tools in our drive towards gender equity and inclusivity in the defence sector. This year, our interviews have been a clear demonstration of this ethos, engaging in dialogues that not only scrutinise the status quo but also suggest practical solutions for equity and inclusivity.

Interview with General Sir Patrick Sanders: Addressing critical issues such as bullying, sexual harassment, and the imperative of diversity on Army Boards. In a frank exchange with Angela Owen OBE, General Sir Patrick Sanders, Chief of the General Staff, delved into the Army's zero tolerance policies and its commitment to fostering diversity.

Interview with Major General Tom Bewick OBE: The British Army's initiatives to boost the recruitment of women. Major General Bewick, General Officer Commanding, Army Recruiting and Initial Training Command, shared insights into the Army's efforts to enhance opportunities for women, reflecting on his own diverse and distinguished career.

Interview with Lieutenant General James Swift CB OBE: Evaluating the MOD's adaptations post-Covid-19 and in response to the HCDC report on women in the Armed Forces. General Swift, Chief of Defence People, discussed the transformative changes in workplace dynamics and the MOD's proactive steps to improve the roles and experiences of women in the Armed Forces.

Interview with David Williams CB: Championing equity, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace. David Williams, Permanent Secretary at the MOD, emphasised the importance of equitable practices in the workplace, aligning his advocacy for diversity and inclusion with the learnings and progress made throughout the year.

The Impact of These Dialogues

Led by Angela Owen OBE, Founder of Women in Defence UK, these interviews have been instrumental in catalysing shifts within the defence landscape. They have brought critical issues to light, challenging the status quo and advocating for the unique role of women in defence.

Joining the Challenge

We encourage our partners and the broader community to engage with us in this ongoing challenge. Your participation, whether through attending our discussions or sharing insights, is crucial in driving forward change. Together, we can continue to dismantle barriers and cultivate a more inclusive defence sector.

Be a Part of the Transformation

To discover more about our initiatives, subscribe to our latest news and events, or join us as a partner in this transformative journey, learn more about getting involved.