The Charter's Blog
Announcing Women in Defence Charter launch 30 by 30 ambition at DSEI 
Published 20 September 2021

Today, the Women in Defence Charter is revealing its new strategy, which sets the ambition of achieving a minimum of 30 per cent female representation at all levels across the defence sector by 2030.

Our 54 Charter signatories have committed to being the best at driving inclusion and diversity within their organisations and providing fair opportunity for women to succeed in the UK defence sector. Through our new strategy, we will work to support the sector in achieving a minimum of 30 per cent female representation by 2030, acting as a resource of information, guidance and best practice, and drawing upon the expertise of our signatories.

The new 30 per cent by 2030 ambition will be supported by the Charter’s three strategic priorities of: using data to inspire signatories to identify and set their own targets to improve gender diversity in their organisations; developing the Charter community to bring together organisations committed to improving gender diversity and inclusion; and leveraging both the data and the Charter Community to drive policy and societal changes, to help improve gender diversity in the sector.

Baroness Goldie, Minister of State for Defence, said:

“I am delighted to support the launch of the 30by30 ambition. For the UK defence industry to continue to be internationally competitive, we must ensure we are recruiting and developing the very best future talent, which will enable success in domestic and international markets. A balanced workforce is good for business, for our customers and our workplace cultures, and for promoting prosperity and stability.”

Morag Stuart, Ministry of Defence Co-Chair, said:

“The UK defence sector is working to achieve a substantial boost in female representation at all levels across our sector, and our new 30 per cent target demonstrates the commitment signatories have to delivering real change and building back better post the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Angela Owen, Women in Defence UK Co-Chair, described today’s launch as:

“A real opportunity for all our signatories to commit to and be ambitious about achieving tangible change by 2030. The 30by30 ambition will support companies across the defence sector in providing fair opportunities for women to succeed in UK defence and ensure female representation at all levels.”

Announcing our exclusive data partner: HR Datahub
Published 23 February 2021

We are delighted to announce we have selected HR DataHub as our exclusive data partner for the Women in Defence Charter. They will help us capture and measure our journey towards better gender representation in the Defence sector.

HR DataHub is a benchmarking platform powered by data directly sourced from organisations. With hundreds of trusted clients in their database, they provide accessible, accurate and relevant benchmark data to enable organisations to make faster and smarter people decisions, in a simple and affordable manner. Together we will use the power of data to support and drive change in the sector.

The first step in our partnership will be the launch of our Annual Reporting process. HR DataHub will be helping us capture and analyse data from all our signatories and co-author our inaugural Women in Defence Charter report. We will be asking all our charter signatories to collaborate with HR DataHub over the next few weeks to complete the reporting questionnaire needed for this and will reach out in the next few days to outline the process in detail.

We are excited about the insights our partnership will unlock and look forward to sharing them with all the signatories in the coming months.

A Co-Chair's Vision for the Charter: Sophie Thomas, Industry Co-Chair
Published 6 January 2020
Sophie Thomas _.jpg

I volunteered to act as the Industry Co-Chair for the Women in Defence Charter because I believe the Charter will help defence to make much needed progress in gender diversity.  

Whilst the existing gender imbalance continues, the sector is missing out on a diversity of opinions, approaches and dynamics, and women across the UK are missing out on exciting and rewarding careers in defence.

At Airbus we care passionately about gender balance, and are proud to be at the forefront of this topic.  My role as the Industry Co-Chair of the Charter is to ensure that industry is appropriately represented within the Charter governance and activities, and I work closely with my co-chairs to ensure this.

For me, there are three key elements to the Charter’s success.   Firstly, it generates impetus and visibility on this important topic.  Secondly, it holds the member organisations to account publicly, helping to maintain the momentum and drive change.  Thirdly, it provides a forum to share best practice across the sector, so we can learn from each other.

After the huge success of our launch in 2019, 2020 will be critical for our progress.  Will we truly make a difference, or will the Charter simply becomes a forgotten piece of paper, consigned to the proverbial bottom drawer.  I intend to do everything I can do to ensure that we continue the momentum together and see genuine progress. 

In early 2020, we plan to hold our first Women in Defence Charter Conference, where we will bring together all the signatories of the Charter to share progress on our work stream activities and to shape our activities for the next 12 months.  I am particularly looking forward to the opportunity this event will give us to exchange on the focused interventions that our signatories are pursuing to drive change in their own organisations, and to discussing our plans to attract more organisations to join and contribute to the momentum: together we have a much louder voice. 

Later in 2020, we will see our first report on the progress of our signatories against the targets they have set themselves.  We recognise the diversity of the sector and that each organisation has its own starting point: what unites us all is the acknowledgment that more needs to be done to improve the gender balance, and our public commitment to take active steps to address it.

Here’s to 2020 and to starting to deliver on the Charter commitments.

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