Our final woman in the spotlight for International Women’s Day is Jenny Gardner from Saab.
Saab serves the global market with products, services and solutions from military defence to civil security.
You can find more information about women in our sectors and our work towards gender parity at any point in the year by going to our Women In Engineering page.
What do you do?
I am the Project Director for Saab UK Innovation Centre, which means I am in the process of establishing a centre that will be the home of a portfolio of cutting-edge research projects for Saab.
What inspired you to work in the industry?
At a basic level I have always had a fascination with technology in general, as a teenager I even wanted to become a pilot, but I have since found that the opportunity of working with so many inspiring people, who work on ground-breaking and pivotal future technologies, to be my day-to-day inspiration. My own background in industry, technology development and with defence for UK government all seemed to come together in this job. I leapt at the opportunity to be able to work with Saab’s people and products – from world leading radar technologies, ships and submarines to the famous fighter jet Gripen.
What would you say to other women and girls who may be put off joining the industry because of its male-dominance?
Focus on what you want to accomplish and don’t tire of looking for opportunities to realise them; never let what other people think stand in your way. Saab is a good example of a company creating opportunities. The company genuinely believes that diversity drives innovation and performance, this is evidenced by our global target for 25% of all employees to be female by 2025, with 30% of managers also female within the same timeframe.
What has been your most memorable or proudest moment?
My proudest memories have all been around making an impact. From securing Saab’s investment in certain leading-edge technologies to successfully advocating for the UK’s future research and development prospects against the backdrop of less certain times. Finally, an absolute highlight has been watching Sweden’s Gripen fly at RIAT, and British Typhoons as part of the RAF 100 flypast, knowing that content on both are living, breathing, examples of close UK-Sweden collaboration.
Read about the other women in the spotlight for International Women’s Day.