Today is International Women in Engineering Day (INWED)! Celebrated every year on 23 June, INWED aims to encourage people all over the globe to raise the profile of women engineers and encourage more people to consider engineering as a profession for all.

This year’s theme is Shape the World and there is no doubt that the engineers in our sectors do this, whether its through working on future, more sustainable aircraft or innovative equipment for our Armed Forces.

Diversity and inclusion are incredibly important for businesses to succeed and it is proven to drive innovation. That’s why we’ve been working on encouraging more women into careers in our industries, and when they get there, helping to ensure we retain them, and they can progress into senior roles. Two prime examples of this are the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter and the Women in Defence Charter.

Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter

Almost two years ago at Farnborough International Airshow we saw the launch of the Women in Aviation Charter, a commitment to work towards gender balance in the industry. Now, the Charter has a membership of more than 200 organisations showing how committed the industry is in creating a more inclusive and diverse workforce for the future, with women being seen at all levels.

Women in Defence Charter

Following the success of the Women in Aviation & Aerospace Charter, the Women in Defence Charter launched at DSEI in September 2019. The Women in Defence Charter is based on the same principles and commitments of the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter and its membership covers both the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces as well as industry.

A key part of the Charters is that they recognise that each organisation has a different starting point – we’re all at different stages in our diversity and inclusion journeys and so there is no one-size-fits-all. This enables organisations to build the right targets and strategies for their organisation, helping to make progress towards greater diversity in a sustainable way.

ADS Women in Aerospace & Defence Summit

Being part of these Charters is important to ADS and we hope to see increasing participation from our members as we look to collectively advance and become more diverse and inclusive as an industry. As part of our commitment to the Charters, in January we held our inaugural ADS Women in Aerospace and Defence Summit which we look to make an annual event.

There is still a lot more we can do, both in encouraging women into the sector and also in helping other under-represented groups to succeed. Our highly skilled sectors are open to all and we are working hard to create the best environments for diversity to thrive.

If your organisation interested in signing up to the Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter or the Women in Defence Charter, please contact Heather Gilchrist for more information.