Dave Armstrong Today’s organisations have come a long way in a short space of time. Where once Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) may have been viewed with a degree of corporate scepticism, now it has now rightly taken root as an essential driver of business success. Being an equitable employer is not just a moral imperative, it’s at the heart of an ongoing effort to drive trust with, and commitment from, all employees.
Quite simply, it’s the right thing to do.
That’s why I’m honoured to have been named one of 50 executive advocates featured on the latest EMpower Role Model List. It’s recognition of everything that we’re trying to do on D&I here at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence.

A commitment to progress

EMpower is a London-based organisation committed to working with member organisations to promote the inclusion of ethnic minority talent. The advocate executives list on which I’ve been named is designed to celebrate senior leaders who are dedicated to creating a more diverse and inclusive business environment at all levels.
Among the initiatives I’ve been involved in, as executive sponsor, I’ve been proud to lead and participate in of one of BAE Systems’ fantastic Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Embrace is an ERG dedicated to establishing a more inclusive environment in our Company by supporting a more ethnically diverse and multicultural workforce. We’ve managed to grow the group by 31 per cent since it was created.

Other initiatives include:

  • Sponsoring group-wide objectives for recruitment and more diverse recruitment avenues, such as working with partners like MindWeaver
  • Reviewing our internal ethics processes
  • Championing ethnicity pay gap reporting, access to mentoring and the launch of a leadership development programme for ethnic minorities 
  • Signing-off on our first race/ethnicity strategic action plan

Celebrating diversity at DI - Empower Award blog Everybody’s responsibility

However, the truth is that D&I shouldn’t be a top-down policy choice. Organisations that strive to become truly equitable, respectful, diverse and inclusive places to work have it hard-wired into their culture at all levels. At BAE Systems Digital Intelligence we look to challenge the status quo by coalescing our efforts around three pillars: hiring people from all walks of life; promoting health and wellbeing; and engaging with new ideas as part of our culture.
That’s led not only to a flourishing of new ERGs – from Women in Cybersecurity to The Dyslexia Network – but more generally the development of a community where hopefully all employees feel valued and respected for their unique abilities, experiences and differences.
The truth is that the more we can embrace talent from different backgrounds, the more sustainable our business and the more successful we will be long-term. It’s about finding the brightest and best, whomever they are, and working together so we all thrive and grow.
As we approach another important date in the diary – World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development – I hope that’s a message we can all unite around.

About the author
David Armstrong is Group Managing Director of BAE Systems Digital Intelligence
Diversity and inclusion

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David Armstrong

Group Managing Director, BAE Systems Digital Intelligence