Lesley is a Delivery Director in contract management based at Barrow, working on submarines.
‘I have worked at the company for 16 years. I was a lawyer previously living and working in York before returning to my family home town of Barrow. Whilst practising law for a local firm a job opportunity came up for Head of Commercial in the yard, which would enable me to use my legal skills.
Over my time with the company, I have really been able to get involved in the wider business activities, taking on different responsibilities and broader leadership roles. I also get to go out and touch and feel the absolutely fantastic submarines too. I've been involved in all stages of the submarine build from concept design through the exit Barrow and even been on-board a completed submarine.
BAE Systems are the biggest employers in my local area. For many, you left school, went straight to the company, and got an apprenticeship. I went away to university and ended up coming back home to do a job that I really enjoy. I constantly tell people at work not to underestimate the value of the work they are doing. We help defend the nation and provide those defending our country with the equipment they need.
I love the varied work, the people and my team. I have worked on renegotiating programmes and contract terms throughout my time. I need to be able to understand what we do and how we do it, to then deliver contracts with workable solutions, that ensure we can meet our obligations to deliver on time and to budget.
I am proud to have led the campaign that supported our 150-year heritage (1871 – 1921) in Barrow too, with the first submarine having been built in Barrow in 1901.
Through BAE Systems, I have learnt how to have really important conversations to consider the things that are important to people. I have been on a few leadership-style courses supported by the company, where I have been able to understand different leadership styles and how to engage with different people. I also participate in some of the internal groups that support diversity and inclusion, such as Outlink, the LGBTQ+ group. I am an LGBTQ+ ally, which I think is really important. I think it's great that we are supported to be ourselves.’

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