There is an historical systemic issue relating to the number of women in engineering roles within the industry. Traditionally girls do not take science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects at school and university to the same extent as men, which in turn sees reduced numbers applying for engineering or other STEM type job roles. This has created an imbalance here at BAE Systems and across the industry as a whole. That’s why we’re tackling the issue as a company and also partnering with other businesses and industry associations to tackle it systemically. We’ve developed programmes starting with education outreach work at school level through to encouraging women into entry level positions and supporting them throughout their careers. We are determined to redress the gender balance within our business by increasing the number of women in senior levels and attracting and retaining women throughout all levels of the business.
Gender pay gap
The regulations for gender pay gap reporting for UK companies are intended to encourage employers to take informed action to close their gender pay gaps where one exists.
The gender pay gap shows the difference between the average hourly earnings of men and women across the workforce and is, to a large extent, a reflection of the representation of women in the workforce. It’s not the same as equal pay which refers to men and women receiving the same pay for the same job.
We have published our third annual gender pay gap report in line with UK regulations For 2019, the average gender pay gap for our UK workforce was 10.3% (2018 9.0%), which is lower than the current UK national average of 17.3%. We have a gender pay gap because we employ around four times more men than women and a greater proportion of our senior leadership population is male. We rely on employing large numbers of employees with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) qualifications and we, like other companies, face challenges recruiting females with these qualifications because there are significantly fewer women who study and work in these fields. We are working hard to improve our gender balance and to increase the numbers of women in senior executive positions and in engineering roles.
We report each year on our Gender Pay Gap and progress to reduce it.
29 March 2019: We have identified that some of the percentages of male and female employees across our pay quartiles were calculated incorrectly. This has resulted in some minor revisions being made to the pay quartile data in our 2017 and 2018 reports.
Women in engineering
We’re aiming to create a gender balance across all levels and specifically to increase the number of women in engineering roles.
We tackle the issue at three stages: education, early careers, senior level roles – providing support at key life stages for women, such as when they leave the business to have children and when they return.
We encourage women to take STEM subjects at school and university by hosting roadshows each year demonstrating the range of careers available to them. For example, our flagship UK Schools Roadshow, delivered with the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, engaged more than 450 schools and engaged over 115,000 young people in 2019.
We aspire to have 30% female applications for graduate and apprentice intake in the UK by the end of 2020.
BAE Systems was one of the 50 founding signatories of the ‘Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter’. The Charter commits the UK’s aviation and aerospace sector to work together to build a more balanced and fair industry for women. We have also signed the charter for Women in Maritime which similarly pledges to increase the number of women in the sector.
We offer up to 52 weeks maternity or shared paternity leave in the UK, with similar arrangements in place for adoption leave. We support people returning to work through Keeping in Touch days and an option to return to work on a part-time basis for the first 13 weeks. Employees are able to apply for more long-term flexible working hours, which are assessed in light of business requirements.
Pledging our support for Charters
As part of our drive to increase diversity and inclusion, BAE Systems has pledged support for Charters in areas such as gender, mental health and social mobility. Providing opportunities for all employees to thrive in the workplace regardless of their race, gender or background is a vital characteristic for successful and responsible businesses. Learning from other organisations and working together is an important factor in increasing diversity and inclusion throughout the sectors we work in.
The UK Charters BAE Systems has signed include:
- Women in Aviation – a pledge for gender balance across aviation and aerospace
- Women in Maritime - over 121 companies in the maritime sector have signed a pledge designed to signal intent on gender diversity
- Women in Defence - the Women in Defence Charter is a commitment to work together to build a more balanced enterprise across the defence sector
- Women in Technology - the Charter is designed to increase diversity within the UK’s tech companies, with the aim of achieving equal opportunity and representation for all employees in the sector
- Time to Change - The Time to Change Employer Pledge is a commitment to changing the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace.
- Social Mobility Pledge – the pledge asks signatories to partner with schools or colleges, deliver structured work experience and apprenticeships to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. It also asks signatories to open employment recruitment practises to those from disadvantaged backgrounds