We are also ambitious to:
- Ensure that women make up at least 50% of our Executive Committee by 2030.
- Increase representation of race, ethnicity and gender in our workforce and across all our localities.
- In the UK and by 2030 at the latest, our ambition is that more than 30% of our workforce will be women. This includes more women in senior grades and in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths roles.
- We will continue to define our other ambitions with regards to diversity and inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion remains a key business priority. In 2021 we established clear ambitions and metrics, embedding these within our process, practices, policies, systems and training.
The Group is committed to giving open, full and fair consideration to applications for employment from disabled people and people with health conditions or impairments who meet the requirements for roles. We also ensure training opportunities and appropriate accommodation are available to all. We firmly believe that the inclusion of all of our people, enabling them to contribute to the best of their ability, is vital to our business. Our commitment to disability inclusion and accessibility in the workplace can also be recognised through our pledge to support The Valuable 500 campaign.
Globally, we have now set an ambition to be recognised as the leading employer in defence and security for valuing diversity and inclusion. We also want to be representative of gender and ethnicity in the localities in which we operate.
These ambitions will be supported by a range of targets:
- Globally: 50% of Executive Committee members to be women by 2030.
- UK: 30% of the organisation’s workforce to be women by 2030 at the latest.
- BAE Systems, Inc.: progress towards greater gender and racial diversity at all levels of the organisation.
- Other countries: targeted ambitions for other countries in which we operate.
We also need more women in senior grades, including science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) roles. In the past three years our gender diversity for senior managers has increased from 17.4% to 22.4%, with gains seen in our Engineering, Manufacturing and Operations, and Project Management functions. In 2021 we launched the Emerging Female Leaders programme to enable the progression of women at the mid-point in their careers.
However we are also looking at the broader pipeline of talent, and we have focused our efforts on those starting their career. In 2021, 23% of our 2,000 UK apprentices were female and our overall female population and those working in STEM roles also continued to grow.
Recognising gender diversity is just one area of our focus. In 2021 we launched a major focus on self-identification, to support our aim to achieve broader diversity and inclusion in our workplace. To accelerate this we launched a UK campaign for employees to complete their characteristics and we established a plan of activity to improve our representation within the business.
- early career and education outreach work to increase representation of females and ethnic minorities;
- inclusive hiring guidelines to adapt our language, recruitment process and experience;
- initiated and tested new talent management programmes for emerging female leaders and ethnic minorities;
- launched inclusive buddying and leadership development programmes to support those joining or advancing through the business; and
- initiated targeted support such as menopause awareness, support and training.
This has all been strengthened through our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which are sponsored by our Executive Committee. They provide visible leadership and direct engagement with a range of groups, to ensure employees feel that their differences are valued and represented.
In the UK, this is supported by 15 different pledges and commitments to external charters, including veterans, LGBTQ+, mental health, disability, social mobility and inclusion. Also in the UK, we have five core ERGs: Enabled (disability); GEN (gender); Mindset (wellbeing); VetNet (veterans); and Outlink UK (LGBTQ+). In BAE Systems, Inc. we have continued our support through the broader Multicultural Network and its eight US ERGs. In addition, an executive-level DEI Council was formed to drive execution of Inc.-wide actions.
In 2021, BAE Systems, Inc. also published a report entitled ‘A Decade of Progress’ to detail progress made over the past ten years towards increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace and to share a strategic plan to further advance our culture of inclusion. A number of actions are being taken across all levels of the organisation, from a range of education and experience-based programmes to the assignment of an Inclusive Leader Goal, which clearly defined diversity, equity and inclusion requirements for people managers throughout the year.
Pledging our support for Charters, Missions and Taskforces
As part of our drive to increase diversity and inclusion and across our international business, BAE Systems has committed to support a number of projects in areas such as gender, mental health, assistance for veterans 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.
BAE Systems has signed a number of Charters and Pledges including:
- Armed Forces Covenant - we were the first Defence Company to sign up to the UK Armed Forces Covenant, cementing our commitment to supporting those who serve, have served and their families.
- Movement to Work - we are committed to supporting this project and working together to tackle youth unemployment.
- 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.
- Stonewall Diversity Champion - BAE Systems is a Stonewall Diversity Champion. The Diversity Champions programme is the leading employers' programme for ensuring all LGBTQ+ staff are accepted without exception in the workplace. We work closely with Stonewall to ensure we create inclusive and accepting environments for all our UK workforce.
- The Valuable 500 - this is a global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda.
- Mental Health Commitment - this pledges employers to change the way we all think and act about mental health in the workplace
- Women in Aviation - a pledge for gender balance across aviation and aerospace.
- 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 Maritime - over 121 companies in the maritime sector have signed a pledge designed to signal intent on gender diversity.
- 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.
In Australia BAE Systems supports:
- CareerTrackers Indigenous Internship Program - a national and non-profit organisation with the goal of creating pathways and support systems for indigenous young adults.
- Defence Families Australia - supports defence families and articulates their needs to Government.
- Diversity Council Australia - an independent not-for-profit peak body leading diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
- Prime Minister’s Veterans Employment Program - the program asks companies to recognise the skills and values of veterans and ensure they have equal opportunity in gaining employment.
- Soldier On - Australia’s only national fully integrated and holistic support services provider for defence personnel, contemporary veterans, and their families.
- Workplace Gender Equality Agency - we are committed to working with the Agency to promote and improving gender equality in Australian workplaces.
In the US our business supports:
- American Legion Employment Innovations Taskforce - the USA’s largest veterans service organization, committed to mentoring youth and sponsorship of programs in communities, as well as continued support of service members and veterans.
- Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve - a Department of Defense program that promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employer.
- Veteran Jobs Mission - The mission is a collation of 200 companies that has collectively hired more than 500,000 veterans since 2011.