Our approach to gender balance

Diversity and inclusion
Our ambition is to be recognised as the leading employer in the defence and security sectors for valuing diversity and inclusion.

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.
 

And,

 
  • 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.
 
Our business relies on people who have a STEM background which traditionally appeal to more men than women, indeed only 22% of our global workforce is female.
 
There is a historical systemic issue relating to the number of women in engineering roles within the industry. Traditionally girls do not take 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 our industry as a whole. That’s why we’re taking action to address 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 continue to work hard to improve our gender balance and remain steadfast in our commitment 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 report each year on our Gender Pay Gap and progress to reduce it, and we have published our fourth annual gender pay gap report in line with UK regulations  For 2020, the average gender pay gap for our UK workforce was 9.1% (2019 10.3%), which is lower than the current UK national average of 15.5%. 
 
 

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, and 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.
Working with education providers, we support STEM education and skills development in schools across the UK, with a focus on encouraging a greater take up of STEM subjects. Our education programmes are designed to challenge stereotypes and excite young people about careers in science and engineering, with the hope that some of them will join us for their early careers.
 
BAE Systems was one of the 50 founding signatories of the ‘Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter’ and the ‘Women in Defence Charter’. The Charters commit the UK’s aerospace and defence sectors 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 and create an environment for women to realise their aspirations.
 
Our maternity and shared parental leave policies are competitive. We want to support our employees in the best way we can, which also extends to adoption leave and special leave – this may be for a whole range of reasons, such as being a reservist or caring for a family member. Returning to work after having children is also a key focus for us and we want to create a working pattern and adopt flexible and agile approaches that suit our employees’ needs, whilst continuing to support the business. We offer all women returning to work after having children the option to work part-time for the first three months and we also offer alternative working patterns, for example, flexi hours, part-time, term-time, remote working and job sharing.
 
We also recognise the pressures the current COVID-19 pandemic has on family life, for example, with employees working from home and home schooling children. We have flexible working options to accommodate employees’ individual circumstances, including alternative working patterns.
 

Previous reports

 
 
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.