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Canada’s Leading Defence Companies Partner to Create Leadership Award for Women in STEM

As part of a valued partnership, L3 Technologies Canada, CAE Canada and Thales Canada have initiated the Canadian Industrial Leadership Award (CILA), a program that aims to invest in and develop future leaders in the aerospace, maritime, defence and security industries while promoting a more inclusive workforce.

Women enrolled in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programs at universities across Canada will be eligible to apply for this award, which will provide financial aid, mentorship and employment opportunities. Leaders from L3, CAE and Thales announced the CILA program with the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, earlier today, May 29, 2019.

In 2019, CILA will offer 10 female applicants who demonstrate advanced leadership and strong academics the opportunity to receive a fully paid internship/co-op position, a CAD$6,000 award upon the successful completion of the paid co-op or internship, and an opportunity for employment post-graduation. STEM advisors within each company will mentor individual recipients while they work on innovative projects that support their education. To enhance the unique student learning and networking experience, recipients will work with their fellow award recipients across the three sponsoring technology companies and participate in executive-led presentations and workshops.

In this first year, CILA is open to students entering the final year of an undergraduate program across eight universities in Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia.

The initial launch of the program represents an industry investment of more than CAD$300,000 in awards, internships and company mentorship.

“In a competitive global economy, Canada cannot afford to leave talent on the sidelines,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Through this important initiative, three top defence companies will invest in and develop 10 young Canadian women as future leaders in the industry. Diversity is our strength, and the Government is creating opportunities for all Canadians to contribute to and share in Canada’s prosperity.”

“We are looking for future Canadian leaders and want to promote and advance women in Canadian industry not only from an educational standpoint, but also in terms of ongoing professional development and networking,” said Richard Foster, Vice President of L3 Technologies Canada. “The CILA program will accelerate their opportunities. L3, Thales and CAE have advanced engineering technologies that will be of interest to students in STEM seeking to get a head start in their careers.”

“Educating the future of the STEM workforce is a proven competitive advantage,” said Joe Armstrong, Vice President of CAE Canada. “In essence, we are grooming award recipients for exceptional careers in a broad range of STEM fields, including communications, networks, cyber, advanced manufacturing, electronics and commercial aviation. Upon graduation, CILA recipients will be well-prepared to enter the workforce with rewarding, challenging and dynamic career prospects.”

“Diversity and inclusion are global priorities for Thales,” said Jerry McLean, Vice President and Managing Director, Thales Canada. “Through this award, we are committed to actively fostering, mentoring, and ultimately hiring exceptional students who demonstrate strong leadership and academic skills, investing in innovative opportunities for women in STEM. CILA is a long-term initiative and this investment is just the beginning. We look forward to supporting our commitment to Canada’s diversity objectives while developing a future workforce committed to Canadian innovation.”

Students interested in applying for the Canadian Industrial Leadership Award can learn more about registration and selection criteria by visiting

CAE is a global leader in training for the civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare markets. Backed by a record of more than 70 years of industry firsts, we continue to help define global training standards with our innovative virtual-to-live training solutions to make flying safer, maintain defence force readiness and enhance patient safety. We have the broadest global presence in the industry, with over 9,000 employees, 160 sites and training locations in over 35 countries. Each year, we train more than 220,000 civil and defence crewmembers, including more than 135,000 pilots, and thousands of healthcare professionals worldwide.

Thales Canada is a national leader in research and technology. Thales Canada combines its more than 50 years of experience with the talent of 1,800 skilled people located coast-to-coast. With revenues of $500 million, Thales in Canada offers leading capabilities in the urban rail, civil aviation, and defence and security sectors that meet the needs of customers’ most complex requirements across every operating environment.

With headquarters in New York City and approximately 31,000 employees worldwide, L3 develops advanced defense technologies and commercial solutions in pilot training, aviation security, night vision and EO/IR, weapons, maritime systems and space. The company reported 2018 sales of $10.2 billion.

To learn more about L3, please visit the company’s website at L3 uses its website as a channel of distribution of material company information. Financial and other material information regarding L3 is routinely posted on the company’s website and is readily accessible.

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