Diversifying the workforce at Thales UK
Diversity and inclusion is important to any organisation. At Thales, in the UK and globally, it is common belief that diversity makes for a stronger and more innovative workforce. For us, diversity is embraced to foster creativity and decipher solutions to the most complex of problems. This allows us to solve some of the world’s most intricate engineering challenges across an array of markets.
Having an extensive female workforce is key to this. Increasing the number of women in Thales and the engineering sector is a business priority. We heavily engage with schools to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) amongst young people, assuring that engineering is an attainable career path for both males and females. For a company as broad and elaborate as Thales, however, diversity needs to be applied across all disciplines and not limited to engineering.
Some members of the female workforce at Thales in the UK explain how they ended up where they are today.
Nic Lewis, Senior Analyst
“I completed a Maths degree at Durham University, fully intending to train as a maths teacher, but running the college bar led me to a career in the drinks industry. I completed a graduate scheme with Majestic Wine, allowing me to specialise in stock control with Champagne Bollinger.
“I later started work in diplomatic duty free with IDS, which we built up to be one of the leaders in diplomatic retail. During my time at IDS I covered a myriad of roles, including buying, marketing and human resources."
“A slight change in direction then saw me join FrieslandCampina UK – a huge global dairy co-operative – as Demand and Plan Manager. I had the chance to work on a lot of projects, later joining Thales as a Senior Analyst.”
Robyn Hathaway, Project Manager
“I have recently joined Thales as a Project Manager from the Civil Aviation Authority, where I worked for 14 years and started off as a temp on a two-week placement. This was after I left university with an English degree."
“I worked in different areas over the 14 years – starting in design and production standards processing minor modifications, later moving to publications, then to air traffic standards. I managed a number of projects focusing on efficiency and effectiveness."
“I joined Thales after I saw the role for Portfolio Project Manager in air traffic management, which I thought I could bring a number of strengths to. I’d heard Thales was a good company to work for and I thought the role would challenge me and offer lots of areas for learning and development, which are real drivers for me.”
Sarah Rocks, Principal Market Analyst
“I left school at 16 in 1989 as a Business Technician apprentice for a company called Smiths Aerospace – now called GE Aviation. I studied part-time for seven years to gain a Business Studies and Marketing degree from Gloucester University. Having worked across Smiths Aerospace in most departments, I got my first job as a Reliability Data Analyst, essentially looking at how reliable the equipment used on aircraft was in terms of failure rates."
“After Smiths Aerospace, I moved to Hastings to set up and run a market analysis function. After a number of years with General Dynamics, I moved to CGI (formerly Logica) to do market analysis and more of a marketing based role. In addition to competitor intelligence, I was involved in the writing of marketing collateral, stakeholder engagement and the organisation of certain key events."
“I have now recently joined Thales within the Strategy & Marketing team, where my role is heavily revolved around market analysis and competitor intelligence to support key bids.”
Not only is acquiring a diverse and inclusive workforce important to Thales, but retaining it also.
“I am lucky enough to have been able to progress my career within Thales, whilst raising a family at the same time. I have always felt fully supported, and have been allowed the opportunity to work flexibly. This has enabled me to manage my commitments outside of work, alongside achieving my career goals and aspirations.”
Sophie Peskett, Head of Resourcing
“I have worked for Thales for nearly 12 years and feel that I have been given opportunities to develop and grow my career within the organisation. I work in a very male dominated environment, with only two females in a team of 23. Despite this, I am not treated any differently. I want to progress my career within Thales and I am being supported by my line manager in order for this to become a reality.”
Tanya Roberts, Cyber Security Consultant
For more information on the opportunities available at Thales, visit the Thales Careers website.