News: BAE Systems joins Diversity in Maritime Charter during Inclusion Week

BAE Systems’ Maritime and Land UK sector provides some of the world's most advanced, technology-led defence solutions. It employs a skilled workforce of nearly 20,000 people across the UK and internationally.

Working with customers and partners, the through-life complex weapons systems integrator delivers products and services, offering military capability to protect national security, critical information, and infrastructure.

As a leading employer in the defence and security sectors, BAE Systems is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce and building diversity and inclusion into its processes, practices, policies, systems, and training. By 2030 BAE Systems wants to ensure that women make up at least 50% of its executive committee, and to increase the representation of race, ethnicity, and gender across the workforce in all localities. 

The Diversity in Maritime Charter builds on BAE Systems’ commitments through the Women in Maritime and Mental Health in Maritime Pledges. To become a Charter organisation, businesses must share baseline data regarding the proportion of women in their workforce and across their middle and senior management and set target data for either five or ten years into the future. It also challenges the organisation to share where they are currently with their equality, diversity and inclusion journey and put targets in place for growth. The targets form a large part of individual company action plans, which also include a commitment to implement specific projects and initiatives. Through the life of the programme, Maritime UK regularly engages with Charter organisations to assess progress and identify areas for new programmes and activity whilst providing a platform to share best practice and challenges with others. By participating in the Charter, BAE Systems Maritime is making a firm commitment to further building an employment culture that actively supports and celebrates diversity and inclusion, at all levels, throughout their organisation, and their industry.

Chrissie Clarke, Head of Diversity and Operations/Secretary to the Maritime Skills Commission, said:

“Having started the Diversity in Maritime programme eighteen months ago it’s so amazing to see another major organisation get behind the programme and commit to the expanded Charter.

“There is always more that can be done but getting organisations to challenge themselves and realise that there are changes that can be made is one step in the right direction.

“We are proud that BAE Systems is committed to further developing its diversity and inclusion agenda and we hope that more organisations follow suit and challenge themselves to make progress in this area.”     

Throughout Inclusion Week 2021, Maritime UK hosted a series of events centred around unity and inclusion. The first event (28th September) brought together both Pride in Maritime and Mental Health in Maritime to discuss transgender policies and to continue the discussion on how to ensure maritime is welcoming for LGBT+ people.

Maritime UK’s second event (30th September) during Inclusion Week 2021 shines a spotlight on organisational change. This webinar is in partnership with the British Ports Association and aims to discuss how to successfully bring about organisational and behavioural change. There will be several industry experts presenting on topics such as behavioural science and people management within organisations.

Maritime UK is pushing forward to become a force for change and action by uniting to share learning, best practice, successes, and challenges. 

Sarah Kenny, Chair of Maritime UK, added:

“BAE Systems’ commitment shows that when it comes to diversity, our industry is all in the same boat.

“Responsible for 90% of world trade, maritime must always challenge itself to represent those it serves, from the UK, to all corners of our diverse world.

“And the UK sector needs people with new sets of skills, from different walks of life, to build the greener, more technological industry of tomorrow.”

Glynn Phillips, Group Managing Director BAE System Maritime and Land UK, said:

“We’re delighted to have achieved Charter Company status, which demonstrates BAE Systems’ firm commitment to advancing a more diverse workforce and creating an inclusive workplace for all.  We have clear aims and a genuine desire to further create an inclusive working environment that attracts, embraces and harnesses difference.”

The Diversity in Maritime programme is sponsored by Aberdeen Harbour Board and Stena Line UK.