Women in Defence
Serco is one of 53 signatories to the UK Government’s Women in Defence Charter which demonstrates our commitment to improving gender balance in our Defence business.
By signing, we pledge to be the very best at driving inclusion and diversity, providing fair opportunities for women to succeed at all levels. The Charter sets out the ambition of achieving a minimum of 30% female representation at all levels across the defence sector by 2030. Currently, 15% of colleagues in leadership roles within our Defence business are women so we know we have a long way to go in our journey to making our ambitions our reality.
At Serco we have a Diversity & Inclusion strategy and, in reflection of this, our internal Women in Defence network is open for men and women to champion our female colleagues.
We are also proud participants in a cross-organisation mentoring programme which has been set up for the UK Defence industry by Women in Defence UK and run by Moving Ahead. Representatives from Serco are matched with mentors and mentees in the wider industry to help support women while working through challenges, sharing knowledge, and learning different perspectives whilst growing in confidence.
Previous participants of the mentoring programme recently shared their experiences:
- Katie Halpin (Head of Admin Support at Defence Academy, and Co-Chair of Serco’s Women in Defence network committee) said “you can tailor the mentoring programme to whatever you want it to be, the mentors are really experienced and have probably been there and done it themselves and have helped others get there – so no question is a stupid question!”
- Salli Shapcott (FPMS Contract Director) has been both a mentee and now a mentor, noting that “it’s a really positive experience having somebody looking through a different lens and being able to offer some advice and support. As a mentor, it is a great opportunity to listen to, support and guide someone else who is asking themselves questions about where they go in the future and how to achieve it."
- Amanda Price (Account Director for Space & Security) noted from her experience as a mentor that “time thinking about yourself and your personal career is really helpful – we bounce ideas off each other about some experiences and issues we have in common that we are dealing with so I get just as much out of it as my mentee!”
We have also partnered with Everywoman, the world’s largest network and learning & development platform for women in business to provide our colleagues with a support network outside of Serco and access to personal development tools including monthly webinars, online workbooks and articles.
Paul McCarter (Managing Director for Defence) is a strong advocate for a gender balanced workforce and is the executive sponsor for our Women in Defence network and an active mentor in the industry initiative. He shared his experience saying “this is a great programme which provides support to our female colleagues. I hope that we will attract more women to join us in Serco Defence as we have a great business, supportive environment, and a huge amount of career opportunities.” Read more about Paul when you Meet Our Team in Defence (serco.com).