Nearly a week after International Women's Day and as a part of women's history month, KPMG held the inaugural Women in Aerospace, Defence and Intelligence Leadership Forum, in London on March 14, 2016.
The panel, chaired by Dr. Suzy Walton, board member of the Institute of Directors, was made up of women in various leadership positions, including the Brooke Hoskins from BAES, Heather Price from the Pentagon, Col. Robyn Slade of USAFE, as well as WADI Steering Committee Chair and MOD Director General of Finance, Louise Tulett CBE.
In front of an audience of more than 100 women and men, the panel answered questions pertaining to their experiences as leaders, what they believe leadership is and how to initiate conversations about issues and concerns that women still face in the workplace today.
Each of the panel members gave advice and information about issues impacting women in the defence industry. Walton explained leadership as, "having the courage to try," and Slade explained how important it is for leaders to build relationships in the workplace: “It's a leader's job, male or female…to help people see the possibilities."
Panel members also provided personal experiences from their respective careers, describing similar experiences and challenges.
While many important issues were raised, such as women's pay in the workplace and being treated equally, based on merit, the discussion also focused on how to effect change in attitudes and break away from existing stereotypes.
"We were so pleased with the Women in Aerospace, Defence and Intelligence inaugural event and received an enormous amount of positive feedback from both the speakers who participated and those who attended," said Shenoa Simpson, manager, The Strategy Group, KPMG. "Many of the British people who attended commented on how interesting it was to hear the American perspective on women's leadership in the sector and felt as though the conversation could have easily have continued another hour or two."
The panel agreed that women can encourage change by believing in themselves, but also by recognising that there is much room for improvement for women's positions in the workplace, even in 2016.
Contact us to register on our email list and become involved with future events: ukfmwomeninadi@KPMG.co.uk