Did you know that only 12.37% of engineers in the UK are women?
BAE Systems is dedicated to increasing this number and addressing the gender balance within STEM sectors. Their roles and graduate schemes encourage more women to follow their dreams and consider a career in engineering as they strive to develop an inclusive and diverse workforce.
Here, we spoke to two of their female engineers, Nora and Clare, from across BAE's business to find out what inspired them and how they're inspiring others.
"There is so much focus on technology and the future of IT and Artificial intelligence. I feel that this field of work will stand the test of time, and will only get more and more interesting in the future."
As a young girl, Nora enjoyed STEM subjects at school and knew that she wanted to further her education in this area. She graduated from Princess Noura University in 2016 with a degree in Network and Telecommunication System and joined International Systems, Engineering (ISE), a BAE Systems In Kingdom partner company, in June 2020 as a Network Engineer. New to the role and currently shadowing other members of the team to increase her knowledge, she supports the upgrade of network controls within ISE’s Data Centre.
Speaking about her role, Nora says: "I really enjoy working at ISE, the people are very supportive and it is a great environment for gaining experience. Being part of BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia is also really exciting due to the business's international nature and the type of opportunities that it can present."
Nora is one of the many young Saudi women that are starting to embark on careers within the defence sector. In addition to her day job, Nora is also involved with the Mullhemah committee, which aims to create equal opportunities for women to maximise their potential within BAE Systems in Saudi Arabia, and was recently involved in a successful proposal on the recruitment of women engineering graduates. "There is so much focus on technology and the future of IT and Artificial intelligence,” she says, “I feel that this field of work will stand the test of time, and will only get more and more interesting in the future."
"As one of the most senior female engineers in our business, I take the time to mentor, encourage others and try to bring them along with me."
Clare had no formal computer science education at school but developed a love of computers all on her own. She eventually embarked on a Computer Science degree which allowed her to develop a good foundation for industry. As a graduate, she worked at Alenia Marconi Systems further developing her skills in Ada 83, 95 and C++ programming and eventually found her way to BAE Systems.
There, Clare took on a variety of test and development lead roles, before being mentored in Solution Design and winning an innovation award and BAE Systems Chairman’s Award. She's now the Head of Software Engineering and is focussing on practical improvements to help engineers develop their careers.
Due to her career path, Clare understands better than anyone the unique challenges of navigating a career in the tech field and currently acts as the Career Manager for many of BAE System's female engineers, where she provided support for them to reach their potential.
Telling us more about her role, Clare says: "My absolute favourite part of the job is working alongside other software engineers, passing on knowledge and experience, and helping out practically where I can. As one of the most senior female engineers in our business, I take the time to mentor, encourage others and try to bring them along with me.”