in Defence

Royal Navy named one of Britain’s top employers of women

Posted 24 April 2019 · Add Comment

The Royal Navy has been named one of the UK’s top employers of women by The Times in its prestigious annual list.

Above: Air Engineer Technician Katherine Jennings inspects a Merlin helicopter.
Courtesy Royal Navy

For the second year running the Senior Service features in the newspaper’s top 50 list of firms and organisations which do the most to ensure gender equality in the workplace.

The unranked list, published today, celebrates UK employers who promote a diverse and inclusive working environment as well as encouraging women’s progression at work.

The Royal Navy’s inclusion in the list coincides with the opening of all careers and branches to women – including the opportunity to train as commandos in the Royal Marines.

Every year, the Royal Navy also encourages women to attend an industry-led conference on career development and helps them get back into work after maternity leave.

Parenting and information sessions are also held to support parents through pregnancy and maternity.

Commander Rachel Smallwood, chairwoman of the Naval Servicewomen’s Network, welcomed the announcement.

She said: “I’m proud to be a naval servicewoman and to be part of a centuries-old organisation where diversity is now genuinely embraced and encouraged.

“The Royal Navy is a fantastic career choice for any woman, or man, who wants to belong to an inclusive organisation that carries out meaningful work while providing first-class training and education opportunities for all.”

Lieutenant Commander Helen Wright, from Barnsley, originally joined the Navy as a rating when she was 17 and has performed numerous roles through a wide-ranging career, including running the Royal Naval Acquaint Centre – which gives potential sailors a sampler of naval life – serving as Deputy Logistics Officer in destroyer HMS Edinburgh and served as Executive Officer of HMS Victory.

“I still love being in the Royal Navy and when I look back over my career I have been incredibly lucky to have done so many wonderful things,” said Lt Cdr Wright, today a Diversity and Inclusion Policy Officer at the Navy’s headquarters in Portsmouth.

“Today at 50 I am still serving, have had many opportunities and have risen through the ranks and achieved officer status.

“If I had to choose one highlight I would struggle – serving on Paradise Island was great as was working for the Commander in Chief. I enjoyed visiting many countries all over the world and experiencing their cultures and last but not least serving on HMS Victory.”

The Times Top 50 Employers for Women List recognises UK employers from all sector of business and industry who lead on gender diversity and involves a comprehensive submission process managed by the gender equality campaign at Business in the Community.

Chloe Chambraud, director of gender equality at Business in the Community which pores over the details of nominees, said: “Congratulations to all of the organisations who have been named as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women this year.

“Your relentless work to make your workplace more diverse and more inclusive deserves to be recognised and celebrated.”


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