Celebrating International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day gives the world an opportunity to highlight the ongoing need to further gender equality. At PA, for example, we’re hosting a panel discussion on gender equality in the workplace. All our people around the world can join the virtual discussion and hear inspiring guest speakers talk about how to create an even more inclusive and diverse place to work.
Yet, as our CEO Ken Toombs has said, we know our actions must be year-round.
That’s why we work tirelessly to #BreakTheBias and support more women to thrive in whatever career they choose. We believe in the power of ingenuity to build a positive human future, and inclusion is key to unlocking human ingenuity.
Inspiring the next generation of female leaders and innovators
We give our time and expertise to inspire people, particularly those facing disadvantage, to be the innovators and leaders of tomorrow. Through a wide range of volunteering, coaching and training initiatives:
Women in Tech
Gender diversity is a serious challenge in the technology industry. Women hold just 31 per cent of the UK’s jobs in tech, according to a February 2022 report from the Office for National Statistics. And the Harvey Nash Technology and Talent Survey 2021 shows just 10 per cent of technology leaders are women.
That’s why our Women in Tech team are passionate about increasing gender diversity and inclusion within technical fields. They do this by providing learning and development opportunities, building supportive communities of engaged women, industry partners and allies, and ensuring our recruitment activities promote equal opportunities and remove barriers to entry for women.
The ingenuity of children is remarkable, so we give it a place to thrive. Our annual Raspberry Pi Competition promotes STEM education by challenging school children to invent something that benefits society. Using the Raspberry Pi microcomputer, they’ve improved our experiences of transport and travel, tackled sustainability challenges and helped people live healthier lives.
A core aim of the PA Raspberry Pi Competition is to inspire more girls to consider STEM-based careers, as we often see outdated stereotypes put them off such opportunities. And we’re having great success – in our 2021 competition, 70 per cent of the winners were girls.
Women in Defence
For centuries, defence was a male-dominated sector. Yet the contribution of women and the importance of diversity is invaluable. To recognise and celebrate this, we’re founding partners of Women in Defence UK.
Since its creation in 2011, we’ve played a supporting role in the group’s development and growth. From hosting briefings to sponsoring the annual awards, we’ve helped them celebrate and recognise the achievements of the men, women and teams working in the defence of our nation. In so doing, we hope to inspire more women to consider opportunities in defence.
Supporting ingenious women at PA
While teams across PA are promoting gender equity in our communities, we’re also enhancing the careers of women within PA through activities aligned to five areas: recruitment, leadership, careers, ways of working and our Women’s Network.
We’re Implementing recruitment processes that reduce bias and have set a target for a 50/50 gender split at the graduate level, which we hit in our 2021 round of graduate recruitment.
We’re upskilling our leaders by introducing new learning modules, including ‘cultivating a purpose-led and inclusive culture’ and ‘nurturing talent and building capability’.
We’ve also invested in a Women in Leadership programme, which supports our drive to increase representation of women at senior levels by building professional growth and aspiration, and helping break down any barriers to progression.
We’re reviewing our talent pipelines to identify diversity gaps and providing development programmes, coaching and mentoring to close them.
Alongside this, we’ve introduced a refreshed career framework, which focuses on technical career paths and brings greater transparency to promotion requirements.
4. Ways of working
We’re reviewing how we better support flexible and part-time working, as well as working families, which can have a greater impact on women.
We’ve also set inclusion and diversity objectives for our firm to ensure we're accountable for our progress.
5. Women’s Network
Our Women's Network supports the development and progression of women across PA through initiatives like:
- 360 Voice Circles, which bring together small groups of women to discuss career topics, share professional and personal insights, provide mentoring, support, guidance and coaching, and offer access to senior women role models.
- Ask an Expert series, which features PA experts who share their advice on professional development.
Celebrating International Women’s Day. Promoting gender equality year-round.
As we use International Women’s Day to celebrate the achievements of women and highlight the ongoing need to enhance gender equality, we must remember that doing this for just one day a year won’t be enough to make a difference. To build a truly inclusive and equal world, everyone needs to promote gender equality year-round.