PA Consulting Group’s Angela Owen, a defence expert and founder of Women in Defence UK, is interviewed on the British Forces Broadcasting Service radio.
Angela is asked why she set up Women in Defence UK in 2011: “I set it up because I found that I was attending seminars or conferences and, of 100 people in the room, there would be half a dozen women. I realised how useful it was to have the opportunity to talk to women and set up the networking and discussion group to allow us to talk. The LinkedIn group now has around 580 members.”
Angela is then asked about a recent women in defence event and what issues were raised. Angela explains: “The Chief of the General Staff, General Sir Nick Carter, attended the event and shared his thoughts on maximising talent. A key part of this was diversity and how to maximise female talent in the army.”
Angela goes onto talk about another issue, the language used in the army. Angela explains that in any society that is made up mainly of one gender, you tend to talk about that gender and in the army, there is a tendency to use ‘he’ rather than ‘she’ to describe a soldier.
The interview goes on to examine why the army is made up of less than ten percent of women and how the army can improve on this. Angela points out that General Sir Nick is keen to improve diversity in all its forms, to maximise talent and improve diversity.
The interview also covers how the army can better retain women once they have joined up and how flexible working or job sharing can help. Angela explains that some women in the army are now working flexibly.
Angela concludes the interview by inviting more women and men join their LinkedIn group and follow the group on twitter.