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Women in Defence: Defence technology’s female future

This article first appeared in Army Technology

Angela Owen was quoted in Army Technology discussing Women in Defence UK, which was founded to promote the value of women working in defence, whether serving in the military or the civil service or working for the defence industry.

Discussing her own experience in the British Army, Angela says: “I’ve worked most of my life in a society that is male-dominated – not a criticism, just a fact,” says Owen.

“After leaving the army, I joined PA Consulting in 2008 in the defence sector, and found at conferences and seminars if there were 100 people in the room, there’d probably be half a dozen women. It was so good to see the women that I thought in 2011 we ought to set up a network on LinkedIn, and we held our first event in 2013,” Owen adds.

The article notes the second Women in Defence UK Awards recently took place and included a new STEM In Defence category. The category finalists were: Wing Commander Glynis Dean, Royal Air Force - who went on to win; the Schools Roadshow Team created by a consortium of BAE Systems/RAF/Royal Navy/Mark Greenop and Associates; and Lockheed Martin UK’s Women in STEM Committee.

Angela continues: “What surprised us in this category was the reach of what they’re doing; how many schools they’re visiting, how many children they’re affecting,” adding that a change in society thinking needs to happen to get more women and girls into STEM.

"More and more organisations, companies and the Armed Forces understand the need to get more women into defence because of the benefit of added diversity of thought," says Angela.

Angela encourages all women and girls who are thinking of embarking on a career in engineering or technology to seriously consider a career in defence.

Angela concludes: “I was in the army most of my adult life and absolutely loved it for the challenge it gave me. It took me, developed me and made me into who I am now. There are many more roles open to you now than there were when I joined; you can be an RAF pilot; if you want to be a Royal Marine Commando or Infanteer, those are opening next year. If you love technology, the options are just as great as they are in civilian life but the equipment you get to work on is awe-inspiring. It’s a fantastic life.”

Contact the defence and security team