Who are AWE?
For 70 years AWE has supported the UK Government’s nuclear defence strategy and the Continuous At Sea Deterrent (CASD). We also use our nuclear know-how and technical expertise to provide innovative solutions that support the UK’s counterterrorism and nuclear threat reduction activities.
What we do is unique and so are the people who work here. We have some of the best in the business and our people are truly our most valued asset. We work to attract, motivate, develop and retain the best and most diverse talent and equip our people with the right skills for the future. We are a team of more than 5,000 people – proud to be part of such an important mission and proud of our responsibilities to our customer, the Ministry of Defence, and our shareholders.
We aim to build enduring relationships with our government customers, international partners, suppliers and communities in the locations where we operate.
In 2019, we were named as one of the top Best Big Companies to work for at the Sunday Times Best Companies Awards.
What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women’s recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are AWE involved in?
We joined WISE in 2013 and were one of the first signatories to the WISE Ten Steps. We’ve drawn on this ever since to build the foundations of a great offering to attract, recruit and retain women at AWE. Our score has increased by 26% since we signed up to the Ten Steps, demonstrating a sustainable year on year growth.
Our role in national defence and security means we have a wide range of roles, some of them unique. It is therefore vital that we recognise diversity in the workplace and that our career opportunities attract the best talent available.
We’ve mandated inclusion training for all hiring managers, introduced diverse interview panels and use positive action in certain aspects of our hiring process. We have recruited a Diversity and Inclusion Manager and have introduced a Gender Balance Working Group which arranges and supports events such as International Women’s Day and International Women in Engineering Day.
In addition, we have a thriving Future Careers programme: apprenticeships, under-graduates and graduates. This year, 32% of future career job offers have been to women. This community run events like Girls in Engineering Day and visit local schools to inspire the next generation of STEM professionals.
We regularly feature women who work in science and engineering on our social media pages and website.
Why did AWE join WISE?
“AWE joined WISE in 2013 because diversity is at the heart of our corporate agenda. Our objective has been to make the environment suitable for all talent, as well as increase the number of women working in our organisation. As a STEM focussed business, being members of WISE helps us toward our goals”
– Alison Atkinson, CEO and MD