Mind the Gap: How Aerospace and Defence is Letting Female Talent Fall Through the Cracks.

There are more women in executive leadership positions in aerospace and defence than ever before. From CEOs Phebe Novakovic at General Dynamics and Kathy Warden at Northrop Grumman to Ruth Cairnie as Babcock’s chair, women have never been more visible in leaderships positions in aerospace and defence than they are now. Coupled with the record intake of female STEM candidates into graduate roles into our industry and the picture looks pretty rosy. And yet this disguises the reality that there is not only a lack of female talent at mid to senior roles across industry but that the talent pipeline for leadership positions remains male dominated and there are indications post-pandemic that it is dwindling, with sociologists forecasting a widening in the gender pay gap in the 2030s, an indication of fewer women in leaderships positions in the future. These factors, paired with another recent survey reporting a decline in trust in female leaders for the first time since records began points to a Gender Power Gap that urgently needs addressing. Female talent needs to be attracted to the sector and developed into mid to senior roles now, rather than sit in complacency until the current increasingly female graduate cohort to develop into leaders in twenty years.