In May 2022, we ran our first Inspiring Women event at MBDA.
Thirty female employees from across each country in the MBDA group met to share their experiences; to discuss how we can further foster a culture of gender inclusion and equality at MBDA and the wider defence industry, and to define the role of a group-wide network in achieving this.
Suzanne Jude, Head of Business Development Air Dominance, opened the event by talking about the importance of working in an inclusive environment, where everyone feels they belong and are valued, as individuals and as part of the team.
“Gender equality in the defence industry has come a long way since I started in my career, but we still have a way to go, and when I moved into a group role a couple of years ago I realised just how few women I encountered in the course of my day to day work.
“So we brought together a group of women from across our NatCos [National Companies] who are all passionate about this topic, to create an international network to share experiences, discuss career development and provide role model and mentoring opportunities.
“This first event was hugely motivating and rewarding, and we now have some great ideas for how we can continue to work together, and include colleagues of all genders, to increase gender inclusion at MBDA.”
Suzanne Jude, Head of Business Development Air Dominance
The event was followed by a relaxed dinner, attended by our CEO, Eric Béranger, who invited each table to share with him the key takeaways from the session. He closed the evening by sharing some of his own experiences, which have shaped his strong belief in the positive effect of a diverse and inclusive working environment.
“At MBDA, we are committed to supporting diversity in our workforce, and ensuring everyone has equal opportunity to reach their potential. Where there’s a mix of people of different experiences, backgrounds and genders, the outcomes are always more effective. I have always pushed for these kind of diverse teams, and encourage everyone to be their best by being themselves, and bringing their unique contributions to the table”.
Eric Béranger, MBDA CEO
What’s next for the Inspiring Women group?
The first meeting in May proved a success and generated discussions and actions to help better the future of women in defence. The group agreed to keep exchanging good practices across our countries, and to open up this discussion to include all employees, regardless of gender.
The next meeting will focus on defining a group-wide network that will champion gender equality at MBDA. These individuals will work in collaboration with our existing networks, such as GEN-EQ in the UK and Space2B in Germany.