Women in Defence
Mentoring Programme

Leonardo’s pledge to promoting gender balance across the defence industry and making the sector a better place for women and men, is exemplified by the company being one of the first signatories of the Women in Defence Charter back in 2019.

Now Leonardo is extending this commitment by participating in the Women in Defence UK cross-defence mentoring programme, which “aims to champion female talent, encourage the sharing of knowledge and information across the sector, and help women to excel, thrive and succeed in defence.”

Women who are keen to develop and take responsibility for progressing their career are offered support from mentors of any gender from the private and public sectors, with matches based on factors such as skills, expertise and fit.

The initial nine-month cohort began in September 2021, with six mentees and five mentors (all senior leaders) from Leonardo participating. During the programme, participants take part in a series of core learning events, and have access to an online digital platform from Moving Ahead (a specialist diversity, development and inclusion organisation dedicated to advancing workplace inclusion and diversity), allowing them to view shared learning content and connect together as a community.

Feedback from mentees and mentors has been extremely positive and Leonardo has already signed up for a second cohort based on the strength of feedback so far.

Sue Bellamy, Head of Engineering Improvements and People, says: “The women in defence mentoring programme has been a very positive experience. The cross-industry nature of the programme allows the mentors and mentees to explore Issues from different perspectives, avoiding the unintended constraints that can arise when both parties are from the same organisation and experience a similar working culture.

“The training sessions which support the programme are well structured and material is accessible online outside the specified training times. Having this approach lends itself well to supporting women with varying levels of experience and who are likely to experience different demands on their working day. Personally, I have found the programme has provided an opportunity to reflect on recent challenges and the opportunities ahead, which is a real gift within a busy work environment.”

Going forward, Leonardo intends to increase the amount of people taking part in the mentoring programme, as part of providing wider opportunities across our UK business.

Our continued support to Women in Defence

Leonardo is proud to participate in the Women in Defence mentoring scheme for a second year, supporting 20 colleagues from across the UK business to participate. A year on from Leonardo’s first involvement with the Women in Defence mentoring programme, the company’s second cohort of mentees and mentors is about to start, reinforcing our commitment to promoting gender balance across the defence industry.

Our continued support to Women in Defence