Tackling Gender Diversity in Defence

By Kinexus on 14 September 2017

In 2015, The Future Through Collaboration (TFTC) launched a joint initiative of Defence Industry leaders to come together with a collective goal – to grow and enhance capability.

Our first program is the female mentoring program designed to connect junior female engineers with senior figures within defence in the form of a formal one-to-one mentoring program.

The TFTC Mentoring Program is a cross-industry mentoring program, providing female engineers and project managers with the opportunity to learn from their peers and mentors.

As a formal mentoring program, mentors and mentees are matched based on their goals, objectives and professional backgrounds. Over the course of one year they meet monthly to discuss and plan how to actualise their goals.

Participants are provided with an induction training session and are supported throughout the year with facilitated group sessions to support their success. These meets are the core component of the program. They provide the opportunity for peer to peer networking and are an opportunity to check in on progress and to deliver training.

The program training and facilitated sessions are delivered by experts in leadership, business coaching, and mentoring programs.

The TFTC Mentoring Program has now been successfully running for four years – starting with 22 people, the program has now grown to over 90 participants. We are proud to announce that the TFTC Mentoring Program won the Essington Lewis award at the Defence and Industry Gala Awards held in Canberra.

The Essington Lewis Awards sponsored by ADM and CASG are designed to recognise excellence in the degree to which industry and CASG have worked together in a spirit of collaboration to overcome challenges or problems. This collaboration has led to junior female engineers feeling part of a greater community as well as gaining more confidence and improving their communication skills. Mentors too, have made strong connections across both defence and Defence Industry.  Over 70% of our mentors are returning mentors which is a strong indication of the quality of the program.

This mentoring program is another stone in the pathway to change. We hope that supporting a diverse workforce will support defence to grow and enhance capability and more women will choose Defence Industry for their career.

By Lauren Bachir
The Future Through Collaboration

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