THE Royal Navy has been named one of the UK’s top employers of women as part of a prestigious annual list.
For the second year running the Senior Service featured in The Times’s top 50 list of firms and organisations which do the most to ensure gender equality in the workplace.
The unranked list, published today, celebrates UK employers who promote a diverse and inclusive working environment as well as encouraging women’s progression at work.
The Royal Navy’s inclusion in the list coincides with the opening of all careers and branches to women – including the opportunity to train as commandos in the Royal Marines.
Every year, the Royal Navy also encourages women to attend an industry-led conference on career development and helps them get back into work after maternity leave.
Commander Rachel Smallwood, chairwoman of the Naval Servicewomen’s Network, welcomed the news.
She said: ‘I’m proud to be a naval servicewoman and to be part of a centuries-old organisation where diversity is now genuinely embraced and encouraged.
‘The Royal Navy is a fantastic career choice for any woman, or man, who wants to belong to an inclusive organisation that carries out meaningful work while providing first-class training and education opportunities for all.’
Lieutenant Commander Helen Wright originally joined the navy as a rating when she was 17 and has performed numerous roles through a wide-ranging career, including running the Royal Naval Acquaint Centre – which gives potential sailors a sampler of naval life – serving as Deputy Logistics Officer in destroyer HMS Edinburgh and served as Executive Officer of HMS Victory.
‘I still love being in the Royal Navy and when I look back over my career I have been incredibly lucky to have done so many wonderful things,’ said Lt Cdr Wright, today a diversity and inclusion policy officer at the navy’s headquarters in Portsmouth.
‘Today at 50 I am still serving, have had many opportunities and have risen through the ranks and achieved officer status.’
The Times Top 50 Employers for Women List recognises UK employers from all sector of business and industry who lead on gender diversity and involves a comprehensive submission process managed by the gender equality campaign at Business in the Community.