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Who are Thales?

Thales is a global technology leader in the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2013, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion (equivalent to £11.5 billion) with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.

Thales UK employs 6,500 staff based at 35 locations. In 2013 Thales UK’s revenues were around £1.3 billion.

Equality and diversity in the workplace are more than just good ideas. In very concrete terms, they shape our human resources and recruitment policies every day.

Our goal is to match our market leadership with a best-in-class recruitment policy. We hire people from a variety of backgrounds and take active steps to fight all forms of discrimination.

What projects / schemes / initiatives to support women's recruitment, retention and progression in STEM are Thales involved in?

Strength in diversity

Diversity is a way of life for a global, multidisciplinary organisation like Thales. We actively promote interaction between staff members with different backgrounds, cultures and experiences — not just to boost our image as a multicultural company, but because diversity and cohesion translate into better performance.

Fighting discrimination

Thales has long been engaged in the fight against all forms of discrimination based on age, disability, gender or prejudice. Our employees share this commitment. When they join Thales, all our staff receive equality and diversity training as part of the induction process, and this training is refreshed throughout their careers.

Extract from the Thales Code of Ethics:Thales upholds the principle of “equality of treatment, which means avoiding any discrimination on the grounds of origins, sex, sexual orientation, age, political or religious opinions, union membership or personal disabilities.”

Gender diversity in practice

Did you know that 22% of our employees around the world are women? One of the aims of our recruitment policy is to raise that proportion — 27.5% of new hires worldwide last year were women — and to provide more opportunities for women to drive the company's future success.

Almost all the women who work for Thales are skilled staff with long-term contracts. We have a strict equal pay policy, and a proactive approach to career development for women ensures that male and female employees have equal opportunities for advancement.

Despite our efforts, the number of women in engineering roles across the UK remains low at 8%, in line with UK averages across the industry. Thales is investing both time and money into raising this number throughout the company, right the way through from apprentices to director level. Our 2014 graduate engineering intake sits at 12% females which shows improvement but there is more to be done to get to this level across the engineering community.Thales recognises that the challenge lies not only in recruiting women into the profession but retaining them in engineering through their career, especially following career breaks or when caring for a family. We have a number of policies and frameworks in place to allow for all employees to balance their home lives and responsibilities with their careers such as flexible working and generous maternity and paternity packages.

We also have a number of women’s networks across the global company, including here in the UK, designed to support and promote the women within the company.

Tackling the root cause of gender inequality in the UK

Thales understands that in order to recruit more women into engineering the number of girls and young women being encouraged into the profession and following the path to engineering needs to increase. In order to achieve this Thales supports a number of organisations and schemes designed at encouraging more young people, both male and female, into the engineering profession. We also encourage and support our employees to represent the profession as a role model and speak out to girls at WISE organised events and local schools in order to get the message out there about what engineering really is.

Why did Thales join WISE?

"Thales recognises the benefits of a diverse workforce and the economic need to increase the number of engineers across the UK. The work of organisations such as WISE is crucial in achieving this as we simply must employee more female engineers in order to meet the demand. It is not about one company going it alone, industry, education and academia must work together, guided by WISE in order to change the face the STEM workforce."

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