Unpacking the Transformative Power of Women in Defence and Security


The Women Empowering Defence (WED) panel discussion served as a pivotal platform, dissecting the intricate layers of Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) within the Defence and Security sectors. This blog post aims to distill the essential insights from this enlightening event, while inviting you to delve deeper by watching the full video discussion. Click Here

The panellists

The Synergy of Collective Action

Change isn’t an isolated endeavour; it’s a synergistic movement that calls for the engagement of each and every individual.

“This is not something you outsourced. This is not one department’s responsibility and that in itself is empowering because anyone on this call has a role to play in this.”

Debbie Forster MBE

Universal Benefits of Barrier Removal

Eliminating obstacles—whether they relate to parental leave or mental health support—creates a win-win situation for everyone involved, transcending any specific demographic.

“When we’re removing barriers on parental leave, when we’re removing barriers and in supporting mental health, this is something that everyone wins from.”
Debbie Forster MBE

The Alchemy of Empowerment

Empowerment transcends mere policy and programmatic efforts; it’s about instilling a sense of value in individuals and unlocking their untapped potential.

“So you know, D&I is fantastic, but the real magic comes when people feel empowered and all of those incredible skills, knowledge, experience that’s unleashed.”
Heather Sharp

Prioritising Personalised Experiences

The focus of D&I initiatives should be on enriching each individual’s journey within the organisation, rather than asking them to conform.

“We’re not looking for them to change as individuals. We’re looking to focus our energies on making their time at CGI the best it can be.”
Jacqueline Pickard de Hagerty

The Courage to Be Vulnerable

True bravery encompasses the willingness to be vulnerable, acknowledging that collective action is more potent than solitary efforts.

“We also need to then be brave enough to be vulnerable and to say actually we aren’t going to be able to do this without you.”
Jacqueline Pickard de Hagerty


The WED panel discussion was a revelation in multiple dimensions. It underscored not just the urgency of D&I, but also illuminated the collective nature of empowerment. For a more nuanced understanding of these pivotal themes, we strongly recommend watching the full video discussion.

To watch the full video Click Here

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