Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

We aim to be the leading employer within defence and nuclear industry for championing equity, diversity and inclusion.

Creating a workplace that recognises and celebrates differences and diverse perspectives is a key part of AWE’s business strategy. It takes a team to keep the nation safe.

To deliver a demanding programme and a replacement warhead in half the time, we need the most talented people from the nation and diversity of thought. We can achieve that with an inclusive environment where everyone can contribute. As part of that drive, AWE has committed to projects concerning gender, neurodiversity, ethnicity and veterans.  

Our ambitions for 2024 are to create a better sense of belonging for our employees and to meet the following goals:

  • Reach 30% or above female representation across employee groups 
  • Reach 6% or above of people from ethnic minority backgrounds across employee groups
  • Improve representation of people with disabilities at all levels of business
  • Improve LGBTQA representation at all levels of the business 
  • To sign the Women in Nuclear Charter

Our Pledges

At AWE, we are working to attract and retain the best people, and to provide an environment where everyone can feel comfortable, be themselves, and thrive. That’s why we have signed up to the following charters and missions.

AWE’s active membership of WISE ensures industry standards to support women in science and engineering roles are followed. 

Being a member of the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion ensures AWE can embed best practices into our organisation. AWE annually benchmarks against their Talent Inclusion & Diversity Evaluation tool.

In 2023, AWE achieved the Gold Award for our sector

The 5% Club is committed that 5% of our UK population is made up of young people on formal Early Career Development Programmes. 

This Charter establishes a network of supportive organisations who believe in a diverse society which is welcoming to all people, of all backgrounds and beliefs.

Stonewall campaigns for the equality of LGBTQ+ people across the UK. AWE uses Stonewall’s benchmarking activity, the Workplace Equality Index,  to improve the experience for LGBTQ+ people  in the company.  

In 2022, AWE achieved a prestigious silver award and was ranked within the top 200 companies for the WEI

The Women in Defence Charter was launched to improve gender balance in the defence enterprise, both public sector and private sector.

It is a pledge to work together to build a more balanced enterprise.

In May 2020, we signed the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter, showing our commitment to tackling barriers that ethnic minorities face in the workplace and ensuring their representation at all levels of their organisation. 

 Employee Resource Groups

Bringing together a diverse range of people brings diversity of thought to approach challenges in new ways. To support our employees, we have six Executive Director sponsored employee resource groups who represent diversity at AWE and cover all the protected characteristics.

These groups encourage conversations, promote understanding and influence policy to create a healthy working environment for all people. 


Gender Balance


AWE stall at Reading Pride

AWE Pride


Religion and Belief

Our employee-led working groups have been integral to the progression that we have made so far and I welcome their challenges and suggestions on how we can continue to improve.

Our multi-faith rooms are part of our drive to create an inclusive environment for all faiths at AWE.

Our mentoring programme connects employees from ethnic minority background with mentors from other organisations with the aim of providing development and networking opportunities.

Assembled to inject diversity of thought and perspective into the most senior governance board at AWE, our Shadow Board influences decision making, provides recommendations on strategic direction and promote cultural change.