Colleague shortlisted for Northern Power Women Award

Nothern Power Awards Blog Image.jpg

Tuesday 21 March 2023

We are celebrating a colleague’s shortlisting in the Northern Power Women Awards.

Rebecca Warren, Chief of Staff to our UK Deputy Managing Director, is in the running for the Agent of Change award.
Northern Power Women is a community of over 70,000 individuals dedicated to accelerating gender equality and social mobility from the North of England.
Rebecca is one of 89 nominees shortlisted across 11 award categories, whittled down from a record-breaking 1,500 nominations to just 89 by a rigorous judging process.

Reacting to her nomination and subsequent shortlisting, Rebecca said, “I was incredibly surprised to make the shortlist. I’m there alongside so many inspiring and impressive people who have made huge differences in people’s lives. It’s a big honour to even be part of that group.”

Having only recently joined MBDA, Rebecca’s nomination covered her actions and campaigning whilst previously serving in the Royal Navy (RN).

The first was founding the RN's Neurodiversity Network (the first neurodiversity network in any of the UK armed forces). Rebecca campaigned successfully to change the RN’s recruitment to allow autistic people and those with ADHD to join on a case-by-case basis, and for greater understanding and acceptance of all forms of neurodiversity across the RN.

Whilst still in the RN, Rebecca spoke at the launch event for our own Neurodiversity Network. Knowing how seriously MBDA takes neurodiversity was one of the reasons Rebecca accepted an offer to work at MBDA after leaving the RN.

Also part of Rebecca’s nomination was her campaigning to introduce gender-neutral language across the RN. This resulted in the adoption of gender-neutral terms for RN ranks and rates, such as Able Seaman become known as Able Rate. As well as gender-neutral terminology being adopted wherever possible, for example, ‘workforce’ replacing ‘manpower’ and ‘unmanned with ‘uncrewed’.



Reflecting on the successes that led to her nomination, Rebecca said, “My campaigning for greater understanding and acceptance of all forms of neurodiversity made a real and lasting change to people’s lives. Making it onto the shortlist enabled me to show how I was continuing the work I’d started to spread positive change even further. At MBDA I’m involved in our Inspiring Women network, and I’m a big advocate of mentoring.”

Rebecca thanked officers who supported her in developing the Royal Navy Neurodiversity Network, an MBDA colleague for inviting her to be part of the Inspiring Women network and her line manager for the space and encouragement to carry on championing the important causes that helped her get shortlisted.

However, Rebecca added, “The most important thing is the opportunity this nomination gives me to promote the work that I’ve done and to encourage other people to make positive changes. If even one person reads this and is inspired to try to change the world around them for the better, that would be amazing. To them, I say, "go for it"! Sometimes it just takes a single conversation to start something amazing. You might think you have no idea how to bring about change or improve things, but you are bettering off doing something than doing nothing. You never know where it will lead.”

Good luck at your awards ceremony in Manchester on Monday, 20 March 2023, Rebecca.

At MBDA, we believe defence should be accessible and inclusive for anyone wanting to work in the industry. We are committed to growing and supporting diversity in our workforce and ensuring everyone has an equal opportunity to reach their potential. Diversity strengthens our company, and we aim to attract talented individuals from a multitude of backgrounds and foster an inclusive, open and meritocratic culture where everyone can grow and succeed. If you are looking for a job that contributes to a workplace that’s fair, respectful and inclusive, take a look at our current opportunities here