The Royal Air Force has been confirmed as a Times Top 50 Best Employer for Women in the 2019 listing.
At an awards event in Canary Wharf on 24 April, Air Vice-Marshal Chris Elliot and Air Commodore Maria Byford received the accolade along with Royal Navy colleagues.
Speaking after the ceremony, Air Cdre Byford said:
"As Deputy Gender Advocate for the Royal Air Force, I was delighted and very proud to attend the Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2019 reception with COS Personnel, AVM Chris Elliot. The award recognises the significant progress that the Royal Air Force has made in improving policies to meet the life and family needs of our people, such as the introduction of flexible service, following the flexible duties trial, and the fantastic return to work rate for our servicewomen following maternity leave. It was truly inspiring to be able to network with the other organisations in the Top 50 and learn first-hand from their experiences."
This is the first time the RAF has featured in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women since 2015. In gaining recognition in the listing, the RAF secures its place amongst a small cohort of selected organisations who have consistently made the commitment to become a top employer for women.
In his role as Diversity & Inclusion Champion, DCom Cap and AMP&C, Air Marshal Mike Wigston, said:
"I am absolutely delighted to see the Royal Air Force recognised as a Top 50 Best Employer for Women for 2019. Women can now serve alongside men in every part of the Royal Air Force and we are stronger, richer and more capable as a result. Our gender diversity is the best in the UK Armed Forces and we have transformed the way we support people who have to balance serving in the Royal Air Force with the demands of modern life – working parenthood included – offering flexibility, understanding and choice. I am extremely grateful to everybody in the Royal Air Force who has made that possible."
The listing is published in partnership with Business in the Community (BITC) and recognises 50 employers for their leadership on workplace gender equality. The alphabetical and unranked list acknowledges UK employers who are making gender equality a key part of their business strategy, with consistent commitment to creating inclusive workplace cultures and progressing women in the workplace that covers their entire organisation at all levels. The list involves a comprehensive submission process managed by BITC's gender equality campaign.
The successful Top 50 Employers for Women 2019 listing complements further recent D&I benchmarking success, namely recognition as a Stonewall Top 100 Employer 2019 (announced Jan 19), and as a BITC Best Employer for Race 2018 (announced Oct 18).
The full list of the Top 50 employers can be accessed here.