• Australia’s defence sector is leading the way in improving diversity.
    Australia’s defence sector is leading the way in improving diversity. Defence

2019 marks a remarkable milestone for the Future Through Collaboration Mentoring Program as it launches its fifth year on May 2 at Rydges Capital Hill Hotel in Canberra.

The 2019 TFTC program welcomes women working across engineering, project management and technical areas and has also been opened to include women from the IT and cyber disciplines for the first time.  

Senior members of Defence Industry will also attend to show their support, with Suzanne Shipp, the Chief Executive of Digital Solutions for Nova Systems, launching the day and sharing her perspective as a recent mentor on the program.

The program was born from a shared recognition of the need for collaboration to tackle the challenges Defence Industry faces. A group of pioneering Defence organisations led by Kinexus collaborated to work towards a collective goal of growing and enhancing capability. To date, the program has given 144 women working in Defence and Defence Industry an opportunity for mentorship they wouldn’t have likely had otherwise.

Participant feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and the Future Through Collaboration Mentoring Program has continually evolved and grown, winning the ADM Essington Lewis Award for Support/Services in 2017. The program was recognised by ADM for its efforts in promoting diversity in the Defence community and providing participants with opportunities to promote leadership and networking within these crucial disciplines.

With many industries hampered by a lack of diversity and low participation rates of suitable workers, Australia’s defence sector is leading the way.

“It is the collaboration at industry level that makes this program a game- changer,” Raj Kutty of Kinexus said. “It’s the growth in both the mentees and the mentors within the program that is advancing the capability of Defence as a whole.”

“The TFTC mentoring program (The Future Through Collaboration) has been life- changing for me in all facets of my life- my professional career and my personal life,” Debi Bannerman, Project Manager, BAE Systems said. “I have gained confidence in my own abilities and I am stronger for it. I refocused my energies into my health and wellbeing and it has recharged my career and my entire perspective on life.”

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