BAE Systems has stated its aim of being recognised as the leading employer in the defence and security sectors for valuing diversity and inclusion.

The company wants to ensure that by 2030 at the latest more than 30% of its workforce will be women. This includes more women in senior grades.

At the Submarines business in Barrow, Lesley Dixon manages the contracts for one of the most complex engineering projects in the world; she is Head of Commercial for the company's Astute Programme.

Educated at Walney Comprehensive and Barrow Sixth Form College, Lesley said: "As Head of Commercial, I get involved in a whole magnitude of matters and no two days are the same. I'm constantly learning and growing as I undertake my role and the people I meet along the way only enhance the role further."

In Cumbria:

With three Astute-class submarines still to leave Barrow and two of the planned four Dreadnought submarines already under construction, Lesley is looking forward to continuing her career in the town she loves.

In April she will move across to a new role as Dreadnought Delivery Director – Contract Management. She said: "My ambition is to carry on learning and developing and to be able to support others.

"BAE Systems is not just a global organisation offering excellent opportunities for personal and individual growth, it is also the lifeblood of my home town and I'm extremely proud to not only be playing my part in protecting the nation but also in ensuring the future of Barrow."

In Cumbria:

Part of Lesley's role includes mentoring other women in the business. BAE Systems is aiming to create a gender balance across all levels of its organisation. The company was one of the 50 founding signatories of the ‘Women in Aviation and Aerospace Charter’ and the ‘Women in Defence Charter’. The Charters commit the UK’s aerospace and defence sectors to work together to build a more balanced and fair industry for women.

The company also signed the charter for 'Women in Maritime', which similarly pledges to increase the number of women in the sector and create an environment for women to realise their aspirations.