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Meet Michelle, Net Zero Technology Lead in Warton

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Michelle is a Net Zero Technology Lead Engineer based in Warton.

‘I was inspired by my Mum to explore STEM subjects, and particularly took to physics because my physics teacher was so passionate about the subject. I studied chemical and energy engineering at university then worked for a renewable technology company before joining BAE Systems. I joined on a graduate programme, having first done a summer placement at Farnborough in a Product Security role.

I have recently moved into the Net Zero Technology role, but prior to that in my most recent role I managed the Europe and International (E&I) Product Environmental working group and the Net Zero working group. My role was a brand-new position within the business when I started. I was given the freedom to make the role my own, which was a bit daunting at first but I really grew into it and came into my own. There’s a massive amount of support for making the business more sustainable, and my teams came up with ideas to help make that happen.

Additionally, alongside my day job I’m a member of the E&I Shadow Board. We’re a group of employees from different areas of the business that support and challenge the Management Committee to improve the way the business is run. We help to drive positive change by providing different perspectives and acting as a conduit for new ideas from the wider workforce.

I also run the environmental stream of our Next Gen projects initiative. That involves some of our early careers colleagues’ trialling and implementing initiatives that help to reduce our company’s carbon footprint, such as alternative fuels and circular economy concepts. The way in which the participants have engaged with the projects has been mind-blowing, and it’s great that my manager gives me the room to be so closely involved.

I enjoy the opportunities at BAE Systems to explore the business and try different roles. You can build a career here that involves working in many different functions, but all still within the same business.

Working here has been positive for my development. It’s not easy to step out of your comfort zone but that’s where all the best experiences are, and each project that I take on builds my skills, my knowledge, and my confidence. My network has grown and I’ve found support in different avenues within the company, such as Embrace, the employee resource group that supports cultural and ethnic diversity. I have a corporate mentor and a mentor within our Inspiring Women employee resource group as well. It’s really useful to have someone to call on to bounce ideas off and listen to their experiences.

I’m a STEM Ambassador and I really enjoy talking to young people about engineering and the huge range of different roles in the sector. The perception of engineering being male dominated is changing, and I’d encourage any girls or women thinking about engineering to go for it. Engineering is so varied; you can be sure you’ll find something that you’ll enjoy.’

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Investing in all our futures

We’re committed to being a responsible and sustainable business, investing in technology, research, and development to achieve our net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2030. We’re investing in our people to help us hit that target. Supporting them to develop specialist skills and progress within the business, to play a valuable part in our purpose, protecting those that protect us all and helping create a safer future.

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