Thales Canada to celebrate International Women's Day with spotlight on women working on electronic systems

Company reports women are now 16 per cent of employees in engineering roles

TORONTO, March 6, 2013 /CNW/ - Thales Canada Inc. announced today that on International Women's Day, as part of its celebration of its female employees, the company will highlight the growing number of women who have joined its electronic systems divisions.

Thales Canada is a technology leader focused on the urban transportation, defence & security, and the aerospace business sectors, with business offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Vancouver and Kingston. The company has increased the number of female employees over the past decade to 24 per cent of its 1,300 work force. Women in engineering roles now make up 16 per cent of that total.

"The improvement in our numbers of female employees across the board in systems, software, hardware and quality engineering, and in project management, finance and HR has not been achieved through special measures, or hiring more women than men, but instead has occurred organically, assisted by professional development programs," said Michelle Forbrigger, Vice-president Human Resources, Thales Canada. "Over the past 30 years, we have grown from fewer than 10 employees to our current head count, allowing women to take advantage of a vast array of positions now available".

"The culture and opportunities for women working at Thales are worth celebrating," said Margaret Stuart, Director of Hardware Engineering since 2008. "In the 12 years I have been here, the support, the challenge and the chance to work with colleagues from around the world has led to many rewarding experiences." 

"As a graduate electrical engineer teaching at a university in India, I was looking for better fulfillment by making a transition from academics to industry." said Krishna Leena, Systems Engineering Manager. "Coming to Canada, joining the Thales Canada team, these two decisions opened the door to the opportunities and responsibilities I was seeking. I am really grateful to all the support that Thales has provided."

The number of women studying engineering in universities has remained fairly constant over the past fifteen years, so the resource pool for new hires has not changed much. For Thales, the best candidate gets the job, then is further rewarded with a strong professional development program designed to support the career development of all staff. It identifies both personal and managerial wishes and helps each staff member to set, and make plans to achieve, his/her personal career objectives. This is facilitated through a variety of personal development measures and opportunities including access to: training, job shadowing, international mobility opportunities, mentoring and coaching.

"In Thales Canada's Aerospace business unit in Montreal, women make up half of the senior management team," Forbrigger added. "Having women in senior positions is encouraging for those joining the company at an entry level - it makes it clear that if you have the skills and work hard, there is nothing stopping you from advancing your career."

About Thales

Thales is a global technology leader for the Defence & Security and the Aerospace & Transport markets. In 2012, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion (equivalent of $ 18.3 billion CAD) with 67,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners. www.thalesgroup.com

Thales Canada has 1300 employees in Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. Order intake from Thales operations in Canada exceeded $570 million (CAD) for 2012, in urban rail systems solutions, civil avionics, and defence & security technology products and services. www.thalesgroup.com/canada

SOURCE: Thales Canada

For further information:

Press Contact:
Roger Fradgley, External Communications Manager
Tel: 416-742-3900, ext. 4013212

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