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Impressive Thales woman awarded for expertise

 July 04, 2016

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Dawn Ohlson, UK Business Engineering Director and UK Head of Systems Engineering, has been recognised by the First Women Awards for a string of firsts - such as the first in her family to go to university; the first and youngest female fellow at the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET); and the first women to chair the IET committee.

First Women Award

Dawn was awarded the prize in the Engineering category by television presenter and journalist Clare Balding at the black tie event in London. She was joined at the ceremony by Thales colleagues Laura Shrieves, UK Engineering Performance; Lilian Knight, Sensors Engineer; Miriam Yates, Supportability Engineer; and Rachel Picken, Assistant Project Manager.
Amid a stellar crop of leading ladies, the First Women judges commended Dawn for her determination and commitment to the future of the industry. “She is a through and through engineer who fought her way to the top of the industry. She is also truly committed to supporting the next generation.”
Victor Chavez, CEO Thales UK, adds “Many congratulations to Dawn on this fantastic achievement which is an entirely merited recognition for her great contribution to both Thales and the wider UK engineering community”.
Dawn believes that the First Women Awards promote female role models for young women in traditionally male-dominated industries. She says: “I am proud to say I won the Engineering award and I hope this will inspire others to reach higher in their careers. There are actually a lot of women in senior roles but they’re often hidden in a sea of men. First Women highlights impressive women in diverse careers.”

Thales Supports Women Engineers

In a historically patriarchal industry, she believes that Thales is addressing the gender imbalance in its workforce.
"Without Thales’s support, I would never have achieved so many ‘firsts’. From Racal’s sponsorship that allowed me to be the first person in my family to go to university, through to all your support and encouragement which has seen me become a member of the UK engineering leadership team.” Dawn Ohlson, UK Business Engineering Director and UK Head of Systems Engineering
However, there is more work to be done and Dawn adds: “Thales must continue to tackle the lack of diversity in its workforce and ensure it’s creating an attractive working environment for women across the business, at all stages of their careers.”

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