A new careers article by Elizabeth Kaneyson

June 2024 

Did you end up pursuing the career you envisioned when you graduated?

After growing up thinking that I was going to be Indiana Jones or a physiotherapist, I never planned to work in the Space or Defence industry, it seems that it chose me! During my penultimate year of university, I was fortunate to land a graduate role with a Defence Prime Contractor, having completed a double degree majoring in Geology and Supply Chain Management.

Then, after 14+ years in the Defence industry, I found myself drawn to the Technology industry based on the endless possibilities for innovation and problem-solving. In particular, the Space and Defence sector has captivated me with its potential for ground-breaking advancements and its critical role in national security. As I delved deeper into this field, I realised the immense impact that women can have in shaping the future of Space and Defence technology. I became passionate about breaking down stereotypes and barriers for women in these industries and advocating for their equal representation and recognition. My career in this field has been both unexpected and rewarding, and I am excited to continue pushing boundaries and making a difference.

My role at CGI

By job title, I am a Senior Consultant, specialising in Supply Chain Management within CGI's Space, Defence and Intelligence team. However, as is often the case, my role can be very different from day to day.

I am responsible for helping to grow the space, defence and intelligence business in Australia, with the target of becoming one of the top 40 Defence companies in Australia by 2026. I develop and maintain key client accounts, lead and deliver key programs of work and assist in growing and managing our team. Being an early member of the team means that I am involved in shaping the strategy and direction of the sector, which has been a fantastic opportunity to step up and share my thoughts and ideas that will have a lasting impact on our nation’s security.  

For those who know me, it will come as no surprise that I am still building on my supply chain area of expertise. I’m just fortunate enough now to combine that with Technology and tap into our 90,000+ global network of experts in the field to make an even bigger impact on the local and global Space, Defence and Intelligence community.

Moving the needle on gender equality

I strongly believe that it is crucial for women like myself to advocate, support and uplift other women and break down barriers in a typically male-dominated industry. The truth is that women can bring unique perspectives and insights to Space and Defence, which can then lead to a more comprehensive understanding of challenges and potential solutions. This understanding can, ultimately, enhance the effectiveness of missions and operations.

By actively participating in leadership roles and decision-making processes, women can also help shape the future of Space and Defence, driving progress and innovation in these fields.  Through their contributions, women can help to ensure that Space and Defence initiatives are not only successful, but also reflective of the diverse perspectives and needs of the global community.

I’m proud to say that CGI is dedicated to empowering women in Technology. The company has implemented several impactful initiatives in this area, such as our Women's Leadership Network, which focuses on promoting gender diversity and equality within the organisation, as well as a formal diversity and inclusion strategy, which includes targets for increasing the representation of women in leadership positions and creating a supportive and inclusive work environment for all employees.

In addition, CGI offers various training and development programs designed to enhance the skills and capabilities of women in Technology and related fields. These programs aim to equip women with the knowledge and expertise needed to excel in their careers and take on leadership roles. What’s more, CGI actively participates in external initiatives and partnerships that support women in Technology, such as sponsoring events, conferences and organisations that promote gender diversity and inclusion in the industry. 

Simply put, at CGI, women’s voices are heard, their accomplishments recognised, and opportunities created for personal and professional growth. My own experience is a testament to how working in Space, Defence and Intelligence at CGI offers unique opportunities to work on cutting-edge technology, contribute to national security, and make a significant impact on the world.

Could your next opportunity be in Space, Defence and Intelligence at CGI? Explore a career at CGI in Australia today