Sailors of Royal Navy submarine singled out for their effort to promote diversity

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Crew of the state-of-the-art hunter killer submarine HMS Artful have been singled out for their efforts to promote diversity on board.

They say their efforts over the past 18 months – when the Faslane-based nuclear submarine has been heavily engaged on operations – have made it a better place to live and work… and a more effective military machine.

Judges at the annual Women in Defence awards agreed, presenting the boat with the Inclusive Teamwork Award for its efforts.

Rear Admiral Jude Terry, Director of People and Training, said: “I am delighted that the efforts of HMS Artful’s ship’s company have been recognised.

“This is exactly the approach the Royal Navy needs in order to deliver our operational outputs, and we must celebrate those who are helping to create positive change for our people.”

From March 2021 Artful’s team began developing what has been described as “a modern approach to inclusivity”.

While preparing for operations, the boat held self-generated forums on key topics of inclusivity, empowering crew from diverse backgrounds to challenge archaic opinions, educating shipmates in the process.

As well as ensuring Artful remained at the top of her game on patrols, the continued efforts in inclusivity training – and the generation of a reasonable challenge culture – resulted in the Faslane-based boat receiving a number of RN awards for engineering and operational excellence.

While some submariners were sceptical initially, crew realised they could talk about such issues, and challenge prejudices where necessary.

It led to increasing interest in diversity and inclusion ‘hot topics’ with crew delivering presentations based on personal experiences.

And presentations – dubbed ‘A cup of D&I’, ‘A Pint of D&I’ and ‘A Cocktail of D&I’ – were designed to generate discussion on key topics of diversity and inclusion.
nThe net result was a drop in disciplinary issues to “unprecedently low” levels while crew from an array of diverse backgrounds maximised their output, enabling professional development at both the unit and individual levels.

Elsewhere at the Women in Defence Awards, Lieutenant Commander Annabel Roberts scooped the Most Collaborative Award, having been instrumental in working with industry partners to bring HMS Dauntless back to sea after the she underwent PIP, the Power Improvement Project, which addresses the resilience of the engines and power generation driving the many hi-tech sensors, systems and weapons on board the destroyer.

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