Hayley Vince – HR Director

As part of International Women’s Day, we talk to Ascent’s most senior female colleague and find out more about being a positive role model.

Can you tell us about your background?

I have worked in HR for the last 35 years, having completed a post graduate in Personnel Management at the University of the West of England. Before joining Ascent, I worked for a number of organisations including Cadburys, Centre Parcs, RAC and Babcock.

What attracted you to work at Ascent?

I was asked by Babcock, our joint venture partner, to help set up the Ascent business before Contract award. When I joined there were only six of us in the business and we now have over 420 employees! I was really excited about joining a business that I could help shape and develop over time.

What does your role at Ascent entail?

My role is extremely varied – I work with the Ascent Leadership team to set and deliver the HR strategy for the business. This includes delivering initiatives that drive enhanced business performance and improved ways of working, as well supporting my team with day-to-day operational HR challenges.

What should the defence industry be doing to attract more women?

The defence industry needs to be more open to the benefits of having a diverse workforce and recognise that individuals from different backgrounds can bring new perspectives on an issue and enhance team performance. I also think that we should continue to drive flexible ways of working, when this can be supported operationally. A focus on output rather than hours “behind a desk” are key. We need to provide opportunities for development, growth and movement for women within our businesses. Ensuring there is a culture of belonging – the use of  language, the culture we set, the benefits we offer – should help to cater for a diverse workforce.

Do you feel you provide a positive role model for women?

I try!! Balancing family/work life throughout my career, I was fortunate to have supportive bosses who measured my success on my output. This allowed me to support my children as they grew up, as well as continuing to develop my career. I am passionate  about mentoring and support networks across the business, as well as championing our Aspire Leadership Programme aimed primarily at women in business.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to run (I have a couple of half marathons lined up) as well as doing yoga, walking our two dogs and catching up with friends and family.

What do you enjoy most about working at Ascent and why would you recommend working here?

I work with enthusiastic colleagues who love what they do. At Ascent, our people are passionate about what we deliver – and we provide a flexible, supportive environment with great team work, where every individual can truly make a difference.