“There are not many people who can walk into work and see the Bushmaster in the morning then sit down with the leadership team to discuss all things Air Traffic Management in the afternoon!
“There’s been many different times that I visit one of the many sites we have, and I feel an immense amount of pride in the work we do and for the products we make.”
“It’s the people that set us apart”
The initial thrill of being close to such important work has evolved across the 15 years since Vicki joined the company, but the Thales culture that has supported and encouraged Vicki’s crackling enthusiasm has remained a constant.
“Other than the Thales capabilities, it’s the people that set us apart.
“Like me, there’s 1000’s of others who are proud and passionate about what they are building, developing, or embedding. The people here are welcoming and always happy to share what they are working on!”
Frankly, we could end every quote from Vicki with an exclamation mark as that’s just the level of passion and zeal she puts out there as she discusses her work.
It’s likely such an outgoing approach is part of what drew the company to offer a position to Vicki in the first place. Yet, Vicki recalls, she hadn’t heard of the company at the time.
“I didn’t really have an impression of the company to be honest. Thales was a complete unknown to me when I was offered the role.
She cites the company’s evolution in areas such as cyber and space programs as particularly noticeable over the last decade and a half.
“Best experience for me and my family!”
The journey of developing the company’s Australian division and helping grow its international profile has clearly been hugely satisfying for Vicki.
“Part of this exciting journey has been accessing training and project involvement at different levels in numerous global locations and reaching into the company’s many and varied sectors.”
Vicki says the three years she spent in Southern California, working in a leadership role with the recruitment team stands out — especially as Thales supported and enabled Vicki’s family to move with her.
“It was the best experience for my family and I!” she recalls.
Equally rewarding for Vicki has been her involvement in, and leadership of, the company’s diversity, equality, and inclusion programs across the whole organization.
“These are all really exciting programs and company initiatives”
“Our cultural development has been a real feature for me over my time here. Partly that’s about safety, which has always been paramount, but there’s been a shift in our attitude, processes, and policies on many fronts.”
Initiatives in this strategy include the ‘Women in Thales’ program, which focuses on the challenges of women in technology, the Thales Australia First Nations/Reconciliation Action Plan program, and the company’s LGBTQI+ inclusion and engagement streams.
“We also have projects to develop better understanding, opportunities, and agency for those with disabilities. Given our industry, I am also particularly keen to emphasize our work with veterans.
“These are all really exciting programs and company initiatives that I’m heavily involved in, and deeply committed to. Each and every stream is run by groups of employees to increase awareness and make improvements to our staff and broader organization.”
Vicki tells us these programs are having a positive impact on the company’s operations, both directly and indirectly. The company is involved in areas that have an enormous impact on the world, such as space, cyber, defense, and aviation. The bottom line is pretty simple, she tells us.
“It’s all about building a future we can all trust!”
Vicki’s involvement has broadened over the years, to the extent that now she has taken on leadership roles with central aspects of the company’s cultural diversity programs.
“I have been a core member of the Respect@Thales Steering Committee since inception and whilst all the Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are important to me, I am particularly active on the Women in Thales ERG. It’s there I can advocate and drive changes for women in Science, Tech, Engineering, and Math (STEM) at Thales.”
“I am devoted to creating a world of gender equality.”
“There’s never a dull day at Thales”
Being so heavily involved in these people-oriented areas has given Vicki a great opportunity to network both within the company and among outside communities and stakeholders.
As is clear, it’s the people-factor that keeps her enthusiasm stoked.
“It’s always about the people I work with. There’s never a dull day at Thales and I would be hard pressed to find a company that provides the opportunity to work locally and support a truly global career. I work with people across the world which I love, and I get a lot of energy connecting with people.”
The opportunities that exist for Vicki to make important contributions, both in terms of her own values and of wider society are married to the company’s ever-fascinating challenges and opportunities.
Throw in career satisfaction, and it can’t get much better for Vicki.
“I’ve only recently been promoted to my current position and my focus will be to drive a culture in which people keep growing and benefitting from the opportunities I have been blessed with.”
Her advice is to keep trying, keep dialogue open, and to keep asking, ‘Why not?’.
Vicki and Thales seem sympatico on that.
“Nobody has said no to me yet!” She laughs.