Latest News

ASC celebrates first female apprentice, workforce diversity, on International Women’s Day


Greater workforce diversity will play an important role in submarine sustainment in coming decades, said ASC Chief Executive Officer, Stuart Whiley, marking International Women’s Day (IWD) 2022.

“At ASC we are building on our programs that support and embrace diversity at all levels. We want to ensure every employee is empowered to reach their full potential, and that every potential employee feels confident in the support they can expect from us as a future employer,” said Mr Whiley.

ASC supports a diverse workforce through an inclusive culture and policies that give employees choice around work-life balance, family planning and leave options that allow staff to meet their responsibilities outside of work. These include 24 weeks’ parental leave for the main carer and 12 days for the secondary carer, together with options for non-production staff to work from home up to two days a week.

“At ASC we encourage women to chase their dreams and pursue careers in all areas of our business. These opportunities range from production roles to positions in design, technical engineering, corporate support, safety, environment, supply, logistics and more,” said Mr Whiley.

ASC’s first female apprentice, Debbie Spence, qualified as a mechanical tradesperson in 2007 and went on to become a production Team Lead. She said returning to work after having her second child, now aged two, was supported by ASC’s inclusive policies.

“I wanted to get back into a production area in a leadership role, and ASC was helpful in terms of flexible work hours, part-time hours, so that I could get back to doing what I loved – being on the shop floor, on the tools,” said Ms Spence, who juggles work and family life with her partner Steve, who is also an ASC employee.

Ms Spence has progressed through the company and is currently in a leadership role working part time - three days a week - on the Collins Class submarines full-cycle docking maintenance as boat superintendent (acting).

ASC will continue its important role maintaining and upgrading the Collins Class submarines for years to come. As defence sector projects ramp up, so too will the demand for skilled, specialised employees, intensifying the need to attract and retain more women into these specialised roles.

ASC has experienced increases in its number of women employees in recent years, and is determined to lift these through its focused diversity strategy.

The company will celebrate International Women’s Day with an employee event on Wednesday, featuring Rabia Siddique, a sought-after public speaker, author, hostage survivor, successful business woman and mother-of-three. ASC’s employees - which number more than 1,300 across South Australia and Western Australia - will attend the lunchtime event in person in WA or virtually via video link in SA.


More information: Rebecca Horton, Senior Communications Adviser, (08) 9410 4113

Back to top