BAE Systems Reviews

Updated 14 May 2021

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4.0
83%
Recommend to a Friend
91%
Approve of CEO
BAE Systems Chief Executive  Charles Woodburn
Charles Woodburn
88 Ratings
Pros
  • "Mostly good progression opportunities, good flexible working and good opportunities(in 87 reviews)

  • "Work life balance is acceptable(in 62 reviews)

  • Cons
  • "Management career progression better supported than engineering progression(in 17 reviews)

  • "Continually changing senior management which impedes a firm structure and direction for the workforce(in 17 reviews)

  • More Pros and Cons
    Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
    1. 5.0
      Current Employee, more than 3 years

      Fantastic company with a real focus on innovating products that protect our armed forces

      24 Mar 2021 - Project Manager in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Purposeful work, with a tangible product Great focus on D&I, with a global workforce

      Cons

      Large company so can get bogged down in process

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    2. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Bullying, bureaucracy and blind ignorance

      7 May 2021 - Middle Management in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Large stable company, reasonable pay, comfortable, modern office space. A company that should be an amazing place to work.

      Cons

      Staggering levels of waste and inefficiency through pointless political infighting and bureaucracy, a company addicted to working groups, councils, forums that serve to impair the decision making process. I also observed alarming examples of bullying, either by employees to suppliers or by senior management towards employees, who use subtle and obvious threats and freezing tactics to get people out of their way. Regarded by many suppliers as either a complacent cash cow, or the most illogical, wasteful and ignorant customer they've encountered.

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    3. 4.0
      Current Employee

      No different to any other big defence contractor

      14 May 2021 - Principal Systems Engineer in Portsmouth, South East England, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Secure and steady, great work life balance

      Cons

      Pay average, stilted, by-the-numbers management

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    4. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Good employers

      12 May 2021 - Export Control Manager in Preston, North West England, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Good package and flexible work times

      Cons

      Very political as you move through the organization

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    5. 4.0
      Former Employee, more than 1 year

      Great

      7 May 2021 - Engineer in Usk, Wales, Wales
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Great People, work was interesting

      Cons

      Career advancement was stilted and slow

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    6. 3.0
      Current Employee, more than 10 years

      Machiavellianism Management Approach

      30 Apr 2021 - Anonymous Employee in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      The salary is good, wfh is good.

      Cons

      There are many layers to BAE Systems as in most big companies and the higher you go in the company the more intense the ‘sunshine stories’ become, which is due to the people below you not wanting to be seen as a failure. The employees that make our products are highly skilled, however there are some who have been with BAE Systems all their life, and refuse to change, they won’t embrace anything new and anyone’s new ideas, which halts new talent young or old in progressing. There is an attitude of “We’ve always done this way and if it’s not broke don’t try to change it”. This leads to processes that are not fit for purpose, and workarounds that become processes, but it keeps Bob in Shed 4 in a job. Management is under constant pressure to save money but without impacting quality, there comes a point when ‘cheap is not cheap’, you’re just buying a breakdown. When this happens, the fingers get pointed a right the way to the bottom of the pile. If you do find yourself in an exec role depending on how high will determine the behaviour shown. Mid level execs who dream of going higher start to show and arrogance that they know will get them moving up the ranks quicker. When you get to senior management that’s when the Machiavellian behaviour appears, the cunningness and manipulative traits come to the front, they will use anyone and anything to gain the necessary power, or build the ultimate empire. BAE Systems have spent a lot of money on learning programmes to address Mental Health and they say it’s ok to say you’re not ok! Now you try and tell HR that you are struggling! forget the ‘it’s ok to say you’re not ok’ strapline – you’re on your own and you better shape up quick. Like most businesses there are people/managers who are fantastic and genuinely care about their teams, and they have been amazing through lockdown, but there are many that haven’t even kept in touch with their teams, or they force them onto awkward team calls – these are the ones that lack the emotional intelligence to even understand the basics. I had an amazing manager, she was kind, thoughtful, strict when needed but genuinely cared about her team, we could go to her with anything and she would listen, and I mean listen, she made you feel that you where the most important person at the time. She had been in Shared Services for a few years but we lost her to Head Office, she felt like she had no other option but to move roles to get progression. I still contact her now when I feel no-one is listening. She is what a manager should be, we got the job done and it was done well, and always knew she had our backs.

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    7. 4.0
      Current Employee

      Good

      29 Apr 2021 - Senior Engineer in Barrow, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Seems to have good progression

      Cons

      Seems to be very hierarchal

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    8. 1.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Challenging culture, resistant to change

      11 Apr 2021 - Group Head of Human Resources in London, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Strong business focus, with exciting long term projects

      Cons

      Back office, support functions are archaic, poor culture, work in silos, bad behaviour of inertia is rewarded with promotion. Failure to invest in tech has lead to highly manual processes, lack of integrated technology and no insight. Focus is on constant reduction of cost at the detriment to business need. Stakeholders are frustrated and see little value in the support functions. They are not aligned, would rather take the responsibility in to the business to manage themselves. Strong capability walks out the door due to frustration.

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    9. 5.0
      Former Employee, more than 8 years

      5*

      4 Sep 2020 - Maintenance in Preston, North West England, England, England
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Person centred, supportive, eager to grow and nurture, hard to leave, employee focussed, safety driven & all round amazing company to be part of.

      Cons

      There are too many strong willed individuals going the extra mile, not being recognised, whilst there are too many middle management, taking the victories, the shop floor individuals which have focus and motivation need to be harnesses, whilst those institutionalised and providing the bare minimum need to be highlighted.

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    10. 2.0
      Former Employee, more than 3 years

      Sleepy

      28 Apr 2021 - Control Systems Engineer in Glasgow, Scotland, Scotland
      Recommend
      CEO Approval
      Business Outlook

      Pros

      Flexi Time allows 2 days extra holiday a month.

      Cons

      No-one is held to account for mistakes. Slow progression. Slow systems full of 'paper pushers' wasting a lot of time.

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