Behind the Scenes - Women in the Defence World


The March edition of Esprit de Corps, a Canadian military magazine, features a special section called “Breaking Down The Barricades: Women In The Defence World.” Associate Publisher Jason McNaught wrote: “From serving soldiers, politicians and journalists to advocates, academics and industry executives, the women we chose for this issue deserve to be recognized not only for what they've done professionally, but for who they are personally.”

We were excited to learn that our very own Lorena Collette was selected to be featured in this special issue. Below is an except from the article on Lorena. To read Esprit de Corps’ full story on “Women In The Defence World,” Click Here.

Lorena Collette remembers being overjoyed when her father, a medic in the Canadian Armed Forces, came home from deployments or exercises when she was a child. She would rummage through his duffle bag looking for goodies. Her personal favourite: the hard raspberry candies and dehydrated ice cream he would hold onto and bring home just for her. Growing up in this environment, surrounded by military families and the shared personal sacrifices associated with military service, even at a young age I was struck by the immense dedication and pride our military members show in their profession and country. I wanted to find a way that I could help serve in a way that made sense for me, she says.

Behind the Scenes - General Dynamics Lorena Collette 2015
Lorena Collette manages the EDGE Innovation Network at General Dynamics in Ottawa, Ontario.

Collette worked for a number of small, private companies focused on public safety before making the move to General Dynamics, where she currently manages the EDGE Innovation Network. The perspective she gained working for smaller companies and seeing their struggle to compete on large contracts has helped to motivate her in her current role. The EDGE Innovation Network fosters a collaborative environment where large and small businesses work cooperatively to address capability gaps identified by Canadian defence, security and public safety organizations.

At General Dynamics I feel like I have the ability to contribute and play a role supporting Canada's men and women who serve our country, protecting the values that we are so fortunate to hold true, she says. Collette believes she is extremely fortunate to be surrounded by strong female role models from the CEO of General Dynamics, Phebe Novakovic, to top executives, business development directors, program managers, and engineers across Canada.

She hopes that someday she too will serve as a mentor and inspiration to young women breaking into the field. I love working on a team focused on high performance; I also relish the diversity of the work that I get to do, the ability to make an impact, and the satisfaction and purpose I feel knowing that Im doing something to help support our soldiers.

Source: Ally Foster, Natasha Jamieson & Jason McNaught, “Breaking Down The Barricades: Women In The Defence World,” Espirit de Corps Magazine, March 2015