BAE has worked hard over the last 5 years to improve the environment for women, and has made progress. However, it is still a place where women are in the minority, and where unconscious, and sometime conscious, bias rules. Participants at the unconscious bias training mandated for managers that I attended very explicitly stated that they didn't believe in the concept, and thought that it was simply a way to encourage quotas. In coaching sessions, women are encouraged to tolerate "top gun" behavior by a small number colleagues - because those are the "high energy" people that have management's ear. On the flip side, most colleagues are smart, and friendly once you get to know them.
As with most organizations, advancement beyond middle management ranks is more difficult here for women than for men. While there is strong emphasis on ethical conduct, there is an almost astounding lack of awareness about how skewed the assessment of potential and performance is toward men. The company's flexible work arrangements are very good but still in many pockets one is viewed as uncommitted if actually leveraging them, and there are the usual concerns about impact on advancement opportunity. Maternity leave appears to be well-accommodated but re-entry is not always the easiest. Benefits overall are good, colleagues well-meaning and good people, and I've been impressed with everyone's dedication to whatever part they play in the company's mission. Women in leadership roles...there are a few, and the company seems committed to improving their demographics.
My experience has shown me that those who do work will always be the ones doing all the work while those who don't aren't expected to nor is the problem addressed. As a person with no kids it seems like I'm expected to make up for those who have outside family obligations.
I worked there for five years and the company was a travesty to work for since they hired Linda Hudson. You would think having a woman CEO who is a mom would make it a better company for work/life balance but it didn't. They keep restructuring departments, giving more work to the people who manage not to get laid off and have a general loss of direction, so it's hard to support management or believe in the company. I worked directly in both the CEO's office and for the heads of a business unit.