When we think about the heads of weapons manufacturing companies, we usually picture in our minds middle-aged or older men, usually white and balding. When Bob Dylan wrote ‘Masters of War’ all those years ago, I don’t think he pictured the missile and gun manufacturing moguls to be women. The fact is that in 2021, four out of five of the United States’ biggest arms manufacturers are led by women, a fact celebrated in a plethora of articles and TV news shows in the United States and beyond.
The United States’ largest defence contractors — Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and the defence arm of Boeing — have all appointed women as their CEO, and in some twisted logic it is a sign of the times, a key indicator that women are experiencing opportunity like never before, at least in terms of highly-skilled posts.
As the world moves closer to global conflict involving the ‘Western Allies’ and Russia and China, and as the prelude to that conflict, an arms race, is well under way, our collective imagery of war-profiteers may be somewhat outdated. Weaponry and war can no longer be considered a male enterprise. The historical link between Women’s Liberation and Anti-War movements throughout the Twentieth Century may now be broken. Expect women to be the leaders in war-fare into the twenty-first Century.