Pioneering lieutenants Maxine Stiles, Alex Olsson and Penny Thackray on 5 May 2014 have become the first women to serve in the Royal Navy Submarine Service. This step was taken for the first time in the 110-year history of the Submarine Service.
All the three Submariners have earned their Dolphins after months of training. During training, all the 3 female officers conducted operations on HMS Vigilant, a Vanguard Class submarine.
A ban on women submariners was lifted in 2011. A review of concerns that submarines higher levels of carbon dioxide could carry risks to female health decided the fears were unfounded.
The role of women in the Royal Navy has changed drastically over the years. In 2011 UK Government lifted the ban preventing women from serving on board submarines.
Women can now serve in all of the Royal Navy’s seagoing branches.Female personnel will also be able to serve on Astute-class submarines from around 2016.