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Women in Defence UK Awards 2017

Many congratulations to our winners of the Women in Defence UK Awards 2017!

Award Winner

Inspirational Award – sponsored by Thales

  • Squadron Leader Alison McLean, Royal Air Force

Outstanding Contribution Award – sponsored by BAE Systems

  • Rachel Fricker, MOD Civil Service, Navy Command

Most Collaborative Award – sponsored by Aspire Defence

  • Lance Corporal Sheona Macmillan, Army
  • Flight Lieutenant Shona Blainey, Royal Air Force

Special Award – sponsored by DXC Technology

  • Doctor Sam Healy, QinetiQ

Promotion of Gender Balance Award – sponsored by ATOS

  • Jenni Henderson, Dstl

Inclusive Teamwork Award – sponsored by the Royal Air Force

  • 17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC, Army

STEM in Defence Award – sponsored by Northrop Grumman

  • Wing Commander Glynis Dean, Royal Air Force

Emerging Talent Award – sponsored by the Army

  • Surgeon Lieutenant Commander Philippa Bennett, Royal Navy

Woman of the Year 2017 – sponsored by PA Consulting Group

  • Squadron Leader Alison McLean, Royal Air Force

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Women in Defence UK Vision

Women in Defence UK exists for a community of people who wish to promote the value of women in defence. We aim to encourage women to succeed authentically, share experience, build networks and encourage talent at all levels to join the defence sector.

To keep up to date with Women in Defence UK, you can find us on Twitter (@womenindefence), LinkedIn (Women in Defence UK) and Women in Defence UK's website.

‘PA Consulting Group has been proud to sponsor Women in Defence UK since its birth in 2011. Women are clearly under-represented across Defence. Whilst we can’t turn back the clock to fix the causes, all of us can ensure that we’re doing everything we can to promote diversity and inclusion within our workplaces, and champion the development of our colleagues who make such as exceptional contribution to the safety and security of the UK.’

Nick Newman, Defence & Security expert, PA Consulting

Women in Defence UK Awards 2016

On Thursday 13th October 2016, on behalf of the Chief of the Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Chief of Defence People, presented the inaugural Women in Defence Awards at the Honourable Artillery Company's Headquarters. There were more than 200 nominations for five award categories and following an extensive judging process, three finalists per category attended the award ceremony. Many congratulations to the winners:

  • Inspirational Award - Lieutenant Colonel Lucy Giles
  • Outstanding Contribution Award - Lieutenant Colonel Emma Hutley
  • Most Collaborative Award - Flight Lieutenant Harriet Tadikonda
  • Special Award - Joint Winners - Heledd Kendrick and Steward Janine Mayoll
  • Promotion of Gender Diversity - Amelia Gould

The overall Women in Defence Award 2016 was presented to Lieutenant Colonel Lucy Giles.

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    Women in Defence Awards 2016

Andrew Hooke - COO, PA Consulting Group

Andrew Hooke

PA Consulting Group has a long and proud connection with women in defence; our very first assignment over 70 years ago was to help women factory workers increase productivity in support of the war effort. We are delighted to sponsor the Women in Defence UK awards. The UK’s defence community is determined to improve its diversity, so recognising and celebrating women’s talent and the value they bring to defence makes a great contribution to achieving that goal.

Colin Paynter - Managing Director, Airbus Defence and Space UK

Colin Paynter

Airbus are delighted to support the inaugural Women In Defence Awards. Being a European company, Airbus takes pride in the diversity of its staff. The company thrives on the mix of ideas, vision and knowledge such a combination of people and cultures creates. Airbus believes that bringing together teams of people from lots of different social and cultural backgrounds not only makes work more interesting for them, but it helps them to be more creative and do a better job for our customers - reflecting the diversity of the world we live in and the customers we serve.

David Swindle - AECOM Executive Vice President, International and Special Projects

Dave Swindle

I'm proud to say that AECOM has long recognized and rewarded the hard work, contributions, and dedication of women in our defence business lines and we're involved in virtually every aspect of defence, providing direct and indirect support services to military and civilian, strategic and tactical, and intelligence activities around the world. I single out intelligence because Jill Bruning, AECOM's executive vice president and general manager within our intelligence community and services department, was named the 2015 Female Executive of the Year in the large business category at the 12th Annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business. Yes, that is a world-wide honour. Can we do better than that? I know we will, not because you'll have to work harder than your male counterparts, but because you'll work as hard as you can to support your nation's defence. You all have my highest respect and thanks for those efforts, and I wish you every success.

Kini Pathmanathan - VP Human Resources, Thales UK

Kini Pathmanathan

Thales is delighted to sponsor the 2016 Women In Defence Awards Event. At Thales we pride ourselves on being a trusted partner for a safer world. Working very closely with the defence sector, we provide solutions to help customers to make the right decisions at the right time and act accordingly. We are proud to help to enable the UK defence industry in this way.
We are also very pleased to employ many women with a background in defence including engineers and members of the armed forces – both Veterans and active Reservists. The need for a diverse workforce remains a key business priority at Thales and across the industry, and I hope that the outstanding achievements of so many of your members will inspire other women to follow in their successful footsteps.

John McCollum, BAE Systems

John McCollum

BAE Systems is proud to recognise and celebrate the work of women in the UK's defence industry by sponsoring the 'Outstanding Contribution' category in the Women in Defence Awards. We believe it's vital to promote positive role models in the industry.

Allan Thomson - Chief Executive, Aspire Defence Limited

Allan Thomson

Aspire Defence is delighted to be involved with the first Women in Defence Awards. As one of the MOD’s largest contractors we are committed to helping our client to maximise the potential of their greatest asset –people. Indeed Aspire Defence is proud of the opportunity we provide to women to succeed in the business world. I hope that various female Aspire Board members, senior executives as well as “rising stars” will attend the Dinner in October to show how talented women can rise to the top of their profession. I congratulate Angela Owen and her team in driving forward this excellent initiative and look forward to supporting them in meeting their vision for Women in Defence.

Jacqui Ferguson - General Manager UK&I and MEMA Cluster, HP Enterprise Services

Jacqui Ferguson

Hewlett Packard Enterprise Defence has been an MoD technology partner of forty years and I have always valued our diverse workforce. In 2016 we are delighted to support the Women in Defence Awards through our sponsorship of the Special Award. It fully aligns with our corporate goals of encouraging talented women into HPE and the hi-tech sector with their STEM skills and unique perspective and ability to contribute to the Defence and Security of the UK. This complements our Armed Forces Corporate Covenant work for which we are a Gold Member and support SSAFA which helps the families of Armed Forces personnel.

Adrian Gregory - UK&I CEO, ATOS

Adrian Gregory

Atos is delighted to be sponsoring the Women in Defence Awards. We recognise the importance of promoting diversity in the workplace but also the equally important need to raise the awareness of STEM skills within the defence industry. Therefore, we are proud to support the Women in the Defence Awards, it aligns with our priorities of encouraging greater diversity and engaging young people to develop their STEM skillset, and to help them become the digital leaders of the future.

Contact and engage

For more information about nominations and the event, please email us at

To view the Women in Defence UK website please click here


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