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Women in Defence UK Awards 2016 – winners announced

The winners of  the Women in Defence UK’s inaugural awards in association with PA Consulting Group were announced last night (Thursday 13 October) at a ceremony at the Honourable Artillery Company’s Headquarters. Lieutenant General Richard Nugee, Chief of Defence People presented the awards to the winners of each of the five categories and an overall award for Woman of the Year.

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

The winners

Inspirational Award and Woman of the Year

Lieutenant Colonel Lucy Giles RLC, Thales

The winner is the first woman to undertake the position of New College Commander at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) and has been instrumental in introducing fully integrated male and female platoons for the first time. She has actively supported the Army’s promotion of gender equality. She has already been recognised as one of the most inspirational figures in Defence by a national newspaper and selected by DeBretts as one of their 500 most inspirational people.

Outstanding Contribution Award

Lieutenant Colonel Emma Hutley RAMC, BAE Systems

Lt Col Hutley is the Defence Consultant Advisor for Pathology and currently the only Regular pathologist serving in the military. She was charged with understanding the complexities of operating a laboratory and leading the development of an effective capability within the Disease Treatment Unit during the Ebola pandemic. Lt Col Hutley’s broader contributions include acting as the UK lead for a bilateral research programme with the US into reducing wound infection rates within injured service personnel.

Most Collaborative Award

Flight Lieutenant Harriet Tadikonda, Aspire Defence

The winner is the founder and director of the ‘One Voice Initiative’. The initiative brings together defence personnel from across the three services to form a multi faith and humanist choir in the name of co-operation and tolerance. She has helped create a documentary of singers highlighting the key similarities between faiths and their compatibility with a life of service. The documentary ‘United by Faith’ was launched at the House of Lords in July 2016 with high profile support.

Special Award – Two winners in this category

Heledd Kendrick, HPE

Heledd Kendrick is the founder and CEO of Recruit for Spouses (RfS), a recruitment agency offering military spouses a free mentoring and coaching service, helping them write CVs and giving them a much needed confidence boost. Heledd has played a significant role in changing attitudes towards spousal employment at the highest political levels, across the MoD and in the wider corporate industry. She has been provided funding by the UK Chancellor and this is a sign of her success and has allowed the RfS platform to grow significantly. 

Steward Janine Mayoll, Royal Navy

Steward Janine Mayoll managed to maintain utmost professionalism and delivered her duties in a manner far above that expected of her during a period of almost unparalleled personal adversity. She displayed tremendous courage and exemplified the Royal Navy’s core values in her role as Steward for VIP visits and that high standards were delivered. Steward Janine Mayoll is now a proud member of HMS QUEEN ELIZABETH and it has been her dream to sail in the ship as she sails into Portsmouth for the first time.

Promotion of Gender Diversity

Amelia Gould, ATOS

Amelia Gould is a senior engineer in BAE systems and a passionate STEM ambassador. She has helped a failing school improve its STEM results and helped primary school teachers improve their understanding of the new computing curriculum. Within BAE she has been working to improve the percentage of female engineers in Portsmouth dockyard and identified new ways of creating a better working environment for women. She is actively launching the WISE “People Like Me” pilot scheme within the Portsmouth area for BAE.

Angela Owen, Founder of Women in Defence and defence expert at PA Consulting Group said: “It’s really great to see the hard work of this network result in its first recognised awards ceremony. The UK’s defence community is determined to improve its diversity, so identifying and celebrating women’s talent and the value they bring to defence makes a great contribution to achieving that goal. Everyone nominated, whether they’re from the Armed Forces, defence industry, the MOD civil service or the third sector, deserves to be incredibly proud of their achievements.”

The judges who selected the shortlist and finalists were:

  • Kevin Craven, UK Central Government Chief Executive – Serco
  • Ann Francke, CEO - Chartered Management Institute 
  • Heather Patricia Melville, Director Strategic Partnerships - Transaction Services & Head of Business Inclusion Initiatives – Commercial & Private Banking RBS
  • Kathryn Nawrockyi, Gender Equality Director – Business in the Community
  • Esther Wallington, Civilian HR Director – Ministry of Defence 
  • Lois Nicholson, Head of Scrutiny – Ministry of Defence
  • Natasha Stromberg, CEO and founder – Genderbuzz
  • Lieutenant Colonel Kim McCutcheon, Commanding Officer – First Aid Nursing Yeomanry
  • Peter Smart, Chair of Whole Force Industry Group and special advisor to PA Consulting
  • Alison Stevenson – Director Head Office, Ministry of Defence
  • Sue O’Brien, Partner at Ridgeways, founder member of the Women’s Business Council and Chair of CMI Women


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