The 7th Women in Defence Awards took place last night to honour the contributions and achievements of women across the Defence sector. Guests from across industry and defence, including several of our sponsors and supporters, gathered at the Guildhall in London for a glittering awards dinner to recognise and celebrate the incredible individuals and teams who work in defence of the nation.
Maj Gen Lamont Kirkland, CEO Team Forces said, ‘Team Forces has been a loyal supporter of Women in Defence since 2016 and we share their vision of improving gender diversity and equality of opportunity across defence. The awards last night were a shining example of how the organisation has made huge strides in its mission to inspire, challenge and encourage change in the Defence sector. We salute you.’
Huge thank you for their support to our WiD Awards Partners Fujitsu, Amey, Sopra Steria/Shared Services Connect and in particular to Atos and Dell Technologies who sponsored the Equality of Opportunity Award and the Unsung Heroines Award on the night.
Team Forces was thrilled that our very own Polar Preet, Capt Preet Chandi MBE, won the prestigious Inspirational Award and was then announced as Women In Defence Awards 2022 … Woman of the Year during the event finale!
“It is an absolute privilege and honour to receive the Woman of the Year Award.” Chandi said in her pre-recorded message, “There are so many women who have helped me every step of the way, especially when it got tough. So to me you are all women of the year! It’s really important to help and support one another. I really believe that nothing is impossible – wherever we’re from, whatever we look like and whatever out experiences – we really can achieve anything. And I really want to inspire more people to believe that”
In January 2022 Preet became the first woman of colour to ski solo to the South Pole! Taking only 40 days to complete the 700-mile trek she has already inspired thousands of people with her bravery and tenaciousness and will no doubt inspire even more as she is currently attempting her second record breaking expedition in Antarctica!. Preet hopes to become the first woman to cross Antarctica solo and unsupported (she might also be the first person ever to reach the South Pole twice in the same year on solo and unsupported expeditions!).
Preet is aiming for the entire expedition to take around 75 days and hopes to be back in the UK at the end of Jan/start of Feb 2023.
The Awards bring the whole of the defence enterprise together to recognise and celebrate the amazing individuals, teams and organisations working in defence of the nation, be they in the Armed Forces, Civil Service defence industry, or the defence 3rd sector. In an uncertain world, the deeds of the Finalists and Winners demonstrate what can be achieved and showcase what defence has to offer as a career.
Women need strong role models to show them that they can realise their ambition and the Women In Defence are first class role models and the stories they have to tell are an inspiration to us all. I am proud to be part of this network and believe that together we can drive change for good.
Nikki Kelly, SVP Public Sector & Defence Northern Europe, Atos
Diversity & Equality is important in every organisation or walk of life and the Defence Sector is no different. For this reason Dell Technologies take great pride in supporting the Women in Defence Awards for the fourth year running.
Richard Rawcliffe, Vice President and General Manager UK Public Sector for Dell Technologies
At Fujitsu, we identify and support female talent, targeted development programmes and mentoring to help create a gender balanced workforce and continue to eradicate our gender pay gap. After committing to the Women in Defence Charter in 2021 and are delighted to, for the second year, be the Twitter Wall Partner for the Women in Defence Awards Dinner.
Anwen Owen, Head of Fujitsu UK
I am very proud to be supporting the Women in Defence Awards and celebrate the impact women have within the Industry. Greater diversity publicly commits to empowering women at all levels and signals to female employees that they will be respected and valued. Directing attention to women in leadership provides others with role models to aspire to and ensures female leaders are more accessible and visible to both current and future generations.
Sue-Ellen Wright,Managing Director ADS at Sopra Steria
Amey is proud of its long association with the Armed Forces community and we’re delighted, once again, to be provided with the opportunity of sponsoring this year’s prestigious Women in Defence UK awards, which aims to celebrate individuals and teams who strive to support equality of opportunity for all. Our vision is to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and is treated equally, fairly, and respectfully so we can become an example that others admire.
Craig McGilvray, Managing Director, Secure Infrastructure at Amey