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The winners of the Women in Defence UK Awards have been announced, as the centenary of women’s suffrage draws to a close.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson took to the stage on Tuesday 9 November to hand out the awards during a ceremony held at The Imperial War Museum in London. There were ten award winners in total, of whom one – Michelle Partington – was later named ‘Women of the Year’.

A former RAF aircraft-woman, Michelle created ‘Behind the Mask’ to provide free support to those experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Michelle has also spoken publicly about here own PTSD journey and, with no competitive sporting experience, she participated in the 2017 Invictus Games as part of Team GB.

The entire roster of 2018 award winners went as follows:

  • Woman of the Year 2018 Award
    Michelle Partington, Former Royal Air Force
  • Inspirational Award
    Major Nics Wetherill, Army
  • Outstanding Contribution Award
    Corporal Karen Jones, RAF
  • Most Collaborative Award
    Sarah Padley, Defence Intelligence
  • Special Award
    Michelle Partington, Former Royal Air Force
  • Emerging Talent Award
    Lucy Finch, DE&S
  • Innovation Award
    Professor Petra Oyston
  • Unsung Heroines Award
    Maggie O’Connell-Western, Northrop Grumman
  • Promotion of Gender Balance Award
    Victoria, MI5
  • Inclusive Teamwork Award
    Joint Operational Team, GCHQ
  • STEM in Defence Award
    Lieutenant Colonel Deborah Taylor, Army Reserve

Now in its third year, Women in Defence this year received 300 nominations from across the defence community; including Armed Forces, MOD Civil Service, GCHQ, MI5 and SIS, defence industry, the defence third sector and the Houses of Parliament Security personnel.

Angela Owen, Founder of Women in Defence UK and Defence Expert at PA Consulting, said: “We’re delighted to have seen such an inspiring and diverse list of finalists during this special year marketing the centenary of suffrage.

“Each finalist – ranging in rank from Lance Corporal to Captain Royal Navy and comprising women and teams from all three of the Armed Forces, the MOD Civil Service, GCHQ and MI5, defence industry and the Houses of Parliament Security – should feel rightly proud of their exceptional achievements and recognition within the defence community.”

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Post written by: Robert Atherton


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