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The Women in Defence UK Awards 2023: Celebrating Excellence and Accelerating Gender Equity 


Beth Lloyd-Wright

5 min read

Nov 24, 2023

The Women in Defence UK Awards 2023, set for 29th November, are not just a celebration of individual and collective achievements in the defence sector but a cornerstone in the journey towards gender equity. These awards, distinguished by their inclusivity and diversity, are a testament to the commitment of Women in Defence UK to inspire and empower not just women but the entire defence community.

The Importance of the Awards

At the heart of Women in Defence UK's mission is the drive to accelerate gender equity in defence. The awards play a crucial role in this endeavour by recognising and celebrating the outstanding contributions of women, men, individuals and teams in the sector. They serve as a beacon of inspiration, showcasing the talents and achievements of all, and reinforcing the message that gender equity is not just a goal but a reality being actively shaped today.

Celebrating with Esteemed Partners

Each award category is backed by a prestigious Partner, reflecting the collaborative effort across the industry to support gender equity. The Partners, ranging from Lockheed Martin UK to the Royal Navy, BAE Systems, and many others, have extended their support and messages of encouragement, underscoring their commitment to recognising excellence in the defence sector. These endorsements are more than just ceremonial; they represent a united front in the drive for a more inclusive and equitable industry.

See our full list of partners and read their messages of support.

The Awards and Their Significance

Each category in the Women in Defence UK Awards carries a unique significance:

  • Inspirational Award (Partnered by Lockheed Martin UK): Recognises individuals who have positively influenced their colleagues' choices, driving forward equity of opportunity.
  • Outstanding Contribution Award (Partnered by BAE Systems): Honours those who have made exceptional contributions, setting powerful examples for future generations.
  • Most Collaborative Award (Partnered by KBR): Celebrates the importance of collaborative efforts in achieving success and fostering inclusive environments.
  • Resolute Spirit Award (Partnered by the Royal Navy): Acknowledges the unwavering spirit of women who have overcome adversity to achieve their goals.
  • Equity of Opportunity Award (Partnered by Eviden): Recognises the efforts to create environments where there is equity of opportunity for all individuals.
  • Emerging Talent Award (Partnered by the British Army): Highlights the achievements of early career professionals, showcasing the future of the defence sector.
  • Unsung Heroines Award (Partnered by Leidos): Celebrates women who have made enduring contributions, often without seeking recognition.
  • Innovation and Creativity Award (Partnered by QinetiQ): Honours those who have used creativity and innovation to multiply the effect of the UK defence mission.
  • Champion for Maximising Talent Award (Partnered by Northrop Grumman): Celebrates individuals and teams that have helped maximise the talent of women throughout their working life journey.
  • Inclusive Teamwork Award (Partnered by the Royal Air Force): Recognises teams that have demonstrated inclusive working leading to successful outcomes.

See our shortlist and winners from previous years on our main awards page.

A Distinguished Panel of Judges

The awards are adjudicated by a panel of esteemed judges, each bringing a wealth of experience and insight. The 'Meet the Judges' section on the award's campaign page offers an opportunity to understand their perspectives and the criteria they use to assess the incredible array of talent and achievement represented in the nominees. This rigorous and thoughtful evaluation process ensures that the awards truly reflect excellence in the defence sector.

Meet the judges over on our 2023 campaign page.

Julia Bradbury: A Special Host for a Special Evening

This year's awards are set to be even more memorable with the presence of Julia Bradbury as the guest host. Her stature and presence will add a unique dimension to the event, making it an evening of inspiration and celebration.

A Catalyst for Change

The Women in Defence UK Awards are more than just an annual event; they are a catalyst for change. By recognising and celebrating the achievements of women in defence, these awards are helping to create a critical mass that can accelerate the journey towards gender equity. They are an essential part of Women in Defence UK's broader commitments to champion the role of women in the sector and inspire the entire community to strive for excellence and equity. As we look forward to the awards night, we are reminded of the power of recognition and celebration in driving forward positive change in the defence sector and beyond.

Keep up to date with the latest by following us on social media. LinkedIn, X and Instagram. For the awards night on 29th November we will be live tweeting from @womenindefence. Please tag us and use #WiDAwards2023 to get involved.