Why was the team nominated?
Seeing the Women in Defence UK awards call for entrants on the intranet I saw the inclusive teamwork category and thought I can’t think of when I have worked in a more diverse team. The team consists of six engineers based in MOD Main Building, London, working for the Project Controls function of DE&S, predominantly assessing value for money on weapon system programmes. All members of the team have equal opportunity to contribute to the Project Controls scrutiny advice to support commercial negotiations. The team consists of 2 women, and 4 men, from different ethnic cultures, religions, age demographics, educational backgrounds and working patterns. They share a common bond of food, humour, and desire to obtain value for money for the British tax payer.
The application required a named nominee who in this one category could be either male or female. Speaking to my fellow team members I suggested nominating our Head of Profession Alan Hodgson, who devotes so much of his time supporting and mentoring the team despite being semi-retired and contracted at 3 days a week. They all immediately agreed and I drafted the nomination getting a little wordsmith glitter sprinkled over it from a manager who was handy with a pen. The surprise nomination was submitted and the team journey began.
Alan received an out of the blue email, congratulating him on his team nomination which somewhat took him by surprise. The team then waited to hear if we had been shortlisted, and were delighted to be invited to the shortlist event in Main Building in September, were we heard that this year there had been nearly 400 nominations across the 8 categories and in the inclusive team category were 1 of the 6 teams on the shortlist. In October, the category finalist were announced and we were again delighted to be put forward to the final 3 and invited to the finalist awards dinner held at Plaisterers’ Hall in November. Alan and I attended and it was a fantastic event to be invited to and an excellent networking opportunity. It was privilege to be there representing both DE&S and the team and I think the room was quite impressed by the £300M cost avoidance recommendations the team made last year during the nomination announcements. It was great to hear about all the WID achievements and although we did not win, having sat next to the winning team at dinner “17 Port and Maritime Regiment RLC, Army“ and heard from their Quartermaster about her military career from a private soldier and now a Major and the changes she has seen, it was great that they won the diverse team award having achieved a women in every rank from Private to Lt Col.
What went through your head when you heard your team had been selected as finalists for the Inclusive Teamwork Award?
That’s absolutely brilliant and what do I wear!
If you were judging the Inclusive Teamwork Award category, what would you be looking for in a nomination?
That’s a tough one - a stimulating story that stands out and had an effect.
What does being nominated for the Inclusive Teamwork Award mean to you?
I was the one nominating my team, but the team getting through to be in the Top 3 Finalists make me very proud both of the team and how Defence has diversified since I joined it in 1990.
If you had a piece of advice for future Inclusive Teamwork Award nominees, what would that be?
Enjoy the journey and let your management chain know all about it to – some of the best publicity both the team and I have ever had.