Event Report: Celebrating 2019 - And What's Next?

Shortly after our fantastic Women in Defence UK Awards Dinner at the end of 2019, we came together with winners, partners and supporters to celebrate what we’ve achieved in 2019 and to look forward to 2020.


Our Founder, Angela Owen, kicked off with a look at Women in Defence’s highlights of 2019. These ranged from the launch of the Charter following an international panel event at DSEI to our first ever Shortlisting Conference and a fantastic Awards Dinner at the London Guildhall. There’s no doubt it was a successful year!


And we can expect even more in 2020.


Women Ahead presented on their plans for the new Women in Defence UK Mentoring Programme. The programme will be different to the many excellent mentoring programmes in existence as the public sector will mentor the private sector and the private sector will mentor the public sector. This will allow the exchange of invaluable external feedback and perspectives from people with quite different experiences and backgrounds, but an in-depth knowledge of the sector. Major General Sharon Nesmith commented that being a mentor has taught her just as much as having a mentor, ‘reframing’ the way she looks at a range of different issues.


We also heard from RADA Business about the masterclasses we are jointly running with them. One is a series on helping women in defence make an impact – we ran this series in 2019 and got such good feedback we’ve decided to re-run it in 2020. The other masterclass is on reading and influencing the status in a room – including how to get your voice heard in meetings!


We have a host of other events planned in 2020 – to start with, we’re hosting a networking and briefing evening on 5th February with Alice Bromage, Black Mambas. If you haven’t already signed up, check out our events page.


Finally, Angela Owen interviewed our first Woman of the Year, Colonel Lucy Giles, and this year’s Woman of the Year, Phillippa Spencer. We are incredibly proud to give these impressive individuals a platform to role model what women in defence can achieve. And we know there are plenty more women doing amazing things across defence, so keep your eyes peeled for the Women in Defence UK Awards 2020 Launch on 26th February and get nominating!