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Sam Healy, Winner of the Special Award

What went through your head when you heard your name read out as the Winner of the Special Award?

Honestly, I really didn’t expect it so was a bit stunned! – but I was so proud to have been selected and really touched at the thoughtfulness of my wonderful colleagues who had nominated me.

What work were you nominated for? Was there a specific achievement that resulted in your nomination?

I was nominated for my work on The 5% Club which is a campaign to inspire employees to create 'earn and learn' skills training opportunities across the UK by driving the recruitment of apprentices, graduates and sponsored students. Members consist of large and small employers from a wide range of sectors who want to make a difference to people’s life chances and our shared prosperity as a nation competing in global markets. I led the campaign from its launch in 2013, responsible for growing membership, running events and raising the profile of The 5% Club.

Can you provide a brief overview of your role and responsibilities?

I am Director of Corporate Responsibility (CR) for QinetiQ Group and am responsible for CR strategy and the delivery of a range of initiatives including diversity and inclusion, ethics and STEM outreach. I led The 5% Club from its launch in 2013 and I’m now on the board and I am also on the Board of the Institute of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability, focused on the continued professional development of CR practitioners.

If you were judging the category, what would you be looking for in a nomination?

Someone who has given it their all – and is inspirational to others. This doesn’t need to mean they have changed the world, but through their actions and behaviour they have had a real impact on those around them.

What does winning the Special Award mean to you?

it means a huge amount. I am incredibly fortunate to love what I do and to be recognised with such a prestigious award is really special.

If you had a piece of advice for others in the defence sector what would that be?

If you have an inspirational female colleague I would urge you to nominate them for a Women in Defence award. It is a fantastic way to celebrate outstanding people and a wonderful way to raise the profile of the contribution of women in defence.

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