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Updated: Dec 2, 2021

350 people from across the defence sector met at the Guildhall London for the 6th Women in Defence UK Awards, to recognise and celebrate the incredible individuals and teams who work in defence of the nation. The ten category winners and the overall Woman of the Year were announced on the night.

Inspirational – Holli Kimble, MOD

Outstanding Contribution – Brigadier Alison McCourt, Army

Most collaborative – Wing Commander Sarah McDonnell, RAF

Resolute Spirit – Sergeant Georgina Smith, RAF

Emerging Talent – Caitlin Percy, BAE Systems

Innovation and Creativity – Professor Veronica Bowman, dstl

Unsung Heroine – Tina, MI5

Equality of Opportunity – Defence Breastfeeding Network, Army/MOD

STEM in Defence – Sarah Cooper, Leonardo UK Ltd

Inclusive Teamwork - Defence Digital Women's Network, MOD

Woman of the Year 2021 – Caitlin Percy, BAE Systems

Caitlin Percy, from BAE Systems, took the title of Woman of the Year 2021, for far exceeding what was to be expected of a graduate. In the few years she had been in her role she made an outstanding impact both within BAE Systems and externally.

Attendees included the Vice Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tim Fraser, Chief Executives, senior military and civil service guests, as well as the finalists themselves, whose achievements ranged from standing up for equality of opportunity, overcoming huge personal adversity or being inspirational roles models.

The evening allowed us to say thank you, not only to our amazing judges, all thirty-two of them, but also to our Partners, who support us as we strive for equality of opportunity in defence.

2022 is just around the corner. Planning for the next Awards is very well advanced. Time to start thinking about who to nominate!

Image 1: The Guildhall London. This magnificent building is situated in the City of London and has been a centre of government for over 800 years. It has been the hub of City life from the Middle Ages: the scene of famous state trials as well as the setting for receptions for royalty, statesmen and heroes. Now it’s the nucleus of a modern office complex, world leaders are entertained here and provides a splendid venue for state and civic banquets. It’s a fitting venue for an occasion such as the Women in Defence UK Awards Dinner.

Image 2: The Great Hall. This was the venue for the dinner after having drinks in the Old Library. This is where kings have been known to feast and state visitors are entertained.

Image 3: The Women in Defence UK 2021 – Woman of the Year Trophy. Each finalist, category winner, and overall winner received a trophy and this is an image of the crystal trophy given to Woman of the Year Caitlin Percy

Image 4: Founder of Women in Defence, Angela Owen OBE holding a golden envelope ready to announce a winner on the evening of the 23rd November. Angela Owen, Ex-Army, founded Women in Defence UK in 2011 with the ambition to change the face of Defence. 10 years on she has not only raised awareness of the importance of gender quality, but she has actively made defence a better place for all.

Image 5: The Women in Defence Awards 2021 was compered by Juliette Foster, an award-winning TV and Radio presenter. This year, with the threat of COVID 19 and the desire to share the awards even further, the Women in Defence UK team organised a live stream element for the evening. This meant that our compere was not only keeping the guests in the room in the know but was also hosting the evening for all those watching from home!

Image 6: An image that sums up the evening. Brilliant people, supporting brilliant people.

Image 7: Another shot of the Great Hall with all of our 350 attendees. The guests ranged from the category finalist, judges, industry and military partners, guests of Women in Defence UK, senior military, and industry officials and many more! The sea of uniforms, dresses and finery truly made for a stunning sight.

Image 8: Woman of the Year 2021- Caitlin Percy on stage with Admiral Sr Tim Fraser. The 4* greeted all finalists onto the stage alongside their awards category partner and Women in Defence UK Founder, Angela Owen.

Image 9: The WOTY’s (Women of the Year)! This has become a familiar phrase for the Women in Defence Team. Each overall winner becomes a WOTY, Caitlin will make an incredible addition to this team of formidable women!

From left to right: Woman of the Year 2017 Wing Commander Alison McLean, Woman of the Year 2020 Beth-Marie Norbury, Woman of the Year 2021 Caitlin Percy, Woman of the Year 2016 Col Lucy Giles

Remember to follow us on Twitter, Linked In and Instagram as this is how we will keep you readily up to date with Women in Defence goings on!

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