RAF Personnel win big at Women in Defence awards

Women of the RAF won numerous awards last night at the annual Women in Defence awards,  hosted at the Guildhall, London.

Three out of our four RAF finalists took home the winner’s trophy in their categories. 

Chief Technician Paula Cil won the Unsung Heroine Award for her work encouraging young people to get involved in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) activities and for her welfare support to families of deployed personnel. 

“There’s no words to describe how privileged I feel to win; for the support I’ve been given by everybody else and the support from all the other inspirational women in the room.” 

Chief Technician Paula Cil

Chief Technician Paula Cil

Wing Commander Toni-Jane Hoare won the Most Collaborative Award for her work on the UK F-35 Lightning programme. Heading up the £2 billion project, Toni-Jane had to pull together disparate stakeholders in an extremely complex environment. 

“It’s amazing to be personally recognised and to see more recognition for women making their mark in defence. The services are a male dominated environment but the RAF is incredibly supportive of women: it’s a real opportunity for us on a level playing field.” 

Wing Commander Toni-Jane Hoare

The STEM in Defence Award was won by STARRSHIP – a partnership of the RAF, Rolls Royce and the RAF Association – for their work promoting STEM to young people. 

Sergeant Hayley Sinclair was a finalist for the Special Award for her continued welfare support to personnel who are long-term sick. 

Air Marshal Sue Gray

The RAF’s Air Marshal Sue Gray, the highest ranking woman ever in the British Armed Forces, presented the awards throughout the evening. 

“Tonight is not only a celebration of these extraordinary women, but of how far women in defence have come. Defence needs to recruit and retain the best talent to remain at the forefront of innovation across so many emerging technologies,” 

Air Marshal Sue Gray

The annual awards are organised by Women in Defence UK, an organisation that promotes the value of gender diversity throughout defence. The shortlisting process saw a panel of judges whittle down hundreds of nominations over many months. 

Congratulations to our winners and finalists. The RAF is proud of the incredible work our personnel do. 

Wing Commander Toni-Jane Hoare and Chief Technician Paula Cil Source: RAF

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