Rising Stars in Defence 2016

WeAreTheCity are proud to announce the winners of their Top 100 Rising Star awards. The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 100 role models across 20 different industries and professions. The awards also included a new category in 2016 which celebrates the efforts of senior individuals who champion gender equality both within and outside of their organisations.

The awards were entered by 850 individuals were judged by a panel of 21 independent judges. Over 28,000 public votes were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from across 110 countries. The awards were kindly sponsored by Barclays and supported by AON, Bloomberg, Cancer Research UK (Women of Influence), The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Executive and Personal Assistants Association, EY, Keir, Lloyd’s, ISS, Morgan Stanley, Newton Investment Management, Oliver Wyman in partnership with UN Women National Committee UK, PA Consulting, PedalSure, PwC, Reed Smith, Societe Generale, Twenty Recruitment, Virgin Media Business and Worldpay.

Vanessa Vallely, MD of WeAreTheCity said “It has been a total honour to run this years awards and highlight the achievements of so many amazing women, the calibre of entries was truly phenomenal.  WeAreTheCity is very much about supporting the female pipeline and introducing these awards was a perfect opportunity to showcase the amazing talent of women across the UK. We are exceptionally proud of our winners and look forward to following their future success.  We wouldn’t have been able to launch these awards without the support of so many organisations who took no convincing to support these women and recognise their achievements. Both myself, my team, our sponsors, judges and supporters are very much looking forward to celebrating with all of our winners at Barclays on 30 June”.

Once again, we would like to congratulate all our winners and extend a sincere thanks to everyone who supported Rising Stars during 2016.

Sarah Stevens

Royal Fleet Auxilliary

Sarah has been an Officer Cadet in the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) for 2.5 years and is currently undertaking the final phase of her training at sea before sitting her oral board at the end of the year.

In addition to representing the RFA in both the RN COMPASS and Naval Servicewomen committees, she regularly writes articles for Nautilus International, the Defence Intranet and the charity Human Rights at Sea.

Sarah is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is keen to improve the visibility of the RFA within the MOD and the RN, bringing the specific issues that the LGBT and female RFA personnel face at sea to the forefront. In her spare time Sarah volunteers as a Special Constable in the North West of England.

Hayley Barnden

Ministry of Defence

My name is Hayley Barnden, I’m 28 years old and I currently work as a Submarine Safety Engineer for the Ministry of Defence.

I got this role through an Advanced Apprenticeship in Engineering Management which I started in September 2010. During the course of my apprenticeship I won two awards, the first – the Elvy and Coast Charity Award – for my dedication to self-improvement and development over the year; the second the Sir David Cardwell Memorial Prize awarded to a final year apprentice that has successfully completed their scheme and overcome great difficulty during the course of their apprenticeship.

In the my apprenticeship I became a STEM Ambassador, a role that I thoroughly enjoy and still continue to regularly attend events four years later. After completing my apprenticeship I took up a role as a Submarine Safety engineer, achieving promotion after 16 months.

In addition to my day job I am passionate about diversity and inclusion, and am co-chair of both my employers LGBT network and InterEngineering South West a grass-roots initiative to help attract, support and retain LGBT engineers, along with their straight allies.

I am currently studying part-time towards my Electronics degree at the University of West England.

Natalie Grainger

846 Naval Air Squadron

I grew up on Guernsey and at 19 I decided to join the Royal Navy. I joined to become a pilot and it took almost four years of training to become qualified as a frontline helicopter pilot. I joined the Commando Helicopter Force and I have been fortunate to fly all over the world; Norway, California, Afghanistan, Jordan, and all over Europe. I would say I’m one of a handful of female pilots in the Navy, but I can’t say it’s ever effected my progression, I’m a firm believer that you get out what you put in and hard work always pays dividends. I have been in the Royal Navy for over 8 years now and I am excited to see what further opportunities the Navy will offer. In my spare time I enjoy all things active; wakeboarding, snowboarding, cycling, mountain biking and running.

Sarah Cotman

RAF

Sarah Cotman is a Royal Air Force specialist surgical nurse.  She is currently the Specialist Nurse Advisor for Surgery for the RAF and has worked tirelessly to improve the surgical nursing practice within Defence.  She works clinically as a Surgical Emergency Nurse Practitioner with a major UK trauma centre. Alongside this day job, she is the Sports Allies Programme Lead for RAF Freedom Network. She works across the RAF to improve inclusion and access to sport for all. With a specialist interest in improving LGBT and Female representation across the sporting communities. She works with leading RAF Sports facilities to promote positive messaging and support to LGBT personnel and gender equity for anyone wishing to engage in Service sports.

Sherry McBain

RAF

Squadron Leader Sherry McBain is an RAF Nursing Officer and a team leader on the Critical Care Air Support Team (CCAST). She repatriates critically ill or injured patients from global locations and she specialises in the care and safe transfer of patients with brain injuries. McBain holds the position of co-deputy chair of the RAF LGBT FREEDOM Network. In this voluntary role she is passionate and focused on improving the lived experience for the RAF LGBT community and educating the wider RAF about these challenges A driven, passionate and inspiring woman, she strives to be a visible role model to women and the LGBT community within and external to defence. McBain is also a school role model for two charities, Stonewall and Diversity Role Models.

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