Published 20 October 2023

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DE&S is proud to have three finalists in the Women in Defence Awards 2023.

Jo Osburn-Hughes, Lisa Hodge and Pauline Lewis are all in the running to be winners of the prestigious annual honours, which will be announced in London on November 29.

Women in Defence UK is an independent not-for-profit organisation, founded in 2011 by former Army officer Angela Owen OBE. With a network of more than 15,000 people and 40+ partners spanning every level of the defence sector, it aims to stimulate positive change across Defence.

The annual awards recognises the exceptional contributions made by women across the defence enterprise, including those working for UK Armed Forces, the Ministry of Defence and industry.

Lisa, the Senior Commercial Officer in Ships Support, is down to the final three of the Inspirational Award.

The co-chair and co-founder of the Defence Dyslexia Network said:

Lisa and Pauline

Lisa Hodge (Left) and Pauline Lewis (Right)

“I am absolutely over the moon to have made it through to the finals.

“I am so proud of what I have achieved within the Defence Dyslexia Network. Giving people the much-needed support through their dyslexic journey is critical to ensuring they can thrive with dyslexia.

“I’m also proud of the co-production work I do with the local health board to create better pathways for neurodiverse children and families to go through the diagnosis pathway. Congratulations to all the finalists.”

Pauline, who works in the Ships domain, is in the running for the Outstanding Contribution Award. She has worked for the Ministry of Defence for an impressive 52 years.

The Senior Inventory Manager in the Water Safety Equipment Team said: 

“I am stunned to have been selected as a finalist in the Outstanding Contribution to Defence award. I have an extremely busy role, which I have loved being a part of. This recognition has extra special meaning to me as I plan to retire next April, so to leave with a finalist nomination makes me very proud.”

The Women in Defence Charter, of which DE&S is a signatory, was launched to improve gender balance in both the public and private sectors of the defence enterprise.

Signatories are committing to driving inclusion and diversity within their organisations and providing opportunities for women to succeed at all levels. The charter’s ambition is to achieve 30% female representation at all levels across defence by 2030.

Jo, who is Chief Operating Officer for our Land domain, is a finalist in the Equity of Opportunity Award.

She said:

Jo Osburn-Hughes (Left) and Pauline Lewis (Right).

Jo Osburn-Hughes (Left) and Pauline Lewis (Right).

“I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to have made it to the finals and many congratulations to Lisa and Pauline. I am committed to challenging myself and others to build a more inclusive community.

“I’m proud of the progress we have made and excited about the opportunities ahead of us.”

DE&S CEO Andy Start is the newest member of the Women in Defence Strategic Advisory Board.

He said:

“The Women in Defence Awards are an important moment to recognise our colleagues for the positive impact they have in the Defence sector. I’m proud we have so many talented women working across our organisation – this is an opportunity for us to recognise them.”

Three more DE&S staff – Lucy Crowther (Air), Lt Col Kelly Tait (Land) and Suzy Harris (Strategic Enablers) all received medals for being shortlisted for this year’s awards.