RAF News

Celebrating Women in Defence for 10th anniversary

Three female personnel stand.
The RAF strive to make Defence a better place, with greater equality and diversity, as well as improving developmental opportunities for all.

Women in Defence UK will celebrate their 10th anniversary with a virtual Conference on Wednesday 8th and Thursday 9th September.  This year the theme will focus on ‘Reflect, Recognise and Roar.’

Women in Defence UK was founded in 2011 by Angela Owen OBE, an ex-Army servicewoman, to celebrate individuals and organisations that make Defence a better place.

Personnel stands at microphones, by memorial.
The RAF also have women representing them at key events and various memorial ceremonies.

The RAF has made several of their own movements to create greater equality and developmental opportunities.  The recent announcement of the first woman to command an Operational Air Group; the Company of the Year 2021 and Annual Apprenticeship Conference Awards.

The RAF provide developmental opportunities for women, with Air Commodore Suraya Marshall being the first woman to Command an RAF 'Operational' Group; she is also the new Co-Patron of the Secret Spitfire charity.

Other successes include the RAFs involvement in Pride Month parades and religious ceremonies – all to build the next generation of a diverse and inclusive RAF that continues to meet our operational commitments in defending and supporting our nation and allies.

Three personnel smile as they take a selfie during a Pride March.
The RAF aim to be an inclusive organisation irrespective of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Conference will hold several sessions where speakers from across the Defence Enterprise will discuss topics centred around equality and advocating change within defence.

Two RAF Police stand with face coverings.
Women also contribute to the RAF support during Operation PITTING.

Opening the day will be David Williams, MOD Permanent Secretary, before Aviva discuss their work to make paternity, surrogacy, adoption and leave to match maternity pay more equal.

Trainee Gunner stands with family.
Women in the RAF Regiment Gunners are graduating at RAF Honington, from the course 6-20 of Meiktila Flight.

Times columnist Mary Ann Sieghart will also discuss her book ‘The Authority Gap’, about why women are still taken less seriously than men and what we can do about it.  Jane Cunningham and Philippa Roberts will also talk about their book ‘Brandsplaining: Why Marketing is (Still) Sexist and How to Fix It.’

Women stand around Chinook helicopter.
The RAF are very lucky to have so many incredible women in Team Benson. 

Other speakers include members of the Woman of the Year Winners Panel; Paralympian, Jade Jones-Hall; and Judi James, a Big Brother Body Language expert.  There will also be work-life balance hacks from Dr. Almuth McDowall and how mental fitness is as important as physical fitness from Johanna Hooper.

Conference banner with date and social media tags.

You can find out more about the speakers attending the Conference at the Women in Defence UK website.  To purchase your ticket for the event, visit Eventbrite – with a 20% discount for those in the Armed Forces and Public Sector.

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