18 Oct 2018

Women of Achievement Award presented to Royal Air Force

The achievements of female Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel have been officially recognised at the annual ‘Women of the Year Luncheon and Awards’ in Birmingham.

Flight Sergeant Michelle Crolla, an Aerospace Avionics Engineer, was one of 12 service personnel to accept the ‘Women of Achievement Award’ on behalf of the RAF’s female personnel.

“It’s an overwhelming situation and a real privilege to accept this award,” said Flight Sergeant Crolla. “It’s really nice that people outside of the Armed Forces recognise and are really proud of what we as women do in the RAF. I think this recognition shows that our country really gets behind us; they support us and they’re proud of us.”

Air Vice Marshal Tamara Jennings, one of the highest-ranking women in the RAF, praised the awards which celebrate the achievements of women and raise funds for such charities as ‘The Prince’s Trust – Women Supporting Women’ initiative.

“It is a privilege to accept this award on behalf of all the incredible women who have served and of course those who continue to serve in the RAF,” said Air Vice Marshal Jennings. “The RAF has always been at the forefront of change – exemplified by being the first of the UK armed forces to open all its roles to women.

“I am proud to be part of a service where people, regardless of their gender, can fulfil their talent and potential and are paid based solely on their skill and expertise.”

In addition to the RAF’s centenary, the awards also marked 100 years of the Women’s Suffrage Movement with a moving speech from Helen Pankhurst, great granddaughter of Emmeline Pankhurst and granddaughter of Sylvia Pankhurst – both leaders of the British Suffragette movement.

Pauline Edden, Director of the Women of the Year concluded: “Never has it been more timely or important to celebrate women’s achievements. Over the last 12 months we have seen worldwide recognition of the struggle for women’s rights. Our role in promoting and celebrating inspirational female role models is therefore more important than ever.”

Last year, the RAF became the first of the UK Armed Forces to open up every role to all, regardless of gender.

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