Nuclear Skills Strategy Group

01 Apr 2021

Winners of 2021 Women in Nuclear UK Awards


Five outstanding people along with groups from across the nuclear sector have been honoured at the annual Women in Nuclear UK (WiN UK) Awards which took place at the end of the week-long Nuclear Skills Festival.

You can watch the videos of the Awards Ceremony to learn more about the fabulous achievements of all the shortlisted nominees and winners listed below:

WiN Awards – Part 1 – YouTube

WiN Awards – Part 2 – YouTube

WiN Awards – Part 3 – YouTube

Champion of the Year – Gill Thomas

Gill Thomas, Champion of the Year 2021

Sponsored by Cavendish Nuclear

Gill Thomas of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority took the Champion of the Year award. She was recognised for her role as lead of the WiN North West regional team and her tireless efforts to drive the equality, diversity and inclusion agenda. These have included running free unconscious bias training sessions and her work with The Girls’ Network.

Ally of the Year – Colin Bell

Colin Bell, Ally of the Year 2021

Sponsored by Atkins

Colin Bell from Sellafield Ltd beat off stiff competition to win the Ally of the Year award. The judges referenced his work in forming Sellafield’s “Women in Control Systems” group which empowers women in this field, helping them develop to reach leadership positions. Colin is also a valuable supporter of WiN UK’s Mentoring Programme.

Mission Possible – Sian Butler

Sian Butler, Mission Possible 2021

Sponsored by KBR

The Mission Possible award was given to Sian Butler from AWE for her outstanding work as a role model, inspiring women across AWE and the wider industry. Throughout her career Sian has been the first female in multiple roles. She has now demonstrably broken traditional norms as a member of the Executive team and the most senior female scientist at AWE.

Regional Innovation – WiN Central England Team

WiN Central England team, Regional Innovation Winner 2021

Sponsored by Nuclear Decommissioning Authority

The Award for Regional Innovation went to the WiN Central regional team, who impressed the judges  with their wide range of positive regional partnership activities.

Industry Charter Signatory of the Year – RWM

Sponsored by Assystem

Radioactive Waste Management, Industry Charter Signatory of the Year 2021

Radioactive Waste Management (RWM) was the recipient of the award which recognises the WiN UK Industry Charter Signatory of the Year. RWM, led by CEO Karen Wheeler, have looked to improve equality, diversity and inclusion within its own organisation and across the industry using a variety of impactful activities including connecting with others in the industry to understand and embed best practice.

President’s Award Winner – Daron Hodges

Daron Hodges, President’s Award Winner

The final main award was the President’s Award which was presented to Daron Hodges. He joined the WiN Western regional leadership team in 2019 as the mentoring lead and always demonstrated passionate advocacy for diversity, inlcusion and self-achievement.

An inspiration to us all, Daron was diagnosed with terminal cancer and not expected to make Easter 2020. Yet, through his positivity and determined will to fight, he is with us today, still carrying the WiN UK banner and always there to share his positive outlook.

Special Commendations

The judging panel also recognised a number of inspirational nominees with Special Commendations for their continued role in supporting WiN UK’s mission.

The commendations went to:

  • UKAEA’s Elina Militello Asp
  • EDF Energy’s Lidia Bosa
  • Former WiN UK President and now WiN Global Executive Director, Jack Gritt

Our awards, like our annual conference, were a little different this year, but I can certainly atest to finding the judging harder than ever. We were blown away by the nominations and all that has been achieved this year! Picking winners was certainly not easy.Lynsey Valentine, President of Women in Nuclear UK, said:

“The pandemic has impacted us all in different ways. It’s fair to say that it has often had a disproportionate effect on women, with many  being primary carers. This makes the achievements of some of our women finalists, faced with juggling their day job and home-schooling, all the more remarkable.

“I want to congratulate all the winners, finalists and indeed everyone who was nominated and encourage them all to carry on the good work they are doing towards our mission to create a fantastically successful diverse nuclear workforce.”

Highlights