Polar Preet takes top accolade at Women in Defence Awards 2022

This year’s Women in Defence Awards has seen two soldiers being honoured for their contributions and achievements across the Defence sector.

Captain Harpreet ‘Polar Preet’ Chandi who made history by becoming the first woman of colour to reach the South Pole solo and unsupported in January won two awards, both the Inspirational award and also Woman of the Year.

She was unable to collect the award in person as she has started a new expedition, attempting to be the first woman to cross Antarctica solo and unsupported. The 1,100-mile plus trek will see Preet pull all her kit and supplies on a sledge weighing around 120kg at the start of her epic journey, while battling temperatures of minus 50c and wind speeds of up to 60mph.

"Wherever we're from, whatever we look like and whatever our experiences – we really can achieve anything. And I really want to inspire more people to believe that." POLAR PREET

Preet recorded a message saying: "It is an absolute privilege and honour to receive the Woman of the Year Award. There are so many women who have helped me every step of the way, especially when it got tough. So, to me, you are all women of the year!"

Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant General Sharon Nesmith presented awards at the event and previously said of Preet’s achievements: “The British Army is extremely proud to have such a remarkable ambassador. Captain Chandi embodies the qualities we seek of all who serve – courage, commitment, and the want to be the best we can be. We wish her the very best on her latest attempt to write a new chapter in the history books.”

"Wherever we're from, whatever we look like and whatever our experiences – we really can achieve anything. And I really want to inspire more people to believe that." Polar Preet

Trooper Sally Faulkner, who only joined the Army two years ago and was one of only fourteen soldiers from 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards to successfully complete the demanding Army Leadership Development Programme earlier this year, won the award for Outstanding Contribution.

Women In Defence started in 2011 as a LinkedIn group, looking to make Defence a better place. Since then, the network has grown into an independent community that celebrates and recognises the achievements of individuals, teams and organisations working in the defence of our nation.

For more information: https://www.womenindefenceuk.com/