Nominations for the Men As Allies Award 2023 are now open.

With men holding the majority of roles within engineering and applied sciences, it is crucial that they are involved in making the cultural changes needed to attract and retain women in engineering and applied sciences. The Men as Allies Award, launched in 2017, seeks to celebrate a male engineer, or professional male working within the engineering, technical and applied sciences sectors, who has gone above the call of duty to support his female colleagues and address the gender imbalance within these fields.

For full details and to apply


Congratulations to Stephen Gill of World Refrigeration Day on being named as the 2022 winner.
Stephen has been a Men As Allies runner-up in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Each nomination stands on its own merit, each being different from the previous year which is remarkable in itself. One example of his work is a prize fund of $500 he donated to encourage women engineers across Africa to make videos of themselves working that can be used to encourage other women to consider engineering.

2021 winner: Dr Andy Palmer


Dr Andy Palmer, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Switch Mobility. A world-renowned automotive leader, Dr Palmer has actively addressed gender imbalances while transforming global brands such as Nissan and Aston Martin. The founder of the Palmer Foundation, an organisation which champions apprenticeships for disadvantaged youths, he has acted as a mentor to female engineers and driven cultural change in the automation industry through his progressive approach and work on intersectional issues affecting gender.

WES Trustee and Head Judge Susan Robson said:

“The importance of allyship in addressing issues of inequality cannot be underestimated and is a key tool in our mission to create an engineering industry that reflects the society it serves. In allies, we observe the marks of the best kind of leadership: the ability to empathise with those whose lived experiences are not those of our own and the recognition that strong teams are made up of individuals with diverse strengths.

“It is therefore with great pleasure that we read this year’s entries for the WES Men As Allies award, and with a huge sense of pride that WES is in a position to recognise the good work being done. Our winners haven’t just been good managers or colleagues – a bar we thankfully acknowledge as low – but have demonstrated the willingness to look beyond their own story, recognise barriers experienced by others and reach in to offer practical, and impressive, support. Thank you to all our entrants on behalf of WES, the individuals you have helped and the allies of tomorrow for whom you act as role models.”


2020 winner: Mark Wild


Mark Wild, CEO of Crossrail, was the recipient of the Men as Allies Award in 2020. Mark demonstrated his clear commitment to addressing gender imbalance in his organisation by driving real change to improve diversity. After only 18 months of joining Crossrail as CEO the percentage of women in his senior leadership team rose from 16% to 58%. Head Judge Alex Knight commended “The numerous examples of how Mark has created a more inclusive culture and gone above and beyond the call of duty to support his female colleagues secured his well-deserved win of this Men As Allies Award.”


2019 winner: Rob Sims


Rob Sims, H&S and Signatory Management at Airbus Operations Ltd won in 2019.  He was recognised for the role he has played at Airbus to improve diversity by playing an active part in a number of number of successful projects within the company.  Rob is a volunteer for the Airbus Employee Resource Group (ERG) “Balance for Business”; originally concentrating on gender diversity, Balance for Business, it now champions all diversity which strive to help Airbus create a fully inclusive and diverse work force.  Since joining he has led the way for other men to become involved.  He is passionate in promoting inclusion and championing diversity, and this has led him lead (or co-lead) several projects to improve the working environment.

Rob is the co-lead in the Airbus Maternity, Paternity and Adoption (MPA) project, this project is centred on improving conditions for working families and retaining the female workforce after motherhood.  Outside of his core duties, Rob has helped influence and simplify MPA policy improvements, been instrumental in securing mothers well-being facilities on site, and resourced maternity wear for pregnant shop floor employees.  In addition he has been principal in creating an e-learning on MPA and the “softer skills” for integrating back into the workplace.  He has helped create a central intranet source of information on MPA for Airbus to simplify the Airbus policies and processes.

He has project led International Women’s Day (IWD) for Airbus Filton in 2018 and ran an interactive session for IWD this year, both events being received very positively.

Rob has taken on (voluntarily) increasing awareness on harassment within the workplace.  He adapted a workshop originally run in France to UK legislation and has been rolling out the “Harassment Awareness” in conjunction with HR to highlight what is/isn’t legal or acceptable in the workplace.  This has been delivered to senior management and has been praised.  Linked to the harassment awareness Rob created “Workplace Dilemmas” which again helped increase awareness of unacceptable behaviour and diversity subjects.

Rob has joined a working group to champion and effect the Women in Aviation and Aerospace (WiAA) Charter and help endorse Airbus’s commitment to it.


2018 winner: Stephen Reid


Stephen Reid was the 2018 winner of the Men as Allies Award.  Stephen has delivered training to many women, teaching them how to code as part of the HerCapital program and in a bootcamp where 100% of the 50 women said they would consider a career in tech.  Stephen has taught a masterclass on How to think like an Engineer and created and taught a workshop for Witty Careers, an organisation that supports women to get into tech.  Betty Bonnardel-Azzarelli, Chair of the judging panel said “With the great quality of applications received for the Men as Allies award, judges have found it difficult to pick only one winner, but Stephen Reid was consistently named as one of the top contenders by all judges. In addition to his day job, Stephen has been teaching computing to women with charities, and has also contributed to leading research on the prevalence of bias in machine learning.”


2017 winner: Dr Will Whittow


The 2017 winner was Dr Will Whittow, Senior Lecturer in Electronic Material Integration, University of Loughborough

Sarah Peers, Vice President of WES and chair of the judging panel said “Our first ever Men As Allies award winner is the tweeter-par-excellence Will Whittow, lecturer at Loughborough University. He not only impressed us with his advocacy of women in engineering and the reach he has achieved, but he inspired not only one but four separate nominations!

Will Whittow said “I’m genuinely delighted and honoured to win this award. There are so many incredible people who work tirelessly to promote women in engineering. Engineers will imagine, engineer and develop the next generation of Intelligent transport and manufacturing; advanced communications; healthcare for an ageing population; renewable energy for the planet; robotics for virtually everything; and so much more. Engineering is everything and for everyone. We need to inspire all the talent to engineer a better world.”