Employee Champion Award Finalists 2024

An award to honour an exceptional individual who has made a significant contribution to support members of the Armed Forces community achieve success within civilian roles, championing the employability of service leavers, reservists, veterans, spouses and family members.

In partnership with Landmarc.

Introducing the Finalists...

Andy White

Andy White’s dedication as spearhead of the Barclays Veteran Founders initiative since 2022 is a profound example of transferrable military leadership skills. His journey from entering the British Army with little in terms of City qualifications to a distinguished thirteen-year career has instilled in Andy invaluable qualities that resulted in personal growth, preparing him for a successful move into ‘Civvy Street’. 

Embodying the attitude that true leadership is about inspiring others, Andy’s role in Barclays Eagle Labs has seen him deliver often business support for entrepreneurial military spouses and veteran-owned businesses. He has delivered this with an unwavering determination to make a difference and having the motivation to push boundaries. This has created a focus for employees, whether they have any idea of veterans or the military, and in turn gives a sense of giving back to this community. 

Of note is that in 2023, Andy’s Armed Forces Banking initiative engaged with 35 new veteran businesses, supporting 75 veterans and spouses in the process. By organising workshops and events, this has successfully nurtured a vibrant business community, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie for veterans and spouses.  

Outside of work, Andy actively engages with the military community, attending networking groups and serving as Vice Chair of the local Veterans Breakfast Club. His dedication to community service fosters a sense of belonging among veterans, making him an inspirational individual.  

Chris Shaw (ex-Jacobs)

Chris Shaw’s journey from dedicated junior leader in the Royal Marines to distinguished business leader in civilian life is a testament to the military mindset. After 14 years of committed service in the military, Chris transitioned into a Defence Project Manager role at global solutions organisation Jacobs, and has since created a legacy of support, empowerment, and resilience that will endure far beyond his own professional achievements. 

As the Jacobs VetNet lead for Scotland, Chris’ mentoring has resulted in many service leavers securing roles within Jacobs. In his role as a Proposal Manager, Chris’s exceptional leadership skills and outstanding communication abilities have elevated him to the Strategic Growth team. His dedication to developing others has led to the professional growth of multiple teams working on multi-million-pound projects, furthering the company’s standing as an exemplary employer for veterans. 

In a voluntary capacity, Chris’ establishment of the Gen Dit Network – lauded as ‘one of the most engaging and valuable British military networks online’ – has made him a shining example of support for the veteran community and those navigating the transition to civilian life. His dedication to improving the lives of service leavers has resulted in the Network becoming a centralised area for sharing support, advice, and connections.  

Kat Barrett (Wincanton)

Kat is the spouse of a veteran, and from supporting her husband’s career in the Royal Marines, she has first-hand experience of the compromises and challenges faced during service. With determination, Kat has built a successful career through a number of senior roles in Human Resources and dedicated herself to opening opportunities for others. 

In Kat’s current role at Wincanton, she was recognised for her knowledge of the Armed Forces community and success in supporting people into employment. With a passion for supporting veterans and military spouses, Kat’s strengths led to her role of Head of Gateway Programmes. Many veterans now working for Wincanton not only have jobs, but have successful careers ahead of them. They feel settled and supported in their working environment.  

Over the last 18 months Kat’s development of the ‘Shine’ programme, devoted to supporting Armed Forces families into employment, has increased the number of veterans hired at Wincanton by 37%. Kat has delivered mentoring and support to a great many colleagues, while also standing as a key part of the #JoiningForces initiative and lead for the Armed Forces Network. Kat’s driving force for the community is a wonderful demonstration of spouses’ valuable and unique skills. 

Congratulate the finalists and join in with our celebrations on social media: #SoldieringOnAwards

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