British Army Officer Captain Preet Chandi – known as Polar Preet – has been named Woman of the Year at an annual awards ceremony. Capt Chandi wasn't present to collect her honor – or the Inspirational Award she also won – as she is currently on her latest challenge in the Antarctic in which she hopes to become the first woman to cross the frozen continent solo and unsupported.
In a pre-recorded message played at the Women in Defense Awards 2022 at London's Guildhall, the explorer said: It is an absolute privilege and honor to receive the Woman of the Year Award.
The Army captain, who less than a year ago became the first woman of color to reach the South Pole solo and unsupported, went on: 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!
Her message continued: It's really important to help and support one another. I really believe that nothing is impossible.
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.”
The awards, run by Women in Defense UK, recognize and celebrate incredible work, provide inspiration and promote the value of women in defense.
This is the awards' seventh year and they received 2,700 nominations in 11 different categories from awards for Inspiration and Outstanding Achievement to an award for Equality of Opportunity.
This year, for the first time, the awards also included a presentation for the Most Improved Charter Signatory, which was open to organizations who have signed the Women in Defense Charter.