Champion of Women Finalist in the British Ex-Forces Business Awards

Professional headshot of Amanda JohnsonOn 1 April 2019, I learnt that I was a finalist in the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards – the winners of the awards themselves will be announced on 8 May 19; when what can only be described as a strong mix of military and business leaders will descend on London for the second-ever British Ex-Forces In Business Awards.

These awards are designed to recognise that acclimatisation and transition from military life to civvy street is not the easiest one – especially for those who served their country for a long time. It is often noticed that those coming from the military often bring with them their military ethos and core values, training, precision, and forward-thinking to the business world.

In 2019, the finalists are spread across 18 categories including Military Virtues In Business and New Service Leaver, etc.  The category for which I am a finalist is Champion of Women.  The full list of categories can be seen on the British Ex-Forces in Business Awards site.

So you might be wondering – what the Champion of Women category is all about:  This is the description taken from the Awards site:

Champion of Women Award

With women often less recognised and represented than their male counterparts both in business and the armed forces, this important category recognises former servicewomen who have committed themselves to being a role model or mentor to other female service leavers and/or women in business, or who have demonstrated strong commitment to advocating, promoting and supporting gender diversity in the military and/or business. It could also be former servicewomen who have inspired others because of gender biases or discrimination they have had to overcome in either their military or business career. The judges will assess the overall impact of their efforts in advancing gender diversity and/or empowering other women to succeed and overcome barriers.

The panel of judges are led by Head Judge  Admiral Sir George Zambellas, former First Sea Lord and current chairman of several companies.  I love the fact that one of his companies has recently started talks with an awesome Virtual Assistant to support their company.

On Forces.Net Admiral Sir George Zambellas offered his congratulations to all the finalists, adding:

“After many years focused on military delivery, [they] have turned their hands so successfully to the business battlefield.  Many of the skills needed are identical: leadership, fortitude, commitment and attention to detail.  Some are new, especially in commerce and sales. But the ethos and values of ex-Forces people always shine through, and I’m proud to support them.”

I am hugely humbled and honoured to have gotten this far, I never used to see myself as a Champion of Women but when I look back across the hundreds of people, I have coached, trained and mentored – over 99% of them are women! I love supporting those who are looking to create a new life for themselves as a Business Owner – and its been awesome to help so many women; be that civilians, veterans or military spouses to launch a VA business that gives them the freedom and flexibility to not only be a Business Owner but also to run a business on their terms.

You can learn more about Me and VACT by reading the “Meet Amanda” page of this site, but the short version of my story is that I served both as a Junior Rate and as an Officer in the Royal Navy.  I loved my time in the service but in 2008 – my children were born and died exceedingly prematurely and it caused me to re-evaluate life and realise life was really too short. So when I went on to become a parent to my now eldest son, it was time to stop the career that I loved and build a new one – so initially as the Virtual Assistant supporting business owners, then morphing into the VA and the VA Trainer and now running the company that has been voted Best VA Training Provider in the UK for the past 3 years.  It has been an awesome 7 years.