Judith Hackitt CBE, the chair of the Health and Safety Executive, has been made a Dame in the New Year’s Honours List for 2016.
More good news for HSE is that Paul Hamey, a long-serving member of its Chemical Regulations Directorate, is awarded an MBE.
Judith’s award recognises her services to health and safety and for being a role model in engineering, especially for young women.
She said: “It has come as a big surprise, but I feel very privileged to receive the honour of being made a Dame.
“I am grateful for the recognition for my work as an ambassador for health and safety and engineering, but I could not have done that without having such a brilliant, world-class organisation to talk about.
“It has been an honour and a privilege for me to Chair HSE for the last eight years. I am immensely proud of this organisation and what it does.
“We’ve made a real difference to how people perceive health and safety and will continue to drive improvements to keep people safe at work and help Britain to work well.”
The 2016 New Year’s Honours List sees an increase in the number of senior awards to women.
Hackitt continued: “I was at home when the letter arrived. My husband handed me the very formal looking letter from the Cabinet Office and said ‘what do you think this is?’ I admit I did a little dance round the kitchen when I opened it!”
A chemical engineer, Judith worked in the chemicals manufacturing industry for 23 years before joining the Chemical Industries Association in 1998, becoming its director general in 2002. She then worked in Brussels for the European Chemical Industry Association.
Judith is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2010. She was awarded her CBE for services to health and safety in 2006.
She concluded: “My advice to any young woman, or man for that matter, looking to embark on a career in chemical engineering is very simple – go for it. It is a great career choice where you really do make a difference and find solutions to the problems the world faces.”
Paul Hamey is awarded an MBE for services to the regulation of pesticides. A specialist in human exposure to pesticides, particularly in the agriculture sector, Paul is recognised as a world-leading regulatory scientist.