A director at the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority has scooped a top award from an organisation which promotes gender equality in the industry.

Professor Melanie Brownridge was named Champion of the Year at the the Women in Nuclear annual awards.

The awards recognise those who have gone above and beyond to promote gender balance and diversity across the nuclear sector.

Prof Brownridge is the authority's technology and innovation director. She champions flexible working – not just for women who may be mothers or carers, but as an option for everyone.

Her working practices have influenced the organisation as a whole.

Prof Brownridge, who lives in Cockermouth and works at the authority's Herdus House offices at Westlakes Science Park, near Whitehaven, said: “I’m very humbled to have been nominated by colleagues and to have won this award.

"It was amazing to receive feedback from colleagues on how the way I work with others has a positive impact.

“I love my job and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved, always by including and working with

amazing people with diverse perspectives.

"I am passionate about flexible working and enabling people to be the best they can be at work and at home - but there is no one size fits all - and as individuals it’s important we recognise and respect that.”

Hugo Herrera, business analyst for the NDA, also based at Westlakes, was a finalist in the Ally of the Year category.

Speaking at the annual WiN conference, David Peattie, NDA chief executive and new

patron of WiN UK, said it was an honour to attend and hear so many inspiring stories.

He added: "It is hugely important that we recognise those who go the extra mile to improve diversity.

“Their passion and determination to ensure we as an industry are making progress really helps the sector attract the right people with the right skills.

“WiN’s mission to improve the representation of women in leadership not only provides us with skills for the future, but also inspires the next generation."