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Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2017

Category: Awards, inclusion, diversity, BBC, PwC, Business, department, Asian women, pro-diversity

some of the 2017 Asian Women of Achievement Award Winners

This year celebrates the 18th Asian Women of Achievement Awards. Founded by Pinky Lilani in 1999, the awards celebrate extraordinary Asian women from across the UK who are making contributions both professionally and in their communities. The night is a celebration of multi-cultural Britain and the contribution that diverse talents and cultures make to UK society. The women that are celebrated play a key role in redefining the contribution of Asian women; and informing a new, positive, pro-diversity debate.

The Asian Women of Achievement awards are a platform for showcasing diversity, entrepreneurship and determination amongst a variety of inspirational Asian women from a range of different industries. The awards give individuals the chance to come together in order to celebrate the achievements that have been made in the last year. Some of the award winners include, a woman who turns girls away from extremism, a lawyer, a para-climber and a schoolteacher poet.

The chairman’s award, for the most outstanding candidate across all categories, went to Fatima Zaman, a civil servant that works with the Kofi Annan Foundation. The Foundation works to prevent young girls from London becoming radicalised and joining extremist groups, an issue that has become particularly prevalent in recent years. The work that Zaman does highlights how important the awards are in celebrating the amazing work that these women are doing to create change in communities.

The judges said that they believed that Ms Zaman had the talent to: “change the world”.

They added: “Her work with the Kofi Annan Foundation, Home Office and the London borough of Tower Hamlets to guide local and national responses to violent extremism and radicalisation is internationally ground-breaking. Demonstrating enormous resilience and pursuing the cause despite threats, the judges believe Fatima could be a future Nobel Prize winner.”

In the professions category, there were two winners, these included Vidisha Joshi, who was appointed managing partner of law firm Hodge Jones & Allen at the age of 38. Hodge Jones & Allen is renowned for its civil rights work, some of which includes the human rights victory for the soldiers that were injured in the Iraq war.

The other winner in the profession category was Vandita Pant, of commodities firm BHP Billiton. Accepting the award, Pant said: “Let the limitations that others impose on us never ever define us, but only our potential. If even just one more woman gets inspired to reach for her full potential as a result of this recognition, this would be worth its weight in gold!”

The judges described the winners of the profession category as: “stellar candidates”.

In the arts and culture category, the winner was Jaspreet Sangha, a history teacher at St Marylebone school and a spoken-word artist. Sangha writes about cultural identity and gender discrimination under the name Behind the Netra. In addition to her written work, Sangha has also given TEDx talks and has worked with the UN on the HeforShe campaign that has taken place over the last year.

The judges said that her: “passion, charisma, kindness and altruism shone through”.

Winner of the sport category, Anoushé Husain is a civil servant at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Husain was born with one arm, despite this she has become a para-climber and a “champion for all those suffering from self-limiting beliefs”. She is also an ambassador for LimbPower, a charity that helps amputees and those with limb impairments to get into physical activity, sports and the arts in order to improve the quality of their life and to aid lifelong rehabilitation.

The judges said that Husain was “energetic, charismatic and overflowing with enthusiasm” and a “force for good”. She has overcome immense challenges of her own and yet she’s determined to have a positive impact on others.”

Here is the full list of winners from the awards:

AWA Chairman’s Award - Fatima Zaman, CVE Advocate, The Kofi Annan Foundation

Arts and Culture - Jaspreet Sangha, Spoken Word Artist and Teacher, St Marylebone School

Business - Raj Dohil, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Enterprise Rent-A-Car

Entrepreneur - Sunaina Sinha, Managing Partner, Cebile Capital

Public Service - Dr Harjinder Kaur, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager and Gender Advisor, PWC

Media - Shay Grewal, Presenter, BBC

Professions - Vidisha Joshi, Managing Partner, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP

Social and Humanitarian - Sofia Buncy, Prisoner Rehabilitation and Community Development Coordinator, Muslim Hands UK

Science and Technology - Safaf Farooqi, Professor of Metabolism and Medicine, University of Cambridge

Sport - Anoushé Husain, Para-climber

Young achiever - Anoushka Babbar, Head of Regulatory Policy and Government Relations, London STOCK Exchange Group

This year’s awards were a great success, Pinky Lilani, founder of the awards said: “They are a truly remarkable group of women who have made an enormous contribution to British life across a wide range of sectors.” In addition to the great celebrations that were had at the ceremony, the awards have also led to the creation of many initiatives and projects that have been created in order to help women and improve the opportunities that are available to future generations. The awards offer attendees the chance to meet like-minded women in order to create business contacts that will benefit the future.

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