London Lauds Asian Women Achievers


From counter-extremism campaigners to martial arts champions, Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2016 celebrate extraordinary Asian women across Britain. The Awards, now in their 17th year, celebrate the contributions made by Asian women both professionally and in their communities, cutting across a broad range of sectors in British life from business and media to sport, culture and public service…reports Asian Lite News: PICS CREDIT: WeShootLondon

Thewinner of 2016 AWA awards
Thewinner of 2016 AWA awards

The Asian Women of Achievement (AWA) Awards, in association with NatWest, announced the winners of the 2016 Awards in London in the presence of Princess Badiya bint El Hassan of Jordan and Baroness Helena Kennedy. The Awards, now in their 17th year, celebrate the contributions made by Asian women both professionally and in their communities, cutting across a broad range of sectors in British life from business and media to sport, culture and public service.

Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Founder, Asian Women of Achievement Awards, said, “We are thrilled for all the winners, who are united by their passion and inspirational achievements. The diversity of this year’s winners highlights that whether they are martial arts champions or children’s book authors, Asian women in Britain are bucking stereotypes while making an enormous contribution to British life. I am immensely proud to stand alongside this inspiring group of women.”

From an international martial arts champion to a rising BBC star reporter, this year’s list of winners features an incredibly diverse and exciting group of women. Despite their varied backgrounds, the winners are united by their shared ability to inspire, and their determination to drive positive change in their respective fields.

The winner of the Entrepreneur category, Nancy Johnston, has brought eco-friendly Mongolian yak wool to the forefront of the British fashion industry through her social business Tengri, which helps to provide a sustainable alternative income for nomadic herders.

In the Public Service category, Tulip Mazumdar was honoured for her work as the BBC’s global health reporter. During the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, her reports bravely telling the stories of the victims, their families and the volunteers who went to help were seen by millions. Sport category winner Harleen Kaur is a sixth-form student and martial arts athlete, who last year represented Britain by winning silver at the World Martial Kombat Federation (WMKF) World Championships, while studying for her A Levels!

Tahira Widlof, Chairman's Award
Tahira Widlof, Chairman’s Award

The Media category winner is Tina Ghazimorad, a TV producer and film-maker for Iranian TV channel Manoto, whose films have been shown at festivals worldwide including Cannes. Meanwhile, Sara Khan, the Social & Humanitarian category winner, is one of the UK’s leading Muslim female voices on countering Islamist extremism and championing women’s rights, including through the anti-ISIS campaign #MakingAStand.

This year AWA honoured Julie Hanna with the Global Empowerment Award. Each year the award recognises the work of a remarkable individual exemplifying outstanding leadership, responsibility and courage, who has inspired others to champion progress and success. Past recipients include Elif Shafak, HRH Prince of Wales, and Indra Nooyi, global chief executive of PepsiCo. This year’s honouree Julie Hanna is an Egyptian-born entrepreneur named by President Barack Obama in 2015 as Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship. She is an investor and advisor to companies and institutions globally, and since 2009 has served as executive chair of the board at Kiva, the first and largest crowdlending marketplace for global entrepreneurs.

11 women were selected as category winners by a judging panel chaired by Sir Nicholas Young.

The winners are:

Shweta Aggarwal, Creator of Dev and Ollie Books [Arts & Culture]

Deepa Shah, CFO, Hall & Partners [Business]

Nancy Johnston, CEO & Founder, Tengri [Entrepreneur]

Tina Ghazimorad, TV Producer & Film Maker, Manoto [Media]

Amina Memon, Professor of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London [Professions]

Tulip Mazumdar, Global Health Reporter, BBC News [Public Service]

Sara Khan, Co-Director & Co-Founder, Inspire [Social & Humanitarian]

Harleen Kaur, British Champion, World Martial Kombat Federation [Sport]

Bonnie Chiu, Co-Founder, Lensational and Shiura Rasheed, Programme Manager, Thomson Reuters Foundation [Young Achiever]

Tahira Widlof, General Store Manager, Asda [NatWest AWA Chairman’s Award]

Tina Ghazimorad, Media
Tina Ghazimorad, Media

Also highly commended by the judging panel this year were: Hoda and Aslam Elsoudani, Spoken Iris Films [Arts and Culture]; Manjit Gill, Binti [Social & Humanitarian]; Kuljit Bhogal, Cornerstone Barristers [Professions]; and Rashpal Martin, NatWest [Business].

Les Matheson, CEO, Personal & Business Banking, NatWest said: “NatWest is proud to be a part of Asian Women of Achievement for the 5th year running. Once again, the awards have demonstrated the talent and determination of a remarkable group of British Asian women. My congratulations to the winners and all those shortlisted, who I’m sure will continue to achieve great success.”

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards, co-founded by Pinky Lilani CBE DL in 1999, were conceived to celebrate the often unsung Asian heroines of British life. Such women make a huge contribution in fields as diverse as business, entrepreneurship and social and humanitarian work. These awards are their moment in the spotlight. The Asian Women of Achievement Awards are hosted in association with NatWest.


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