Digital entrepreneur Lopa Patel MBE was awarded an honorary doctorate by The Open University at a graduation ceremony hosted at the Barbican Centre….reports Asian Lite News
She was recognised for her efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in science and technology, and her broader contribution to British industry, society and culture. Presented with her doctorate certificate by Vice Chancellor Peter Horrocks CBE, Lopa was commended for being an outstanding role model who has used her own successes to help pave the way for others.
Lopa was nominated by Jhumar Johnson, Director of Development at The Open University (OU), for her exceptional contribution to diversity in the STEM sector; she said: “Lopa is a passionate advocate for encouraging women and ethnic minorities to pursue a career in STEM. Her ethos of diversity and inclusion mirrors that of The Open University and makes her a worthy recipient of this prestigious accolade; she is truly inspirational.”
Indian trailblazer for women and ethnic minorities
Lopa Patel MBE has been a trailblazer for more than three decades, becoming the first Asian woman be awarded The Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion (2015) and to be elected a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing (2007). She was honoured with an MBE in 2009 and has won many industry accolades and awards. She was featured in The Sunday Times ‘Maserati 100’ Index 2016; a definitive list of of Britain’s most successful philanthropists, investors, mentors, and entrepreneurs, and in the Top 25 of the Smith & Williamson Power 100 2017.
A vocal advocate for diversity & inclusion in business
Dr Karen Kear, Deputy Head of the OU Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics, who cited Lopa’s achievements said, “she is a passionate believer in the importance of giving back. Lopa has been a vocal advocate for the importance and value of diversity in business”. She is the Founder and CEO of Diversity UK, a charity that aims to promote inclusion and cultural understanding in Britain, through research, advocacy and dialogue. Dr Kear added, “Lopa has also been a generous and engaging mentor throughout her career, deeply committed to helping other people fulfil their dreams and realise their ambitions.”
In accepting her doctorate, Lopa said “I am deeply humbled and honoured to receive this honorary doctorate today. Not only for myself, but also for my mother, my daughter and for all women striving to get a good education.”
“I admire that The Open University continues to work for greater equality of opportunity and social mobility. Inequality is an issue that needs to be tackled urgently and decisively and I am so very glad that The Open University is there – a long-established, practical, useful and far-reaching resource to help us do just that.”