Leading entrepreneurs, Mayoral hopefuls, public servants, sporting champions and media personalities – are on the shortlist announced for the 2012 Asian Women of Achievement Awards, in association with The Royal Bank of Scotland.
The crowning of Britain’s most inspirational Asian women came closer today with the announcement of this year’s Asian Women of Achievement Awards shortlist and Save China’s Tigers founder Li Quan was delighted to hear she was shortlisted for the award for her dedicated work to save the South China tiger from extinction.
Founded and chaired by author and entrepreneur Pinky Lilani OBE, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards champion the contribution made by Asian women across British business, sports, public, cultural, community and political life.
For the first time, the awards are supported by The Royal Bank of Scotland, and will also include a new “Asian Women of Achievement Community Award” and “Asian Woman of Achievement in Sport” to celebrate the impending London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Over their 13-year history, the Awards have recognised, and provided a platform for Asian female pioneers – such as actress Nina Wadia; Kamal Basran, founder of the UK’s leading ethnic food supplier, The Authentic Food Company; civil rights activist Shami Chakrabarti; and the first Asian woman to lead a FTSE 250 business, Ruby McGregor-Smith.
Along with Li Quan, this year’s 55-strong shortlist includes: London Mayoral Candidate Siobhan Benita; ground-breaking Afghanistan-born BBC journalist Zarghuna Kargar; amateur boxer and coach Saira Tabasum; operational governor of Her Majesty's Prison Service Reena Bagga; director of Help Yourself Associates Jillian Haslam; and inspirational entrepreneur Kala Patel amongst others.
The judging panel, chaired by Sir Nicholas Young, chief executive of British Red Cross, will meet over the coming weeks to decide winners for each of the 11 categories, with the winners announced at a gala ceremony on 16 May 2012 at the London Hilton Park Lane.
Last year’s ceremony was attended by a number of high profile guests including Home Secretary Theresa May, HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan, Miriam Gonzalez-Durantez, James Caan, BBC news presenter Riz Lateef and The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell.
Pinky Lilani said: “The shortlisting judges were truly amazed by the quality of the individuals entering the awards this year – each with an inspiring story of determination, courage and resilience. These awards not only enable us to celebrate the successes and achievements of Britain’s most exceptional Asian women, but they also give us the opportunity to recognise the next generation waiting in the wings.
“The Asian Women of Achievement Awards provide the benchmark for aspiring female Asians in the UK and give them a platform to showcase their unbelievable achievements which must be applauded.”
Chris Sullivan, Chief Executive Corporate Banking Division, RBS, said: “RBS is delighted to support the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, one of the most important programmes recognising Britain's fantastic diversity of talent. It is great news for Britain that Asian women now occupy some of the most influential positions in finance, business and public life. The Asian Women of Achievement Awards are hosted by Caspian Media's Real Business, in association with The Royal Bank of Scotland.
Li Quan said, “it was a great honour to be shortlisted for this prestigious award, especially when one considerers the calibre of my fellow candidates”.