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Asian women make it big in Britain

10 women icons honoured during “10th Asian Women of Achievement Awards” 27th May 2009: Asian women, climbing up the social ladder on the rungs of professionalism, don’t have to look outside for role models, with their achievements being recognised at an awards ceremony in London. The ceremony, held recently to commemorate the accomplishments of 10 women icons of “Asian Britain”, was attended by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall.

2009_winners1.jpgIn its 10th year, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, held in association with Lloyds TSB, celebrate the contribution of Asian women to British life in the media, business, the arts, politics and the voluntary sector.

The Arts and Culture Award was presented to Sri Lankan opera singer Kishani Jayasinghe. She is the first South Asian soprano to sing at the Royal Opera House (ROH).

The Business Woman of the Year award was bagged by Veera Johnson, CEO, ProcServe, an electronic procurement solutions and services company.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award went to Christina Vaughan, Image Source. She is the first non-American to be voted onto the Picture Agency Counsel of America Board.

The Media Professional of the Year award was handed over to Riz Lateef, BBC London News. She is one of the key figures in the coverage of the 2008 mayoral elections.

The Social and Humanitarian Award was presented to Shaista Gohir, Muslim Women’s Network. As a member of the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group, she also advises the government.

DJ Neev Ranu is the Young Achiever of the Year. Her radio show on Kiss 100 attracts 607,000 listeners and has been nominated twice for the Asian Music Awards.

The Young Achiever Award was shared by Rehana Azib. A barrister, she studied law at Oxford University and is a scholar of the Inner Temple.

The Professional of the Year is Dr Sunita Verma. A dentist, she set up Sparkle Dental Boutique, a multi award-winning private practice in west London.

The Public Sector Award went to Vicki Treadell, British Deputy High Commissioner, Mumbai. A diplomat, she has 30 years experience in policy and service delivery roles.

Businesswoman Vin Murria, who holds several senior roles with multi-national companies such as Advanced Computer Services, was presented with the Lloyds TSB AWA Award by The Prince of Wales. The judges said Vin, who set up the PS Foundation to support the education of children in India, was a ‘perfect ambassador and role model for Asian women in Britain’. Her ability to commit ‘seemingly endless energy and intellect’ to her career, her family and her charity work was also appreciated.

The judges of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, chaired by British Red Cross chief executive Sir Nicholas Young, said this year’s winners were “some of the most impressive and inspiring individuals ever to be honoured in the programme’s 10-year history”.

The Prince of Wales too was honoured. In recognition of his work aimed at empowering disadvantaged communities and individuals around the world, the Prince was presented with the Global Empowerment Award by the programme’s founder, Indian born author-cum-entrepreneur Pinky Lilani OBE.

Commenting on the night, Pinky Lilani said: “Each one of the 10 women is making a breathtaking contribution to British society in different ways. What unites them is their positive representation of Asian women and their ability to act as role models for others.”

Kamel Hothi, Asian markets director at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, said: “As entrepreneurs and executives of major global companies, this year’s winners are a huge inspiration to Asian women in business”.

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