Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2018 shortlist announced

Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2017 - Image copyright of Lopa Patel

Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2017 - Image copyright of Lopa Patel.

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards, in association with Natwest, today (23rd February 2018) announced the shortlisted nominees for this year’s awards. From women working to fight human trafficking to a power-lifting champion and an expert in the reproductive health of astronauts, the full shortlist celebrates candidates from all over the UK, with heritage from North Korea, Lebanon, China, Syria and India.

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards, founded by Pinky Lilani CBE DL in 1999, celebrate multicultural Britain and the contribution of diverse cultures and talents to UK society. The awards showcase phenomenal Asian women across the UK and celebrate the valuable impact they make to British life. The awards play a key role in redefining the contribution of Asian women; and informing a new, positive, pro-diversity debate.

We have been blown away by the range of applications received for this year’s Asian Women of Achievement Awards and I feel honoured and excited that we can shine a spotlight on the important work of our shortlisted candidates. From women working on the cutting edge of science and medicine to those who dedicate their lives to giving a voice to the voiceless, we can be truly proud of the positive impact these British-Asian women are making on the world today.” Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Founder, Asian Women of Achievement Awards

AWA Awards 2018 Shortlist

Arts & Culture

Syima Aslam, Director, Bradford Literature Festival
Ayisha Malik, Author
Simone G. Malik, Artist
Esther Manito, Comedian
Shamim Sarif, Novelist & Film Director, Enlightenment Productions
Felicia Yap, Novelist, Headline


Kru Desai, Partner and UK Head of Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare Practice, KPMG
Beijia Ma, Director – Thematic Investing, Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Ayuna Nechaeva, Head of Primary Markets for Russia, CIS & Mongolia, London Stock Exchange Group
Tanuja Randery, Operating Executive, Apax Partners and Founder, PowerWomen Network
Yasmin Waljee, International Pro-Bono Director, Hogan Lovells International


Sharmin Akter, Managing Director, Total Solutions Group
Sukhi Jutla, Co-founder & COO, MarketOrders
Hanan Kattan, Founder, Tabun Kitchen
Asma Khan, Restaurateur, Darjeeling Express
Rachana Pancholi, Subway Development Agent, Subway


Roya Nikkhah, Royal Correspondent, The Sunday Times
Kavita Puri, Editor, BBC Our World and Presenter, Radio 4’s Partition Voices
Gaggan Sabherwal, Investigative Journalist, BBC Yorkshire
Balvinder Sidhu, Presenter and Journalist, ITV News Central
Karen Tso, Anchor, CNBC International
Alice Yu (DJ Alice), Head of Chinese Programme, Spectrum Radio

Public Service

Natasha Burroughs, Deputy Director, Capital Investment, Department for International Trade
Lakhvir Rellon, Head of Community Engagement and Inclusion, Birmingham & Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust
Dr Fareeha Amber Sadiq, Consultant Child and Family Psychiatrist & Mental Health Ambassador, NHS and Founder of Integrative Psychiatry London
Dr Pooja Saini, Lecturer in Psychology, Liverpool John Moores University
Yasmin Sheikh, Founder, Diverse Matters


Dr Farah Ahmed, Senior Manager, Exponent International
Dr Archana Dixit, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist, West Middlesex University Hospital Chelsea & Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Arpita Dutt, Partner, BDBF
Dr Zahera Harb, Senior Lecturer, City, University of London
Saira Hussain, Director, Hussain Architectural Design
Jashu Vekaria, Deputy Head Teacher, Uxendon Manor Primary School

Social & Humanitarian

Kalbir Bains, Author
Sophia Khalid, Human Rights Ambassador, Youth for Human Rights International
Chantal Khoueiry, Founder, Brides do Good
Jihyun Park, North Korean Survivor and Women’s Rights Advocate, Connect: NK
Onjali Q. Rauf, CEO & Founder, Making Herstory
Hina Shahid, Chairperson of Muslim Doctors Association and NHS GP


Liz Ellen, Partner, Head of Sports Group, Mishcon de Reya
Halima Khan, Founder & Director, Opening Boundaries
Sonia Randev, CEO, Slick Sport
Aneela Rose, GB Powerlifting Champion

Science & Technology

Chetna Arora, Domain Manager – Customer Domain, BT
Radha Boya, Kathleen Ollerenshaw Fellow, The University of Manchester
Aarti Jagannath, Associate Professor, University of Oxford
Varsha Jain Garg, Visiting Researcher, King’s College London
Sylvia Lu, Senior Engineer, u-blox UK
Dr Ishani Patel, Co-Founder/Primary Care Lead, Lantum

Young Achiever

Helier Cheung, Senior Broadcast Journalist, BBC News
Maya Ghazal, Volunteer Speaker, The Children’s Society
Dr Hannah Jethwa, Doctor and Specialist Registrar in Rheumatology, NHS
Neesha Khela, Area Manager, Enterprise Rent-A-Car
Maryam Sufi, Business Development Manager, Shell Oil UK
Jenny Tran, Medical Doctor, DPhil Candidate, University of Oxford

Winners will be announced at the Annual Asian Women of Achievement Awards on May 9, 2018 at the London Hilton on Park Lane. For further information and to book tickets, visit


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