A history teacher from St Marylebone School in London bowled over judges with poetry to clinch the Arts & Culture award at the Asian Women of Achievement (AWA) Awards 2017. Jaspreet Sangha, better known as ‘Behind the Netra’ for her poetry, shared her thoughts on gender equality with the audience with a poem entitled ‘I Am’ at the awards ceremony on Thursday 10th May 2017 in London. The awards, now in their 18th year, celebrate the contributions made by Asian women both professionally and in their communities, cutting across a broad range of sectors from business and media to sport, medicine, culture and public service.
“We have received such a wide range of applications for our Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2017. From women working at the cutting edge of science to photographers, artists, business leaders and social workers, we are proud to provide a platform to celebrate such incredible talent and the positive impact of British-Asian women on our society today,” said Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Founder, Asian Women of Achievement Awards
12 women were selected as category winners by a judging panel chaired by Lady Emma Arbuthnot. The full list of winners are:
AWA Awards 2017 Winners
• Jaspreet Sangha (Behind the Netra), Spoken Word Artist and Teacher, St Marylebone School (Arts & Culture)
• Raj Dohil, Talent Acquisition Specialist, Enterprise Rent-A-Car (Business)
• Sunaina Sinha, Founder and Managing Partner, Cebile Capital (Entrepreneur)
• Shay Grewal, Presenter, BBC (Media)
• Vidisha Joshi, Managing Partner, Hodge Jones & Allen LLP & Vandita Pant, Group Treasurer and Head of Europe, BHP Billiton (Professions)
• Dr Harjinder Kaur, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager and Gender Advisor, PwC (Public Service)
• Professor Sadaf Farooqi, Professor of Metabolism and Medicine, University of Cambridge (Science & Technology)
• Sofia Buncy, Prisoner Rehabilitation and Community Development Coordinator, Muslim Hands UK (Social & Humanitarian)
• Anoushé Husain, Para-Climber (Sport)
• Anoushka Babbar, Head of Regulatory Policy and Government Relations, London Stock Exchange Group (Young Achiever)
• Fatima Zaman, Prevent Officer, Home Office and London Borough of Tower Hamlets (Chairman’s Award)
Also highly commended by the judging panel this year were:
Abda Khan (Arts & Culture), Dawinder Bansal, (Media), Tanya Laird (Science & Technology), Dr Rouba Mhaissen (Social & Humanitarian), Mimi Harker OBE (Public Service).
About the AWA Awards 2017 Winners
Jaspreet Sangha, Winner of the Arts and Culture Award
This year’s winner in the Arts and Culture category is better known as ‘Behind the Netra’ for her poetry. She is a spoken word artist from East London, focused on sharing her thoughts on gender issues and taboo subjects both in the Asian community and wider society. Jaspreet’s passion, charisma, kindness and altruism shone through and the judges were immensely impressed by her poetry.
Raj Dohil, Winner of the Business Award
The Business Award goes to an inspirational woman who oversees recruitment for almost 100 branches of Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Grounded, immensely talented and with a heart and passion despite the challenges she has faced, the judges were seriously impressed with the AWA 2017 business champion who is empowering women and breaking down stereotypes.
Sunaina Sinha, Winner of the Entrepreneur Award
The only female founder and managing partner of a private equity advisory business in Europe (Cebile Capital) and one of less than 7% of women in private equity who hold a senior position, the Entrepreneur Award 2017 goes to Sunaina Sinha. The judges said she was a great example of a 21st century leader, demonstrating outstanding entrepreneurship and leadership in the financial services sector.
Shay Grewal, Winner of the Media Award
Shay is the 2017 Media Award Winner and celebrated for her work as a TV and radio presenter for BBC West Midlands and Radio London. She was the first high profile Asian to join BBC WM and now presents seven days a week. Shay has carved a position whereby she is able communicate her passion for education, combating marginalisation and empowering women. A role model for all women in media.
Vidisha Joshi and Vandita Pant, Winners of the Professions Award
The judges picked two stellar candidates in this category as the 2017 winners. Vidisha Joshi is one of the UK’s youngest law firm managing partners (Hodge Jones & Allen LLP). Under Vidisha’s leadership the firm has increased turnover by £1 million in the last three years. Vandita Pant is the Group Treasurer and Head of Europe at BHP Billiton, and is the most senior female Asian working in the world’s largest natural resources company. The judges praised both winners as exceptional role models who have already achieved outstanding goals. Both are exemplary leaders.
Dr Harjinder Kaur, Winner of the Public Service Award
As a social researcher and development consultant specialising in child and women’s rights and gender equality, the judges said that the importance of Dr Harjinder Kaur’s work over many years in understanding issues of gender equality cannot be underestimated. She has worked for international governments and NGOs and it is hoped that this award helps highlight the importance of Harjinder’s work.
Professor Sadaf Farooqi, Winner of the Science & Technology Award
As the Professor of Metabolism and Medicine at the University of Cambridge and a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow, Professor Sadaf Farooqi has used her research to pave the way to treating a condition that is often fatal. The judges praised her for the huge impact that her focus on obesity has had on society and for her ongoing mentorship of young doctors.
Sofia Buncy, Winner of the Social and Humanitarian Award
As the Prisoner Rehabilitation and Community Development Coordinator for Muslim Hands UK, Sofia highlights the plight of Muslim women in British prisons. The judges praised her for working to mobilise deep social change within the Muslim community of Britain, creating a positive community-driven approach to dealing with Islamophobia and for working tirelessly to provide voice and visibility for Muslim women in prison who are otherwise excluded from dialogue.
Anoushé Husain, Winner of the Sport Award
Energetic, charismatic and overflowing with enthusiasm, the judges believe that Anoushé is a force for good! As a civil servant, para-climber and cancer survivor, her personal accomplishments are astonishing. She has overcome immense challenges of her own and yet she’s determined to have a positive impact on others, through her mentoring and charity work.
Anoushka Babbar, Winner of the Young Achiever of the Year Award
The judges were blown away by Anoushka’s career success to date. As Head of Regulatory Policy and Government Relations at London Stock Exchange Group, she is on a career trajectory to become one of the youngest CEOs in her chosen field. She’s regularly consulted by governments globally and is also a keen mentor and role model.
Fatima Zaman, Winner of the Chairman’s Award
The Chairman’s Award goes to one outstanding candidate across all of the categories and for the first time since the awards began 18 years ago, the Chairman’s Award is drawn from the Young Achiever category. The outstanding candidate is Fatima Zaman. The judges believe she could change the world. Her work with the Kofi Annan Foundation, Home Office and the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to guide local and national responses to violent extremism and radicalisation is internationally ground-breaking.
About the Asian Women of Achievement Awards
The Asian Women of Achievement Awards, founded by Pinky Lilani CBE DL in 1999, celebrate multi cultural Britain and the contribution of diverse cultures and talents to UK society. We put on a platform, the phenomenal Asian women across the UK and across industries, who are making a valuable and important contribution to British life. The awards play a key role in redefining the contribution of Asian women; and informing a new, positive, pro-diversity debate.
For further information visit www.awaawards.com