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News 2004
News ->Britain's Leading South Asian Women


BRITAIN'S LEADING SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN
Compiled by Lopa Patel, (8 April 2004).

Britain's Leading South Asian Women.Sparked off by a remark made by Dame Anne McLaren, who thought that the Queen's reception for women high-flyers held on March 10 2004 at Buckingham Palace had "too high a proportion of white faces and should have been more multicultural", here is a list of Britain's Leading South Asian Women. There are no gongs for being included in this list, no awards to collect, no accolades.

Indeed many of the women on this list may consider it a curse at being so singled out. But there are so few comprehensive databases of leading South Asian women that many of Britain's organisations remain a little nonplussed as to who exactly are - to use a hackneyed term - "the movers and shakers" among British South Asian women.

The criteria for entry on this list are simple, age and wealth are immaterial but:

  • you have to be a female of South Asian descent, resident in the UK.
  • you have to be a pioneer, a leader, challenging and resetting the boundaries in your field, be it on television, in the media, in government or in education.
  • you have to be at Director/Partner Level in Corporate Britain or a business leader in your market sector.
  • you have to be nominated by another South Asian woman.

The UK focus has led to some notable exclusions from the list. Dhaljit Dhaliwal, the well-known news anchor for CNN International, who was born in London, has been excluded because she now lives in Atlanta (USA) but the media industry is well represented overall. The only exceptions to the geographic rule are Parminder Nagra, star of 'Bend it Like Beckham' who is currently in the USA filming for hit TV show 'ER' and Madhur Jaffrey, who is a New York resident. Jaffrey, however, is well recognized as being the "Queen of Curry" for her cookbooks and TV programmes for the BBC and has been included.

In literature, Monica Ali, author of 'Brick Lane' has been included, but fellow Orange Prize 2004 nominees Rupa Bajwa (based in Amritsar, India) and Jhumpa Lahiri (based in the USA) have not.

RECOGNITION FOR SOUTH ASIAN WOMEN IN THE UK

I would love for the list to continue to grow and grow - there must be hundreds of South Asian Women in Britain who deserve recognition. And recognition is the key. The women on this list play a crucial part as role models for future generations of British Asian Women. It is important to encourage, motivate, mentor and highlight excellence that South Asian Women bring to British life.

There are so few South Asian women politicians (there are currently no MP's or Ministers) and local councillors, that I have included all those I could find. Similarly the top echelons of the corporate world are remarkably sparse and there are currently no South Asian Women CEOs of FTSE 500 companies. From the Corporate world I have included those at Director/Partner level and above and from the world of business, chosen those who are making a "mark" in their industry sector.

Leadership seems to run in families, with a number of sisters appearing on the list: the Singh Twins (Amrit & Rabindra), Journalist Zaiba Malik and Adeeba Malik, Deputy CEO of QED UK; Sudha Bhuchar, co-Founder of Tamasha Theatre Company and her sibling, Arts Promoter Suman Bhuchar to name a few.

WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THIS LIST?

I encourage organisations and the public to refer to this list when thinking about Britain's South Asian Women - perhaps researchers can call upon the skills of these women for specific projects, and many would make excellent speakers and mentors. But please note that this is not a mailing list, nor do I have contact details for individuals. Most of these women are already in the Public Arena and this list celebrates their achievements.

SOMEONE MISSING FROM THE LIST?

This list is a "labour of love"; I do not claim to know every leading South Asian woman. If I have missed out anyone you know, please send an email to suggestions@redhotcurry.com stating your name and details and a brief description of the South Asian woman you would like to nominate. If you can provide contact details for your nominee, this makes life easier. Please also email any corrections or amendment to the same email address.

For the purposes of this list we mean South Asian to incorporate the region including Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Click here - ' Britain's Leading South Asian Women' list (69KB, pdf icon).

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My thanks to the ladies at DAWN for their assistance - particularly Manisha Dahad. Thanks are also due to Neeta Patel (The British Council), Katy Howell (Immediate Future PR) and Anjana Raheja (Media Moguls) for their input.

RESOURCES

This list would have been virtually impossible without the existing resources that celebrate the achievements of Asian Women in the UK. The following are excellent resources and I encourage you to review these links:

ASIAN ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Awarded annually by 'Asian Voice' Newspaper.
ASIAN BUSINESS AWARDS
Awarded annually by 'Eastern Eye' Newspaper.
ASIAN JEWEL AWARDS
www.jewelawards.com
ASIAN RICH LIST
compiled annually by Dr Philip Beresford and published in 2004 by Sunrise Radio & 'Asiana' magazine.
ASIAN WOMEN OF ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS www.awaawards.com
BRITIAN'S ASIAN ASSETS - www.britainsasianassets.com
CARLTON MULTICULTURAL AWARDS
awarded annually by ITV (formerly Carlton TV).
Click here for the Carlton Awards 2003 winners
DAWN - Dynamic Asian Women's Network. www.mydawn.co.uk
EMMA AWARDS - www.emma.tv
GG2 AWARDS
Awarded anually by Garavi Gujarat Newspapers. www.gg2.net
OPERATION BLACK VOTE - www.obv.org.uk
SALIDAA
South Asian Diaspora Literature & Arts Archive. www.salidaa.org
SOUTH ASIAN DANCE FACULTY
www.istd.org/southasian/

Click here to download a copy of the 'Britain's Leading South Asian Women' list (69KB, pdf icon). To download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat so that you can read the PDF document, click here.

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