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News 2014
News ->Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2014 Winners

Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2014 Winners
4th June 2014

Divya Reddy, production technologist for Shell UK, was among seventeen women recognised for their outstanding careers at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards on Wednesday 4th June 2014 at a ceremony attended by guests including awards patron Cherie Blair, Her Royal Highness Princess Badiya bint El Hassan and designer Elizabeth Hurley. Divya Reddy (pictured left), production technologist for Shell UK, was among seventeen women recognised for their outstanding careers at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards on Wednesday 4th June 2014 at a ceremony attended by guests including awards patron Cherie Blair, Her Royal Highness Princess Badiya bint El Hassan and swimwear designer Elizabeth Hurley. Founded by India-born author and entrepreneur Pinky Lilani OBE in 1999, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards are the most important and established programme to recognise the contribution of Asian women to Britain’s economy and society. Divya was recognised for being “a trailblazer in a male dominated industry”. Nehal Bhogaita, community support worker and beauty therapist, Action Deafness and Femi Health and Beauty, was highly commended for having dedicated her life to inspiring people with disabilities. Both were shortlisted in the Young Asian Woman of Achievement award category.



Professor Geeta Nargund, consultant, medical director and CEO at St George’s Hospital, Create Health Clinics and Create Health Foundation, was presented with the RBS AWA Chairman’s Award, the most prestigious accolade of the awards. Geeta was recognised for her work in the fertility field, and her potential to have such a huge impact not just domestically, but globally, as she works to make treatments more readily available to women. An internationally renowned doctor, innovator and campaigner who is committed to making fertility treatment safer and more affordable both in the UK and in developing countries, the judges were left with no doubt that Geeta deserved the highest award on account of the results she’s already achieved as well as her determination to keep doing more.

Taking home the Asian Woman of Achievement in Finance Award was Valerie Dias. Having achieved so much in her career at Visa Europe, she uses her position in finance to make a real difference in the wider world, using her organisation as a vessel through which she has been able to safeguard children and young people. The judges said “aside from her work at Visa, she is an incredibly generous person with her time and does a great deal of mentoring and voluntary work”.

Samera Ashraf took the Asian Woman of Achievement in Sport Award in recognition of the tremendous battle she has fought against stereotypes to cement her position within the martial arts community. Samera has overcome significant adversity in her life to get to where she is today, and is now committed to helping others, particularly through her work with Shakti Women’s Aid.

Founded by India-born author and entrepreneur Pinky Lilani OBE in 1999, and held in association with The Royal Bank of Scotland, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards are the most important and established programme to recognise the contribution of Asian women to Britain’s economy and society.

The other AWA 2014 winners were:

Entrepreneurial Asian Woman of Achievement

Shazia Saleem, founder, ieat foods, a “very commercially aware” businesswoman who started her first enterprise at the age of 16, she has launched a range of traditional British and Italian halal dishes.

Young Asian Woman of Achievement

Divya Reddy, production technologist, Shell UK, for being “a trailblazer in a male dominated industry”, and Nehal Bhogaita, community support worker and beauty therapist, Action Deafness and Femi Health and Beauty, who was highly commended for having dedicated her life to inspiring people with disabilities.

Asian Woman of Achievement in Sport

Joint winners, Shehneela Ahmed, lawyer football agent, Platinum FA, for being “an enabler within the sports industry” and Samera Ashraf, Kickboxer, ISKA.

Asian Woman of Achievement in the Media - Poorna Bell, lifestyle editor, The Huffington Post, for her hard work in highlighting and campaigning on issues such as forced marriage and domestic violence amongst the Asian community.

Professional Asian Woman of Achievement

Yee Yee Low, senior concept engineer, Shell, who demonstrates real self-motivation and drive and has a clear focus on helping people in the UK who haven’t got access to opportunities, or don’t think they have, to achieve great things for themselves.

Social and Humanitarian Asian Woman of Achievement

Sharmila Nikapota, for her commitment to helping her daughter and others suffering from rare skin disorders. Highly commended in this category was Rewati Prabhu, co-founder and board member, Jagriti Yatra, who’s amazing work for Jagriti Yatra helps inspire young women from across India.

Asian Woman of Achievement in Arts and Culture

Nisha Tandon, executive director at ArtsEkta, one of the only organisations in Ireland promoting ethnic arts, culture and heritage; and Arumina Kumar, artistic director, Arumina Kumar Dance Company was highly commended.

Asian Woman of Achievement in Public Service

Shemiza Rashid, teacher and broadcaster, Luton Sixth Form, for fighting for ethical, environmental and poverty-driven issues.

Asian Woman of Achievement in Business

Karina Govindji, managing consultant, client development, Gallup, who has overcome many difficulties in her personal life to carve out a very successful career, whilst remaining passionate about giving back to her local community; Kamal Parmar, director, Saints of Tarporley Services, was highly commended for building a very successful business against all the odds.

Asian Woman of Achievement in Finance

Valerie Dias, chief officer, risk and compliance, Visa Europe and highly commended within the finance category was Laura Chow, head of charitable programmes, RBS, described as “very impressive” and someone who “is using banking for social justice.”

Pinky Lilani said: “Being able to shine a light on the magnificent achievements made by these women is what the awards are really about. I am delighted to see that the calibre of women being nominated for, and winning, the Asian Women of Achievement Awards has remained so high for the 15th consecutive year. It’s so important that we continue to recognise the often under-reported work that is being done by the impressive female leaders in the country’s Asian communities, and it’s for this reason, I’m delighted to bring together so many people who are dedicated to celebrating the achievements of these amazing women.”

Cherie Blair, patron of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards, said: “Each of the women named as a winner on the night showed something special that really caught the judges’ eyes. Covering diverse topics from finance and business to sports and media, the awards are a great way to recognise the huge impact that these women are having in their field.”

2014 Winners

Chairman’s award

Professor Geeta Nargund

Entrepreneurial Asian Woman of Achievement

Winner: Shazia Saleem

Young Asian Woman of Achievement

Winner: Divya Reddy
Highly Commended: Nehal Bhogaita

Asian Woman of Achievement in Sport

Joint winner (enabler): Shehneela Ahmed
Joint winner (sports): Samera Ashraf

Asian Woman of Achievement in the Media

Winner: Poorna Bell

Professional Asian Woman of Achievement

Winner: Yee Yee Low

Social and Humanitarian Asian Woman of Achievement

Winner: Sharmila Nikapota
Highly Commended: Rewati Prabhu

Asian Woman of Achievement in Arts and Culture

Winner: Nisha Tandon
Highly Commended: Arunima Kumar

Asian Woman of Achievement in Public Service

Winner: Shemiza Rashid

Asian Woman of Achievement in Business

Winner: Karina Govindji
Highly Commended: Kamal Parmar

Asian Woman of Achievement in Finance

Winner: Valerie Dias
Highly Commended: Laura Chow

For information on the awards visit: http://awa.realbusiness.co.uk/

AWA Awards - Previous Winners

Click here to read about Pinky Lilani, founder of the AWA Awards.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2014 party.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2014 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2014 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2013 party.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2013 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2013 shortlist.
Click here for the Global Empowerment Award 2012 presented at AWA.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2012 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2012 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2011 party.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2011 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2011 shortlist.
Click here for the Global Empowerment Award 2010 presented at AWA.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2010 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2010 shortlist.
Click here for the Global Empowerment Award 2009 presented at AWA.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2009 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2009 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2009 picture gallery.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2008 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2008 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2008 picture gallery.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2007 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2007 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2007 picture gallery.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2006 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2006 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2005 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2005 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2005 picture gallery.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2004 winners
Click here for the AWA Awards 2004 picture gallery.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2004 shortlist
Click here for the AWA Awards 2003 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2003 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2002 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2002 shortlist.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2001 winners.
Click here for the AWA Awards 2001 shortlist.

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