The search for Britain’s most groundbreaking Asian leaders is on again, and is has edged one step closer with the announcement of this year’s Asian Women of Achievement awards shortlist.Founded and chaired 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 varied contribution of Asian women to Britain’s economy and society. This year’s 55-strong shortlist is as strong as ever, including young over-achiever Romana Karim (pictured above), whose career has ranged from the United Nations, to working for a UK feminist domestic violence charity, a boutique change management company and now as a management consultant at PwC in the government and public sector. Outside of work she volunteers as a school governor, a non-executive director for Havas UK and as an ambassador for the global youth movement One Young World. Also shortlisted is Yonca Brunini, vice president of marketing for Google in Europe, Middle East and Africa. Yonca is responsible for Google’s growth through marketing in this region, as well as its growth in emerging markets globally. Since joining Google in 2006, Yonca has been responsible for marketing across Google’s consumer and business products, including Search, Mobile, Chrome, YouTube, AdWords, Display and Google+. She is also the executive sponsor of Google Zeitgeist in EMEA and a board member of Google’s Cultural Institute. The judging panel will meet over the coming weeks to decide winners for each of the 11 categories, with the winners announced at a ceremony on 15 May at the London Hilton Park Lane. Pinky Lilani said: “Once again I am blown away with this year’s candidates. Just when I start to think our shortlists couldn’t get any stronger, I meet the likes of Yonca Brunini and Lolita Chakrabarti. All of the women really are outstanding and even after 14 years of running these awards, I still get a genuine sense of excitement when I look at the incredible list of talent we have brought together. “What is so special about every single one of our nominees is that they are already influencing and inspiring people in their day to day lives and I hope that these awards will be the platform they need to expand their networks even further and allow their influence to reach many more aspiring young Asians.” We can’t wait for this year’s awards. The 2012 ceremony was attended by awards patron Cherie Blair, Home Secretary Theresa May and HRH Princess Badiya bint El Hassan of Jordan, where they saw awards presented to winners including BBC news presenter, Sangita Myska; international fashion and luxury goods entrepreneur, SungJoo Kim and the first and only Muslim woman to play for Worcestershire County Cricket Club, Salma Bi. For information on how to enter the awards visit the website, or get involved by tweeting @RB_Events #AWA2013.
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