By Aalia Khan

Adeeba Malik was one of the only two Muslims in England to be awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list. She is the Deputy Chief Executive of QED Foundation, and she received the prestigious award for her services as a British Muslim woman on mainstream public bodies.

AdeebaAdeeba, who has previously been honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for services to ethnic minority businesses, has held many ministerial and non-ministerial high profile national and regional board level appointments in the last 15 years. These have been diverse organisations including British Waterways, Yorkshire Forward, and the Advisory Board on Naturalisation and Immigration; many of which she was the first Asian woman to serve on.

The Commander of the Order of the British Empire is awarded for having a distinguished, innovative contribution in a prominent role at national level, or a leading role at regional level.

Adeeba said “I am humbled and honoured to receive such a prestigious award and to be recognised for my work which I have always enjoyed. I remember how I felt when I received the MBE, and then to be honoured with a CBE is very special.” She says she had to explain the award to her mother but once she understood it was “A very pleasant and delightful moment which brought great joy and pride for the family.” She went on “It’s been an award not just for me but for them too.”

Adeeba also acknowledged the support and help she has gained from Mohammed Ali, founder and Chief Executive of QED “I have been fortunate to have the support from Mohammed Ali over the years to do the work I was interested in.”

Adeeba is currently Deputy Chief Executive of Bradford-based QED Foundation, a leading and respected national development agency. Founded in 1990, QED is working with ethnic minorities to eradicate poverty, disadvantage and discrimination. Adeeba joined QED in 1992 after one year of teaching in a Bradford school. She has supported QED to become one of the most influential organisations of its kind in the UK.

Mohammed Ali OBE said: “QED has been campaigning for 25 years for ethnic minorities to play mainstream roles in all walks of British life. Adeeba has demonstrated just that. As a British Muslim woman she contributed to the mainstream agenda of public sector boards and her CBE is a great recognition of her hard work. We are all proud of her.”

According to Adeeba discrimination, poverty and various forms of inequalities are still major issues within society which need to be tackled. She says “Equality and fairness still needs to be embedded within our society, and we must create an opportunity for everyone.” For individuals to play their part in eradicating the problems they need to “Take opportunities to get into a position which allows you to be educated and skilled. Start off from yourself and then help others” she says.

Adeeba’s inspiration arises from her mother and her achievements have fared back many years; in 2005 she was appointed Chair of the National Ethnic Minority Business Forum based in the Department for Trade and Industry, and became a Commissioner for the Women and Work Commission set up by then Prime Minister, Tony Blair. In 2011 she was appointed to the Department of Energy &Climate Change Green Deal Women’s Panel.  In 2011, she was also a governor of Sheffield Hallam University, and she was made an ambassador for the Hashoo Foundation, a Pakistan based charity.  She continues to speak at high profile events at national and international level and has won numerous awards.

Here are a few things you didn’t know about Adeeba:

Fave film: Terminator 2

Fave food: Chocolates

Fave place in Bradford: The canal at Saltaire

What profession she wanted to be in when she was a child: Pop star (Debbie Harry from Blondie)

Fav holiday destination: Las Vegas & Grand Canyon