The Asian Women of Achievement Awards (AWA), in association with NatWest, has announced the shortlist of the 2019 awards.

From a composer, comedian and cardiologist to CEOs of big businesses, a GB wheelchair basketball player and a professor whose groundbreaking work has uncovered a new universal influenza vaccine, the nominees are a shining example of the trailblazing work of Asian women in Britain today.

The awards, now in their 20th year, celebrate the incredible achievements of Asian women and the contribution they make, both professionally and in their communities, across a vast range of industries and professions, from science, medicine and technology to sport, business and charity work.

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards, founded by Pinky Lilani CBE DL in 1999, celebrates multicultural 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.


Arts & Culture, Business, Entrepreneur, Media, Professions, Public Service, Real Estate Infrastructure and Construction, Social and Humanitarian, Sport, Technology and Digital, Young Achiever

You can view the full shortlist here.


The awards have led to the creation of numerous initiatives and projects designed to help women and improve opportunities for the next generation. The awards are not simply a night of recognition but a community and a programme of initiatives that offer the opportunity for candidates to meet like-minded women and build their networks.

Our sister initiative, the Women of the Future Programme, enables opportunities through our Women of the Future Network and Women of the Future Ambassadors Programme.


Pooja Saini

“When I won the AWA award I remembered feeling overwhelmed by the whole thing and honoured that my work was now being recognised. The respect I also received from my family and community was encouraging and I know that I have had an influence on other South Asian female colleagues’ and family members to work towards winning awards. The response I have had within all areas of my life has been unbelievable, and this has given me even more confidence and motivation to succeed and aim for higher positions within my current work organisation.” Dr Pooja Saini, AWA Public Service Winner 2018


Ambassadors Programme
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards. It is incredibly humbling to consider how far these awards have come since the inaugural event in 1999. Twenty years on, and we are able to showcase women working across a vast range of professions and all with unique challenges and stories of success to share. Never has it been more important for us to celebrate this talent, to keep the spotlight firmly on the Diversity & Inclusion agenda and to open our hearts and minds to new ideas, new ways of looking at the world and new ways to collaborate.” Pinky Lilani CBE DL, Chair and Founder, Asian Women of Achievement Awards

“This year we celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards and NatWest is proud to sponsor these Awards for the eighth consecutive year. As always, the shortlist this year showcases the incredible contribution that Asian women are making in the UK today. My congratulations to all those that have been shortlisted, they are fantastic role models already achieving tremendous success in their fields.” Les Matheson, Chief Executive, Personal Banking, RBS and NatWest