A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field

A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field

Approaching 2022, the gender equality gap gradually narrowing with every passing generation of men and women to come. Venturing into diverse disciplines, today, women not merely manage household but contribute extensively to economic development.

Our women, in the UK and elsewhere have come a long way, fighting stereotypes and societal perceptions, it is only right to commend their success.

iGlobal looks back at just some of the remarkable talents across different sectors that we had the privilege of covering during the course of 2021:

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A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field
Chef Asma Khan and her team of women keep Darjeeling Express on track

From the kitchen

At Darjeeling Express, Restauranteur and Chef Asma Khan brings authentic Indian cuisine alive with the help of an all-women team leading the charge in their toques. Asma opens up about the evident gender bias that prevails in the culinary industry: “How is it that in every South Asian kitchen we go to, it is a woman cooking but every South Asian origin restaurant we go to, a man is cooking?”

She voices, “I am the face of the women in my kitchen, but I stand on their shoulders. They are the ones who have lifted me to where I am. Many of them, never imagining a time where they could be financially free.” As a result, Darjeeling Express isn’t merely a business for Asma, it is her political project for women.

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A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field
On a mission to bridge the energy divide with a portable solar invention

Science and innovation

Covid-19 pandemic has had severe repercussions on the economic wellbeing of numerous microentrepreneurs around the globe. Oxford Graduate Prerna Wadikar along with her classmates on the Weidenfeld Hoffman Leadership Programme brainstormed on a project to address the energy challenges that are encountered in emerging economies.

Incepting the idea into Jeeva Global, Founder Prerna worked with renowned scientists and translated their blueprint into an actual solar chargeable Lithium-Ion portable battery. The young professional urges other youngsters to stop complaining about things and start finding constructive solutions to problems. “Whenever I would complain about something not working, or not going the way I wanted it to, my mother would ask – ‘so what are you doing about it?’”

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A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field
Engineering smart devices to tackle real-world problems

Professor of Device & Energy Materials at the University of Cambridge and co-founder of ArtioSence Ltd, Dr Sohini Kar-Narayan is listed amongst the top 50 women in Engineering. Her intensive focus on developing novel polymeric materials that can harvest electrical energy from vibrations and waste heat to power autonomous wearable health monitoring devices is an ode to women in STEM.

Sohini remarks: “It is a fact that women have been historically under-represented in these fields, and so increasing the visibility of women working and excelling in these fields does make a difference. I do hope that the next generation in its entirety will naturally embrace the concept of a diverse and inclusive workforce and value its importance.”

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A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field
Finance buff Iman wants SHEinvests to get women confident about investing

Investment and finance

Shuffling through the workstream predominantly dominated by pinstriped suited men, Iman Vinning has emerged with her educational platform- SHEinvests to make women more confident and comfortable to talk money.

“You don’t need to read the FT to be an investor. That’s what I want to bring out.”

Motivating her audience to save and invest their income rather than spending it all, she says, “you need to have things to look forward to and creating goals for your money gives you that.”

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A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field
Lavina Mehta collects her MBE for services to fitness

From the gym

Fitness Guru and Wellness Coach Lavina Mehta collected her Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her outstanding service as a role model in the South Asian community during the Covid-19 pandemic. Largely influencing the community and older people, Lavina has helped to train thousands of people virtually and globally.

“Don’t doubt yourself. I used to have serious imposter syndrome when I started all this! If I can do it, you can do it,” she said.

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A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field
For Natasha Kumar, art connected with India is in her DNA

Shades of vibrancy

Artist Natasha Kumar brings alive the sensations and moods that you experience on the vibrant streets in India. From street vendors with carts full of chikoos to veiled women in their sarees from the dry and dusty villages, her paintings soak themselves in the surroundings of their subjects.

“Artists, writers, singers and everybody gets rejected. The thing is to keep going through the bad times. You might think that you are in a bad place now, but it always gets better,” assures Natasha.

She adds: “Believe in yourself and do as much as you can. Have a goal in your head so when you wake up in the morning you can say to yourself, ‘is what I am doing today going to move me towards that goal over there?’”

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A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field
Go with the flow, says the newest London girl in Bollywood

Performing their way upwards

Making their appearances in Bollywood hits ‘Shakuntala Devi’ and ‘Bell Bottom’, London-based actors Nisha Aaliya and Bhavini Sheth portray their role with significant dedication on the silver screen. Nisha’s message to aspirants of the world of acting: “Never doubt yourself no matter what anybody says. We are our biggest critic. Say ‘I don’t want a what if’ moment and take the leap forward.”

Switching over from pursuing her law degree, Bhavini chose to fulfil her dream and passion- acting. “Right now, I am young and I need to put all of my time, energy and effort into this. If it happens it happens, and if it doesn’t, well, you can always go back to study. You are never too old to study, right!"

Last but not the least, the talented and gracious Arunima Kumar through her dance company has been endeavouring to create a buzz for the Indian Classical Dance, Kuchipudi so that the next dancer who comes doesn’t face any questions.

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A yearend roundup of Women Power across every field
Art for All: Unleashing the power of Kuchipudi as a force for good in the UK

Following her motto of “each performance should lead to another performance”, ever since her start, Arunima has wanted to convert a ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ to open the doors for other dancers. She has been devotedly propagating the advocacy for diversity and inclusion of South Asian arts in the British mainstream.

“Never leave your art because your art is going to be your best friend”, concludes Arunima.

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