People inspire in many ways. As for Pinki Lilani who is well known for a host of awards which recognise influential women and leaders, has helped to highlight and progress the careers and aspirations of hundreds of women. She is the founder of Asian Women of Achievement Awards; the Women of the Future Award; and, the Global Empowerment Award. When she has moment to spare she is also an entrepreneur, cookery specialist and an author.

Pinki received an OBE in 2007 for her work to celebrate women’s achievements and is considered one of Britain’s most influential women. Born and educated in Calcutta, India she was determined to to find an avenue for women to highlight the difficulties in the work place and find a positive outlet to bring out the very best talent in the forefront.

The Asian Women of Achievement Awards have been in existence for 16 years and they help to spotlight the huge contribution women make in the fields as diverse as business, entrepreneurship and social and humanitarian work.

This year I was one of the lucky ones winning the coveted Chairman’s Award. It was a surprise to be nominated by my colleague Beryl de Souza. But to win in front of a some of the most phenomenal group of women from around the country was a humbling experience. The recognition is a great motivator and a place to connect with like minded women. The Guest of Honour was the Duchess of Gloucester who also happen to be a patron of Medical Women’s Federation, an organisation with which I edit the journal Medical Woman.

The Award will go a long way to help push the equality and diversity agenda in the headlines. I myself, have done several press interviews since winning the award – it was an experience! And if this helps to highlight the real issues, it is already making a big difference. And I hope that Pinki and her team continue with the great work they do … and continue to inspire lots more women around the world.