On the 9th May, our 2018 Asian Women of Achievement Awards were announced at a star-studded event at the London Hilton on Park Lane. Today, we would like to turn the spotlight onto the winner of the Business Award, Yasmin Waljee OBE.
A groundbreaking International Pro Bono Director
Yasmin is a human rights lawyer and Hogan Lovells’ International Pro Bono Director. Her appointment to this pro bono role back in 1997 was the first of its kind in Europe. Since then she has dedicated her career to representing charities, social enterprises and individuals who need expert legal advice but who would not ordinarily be able to afford it.
Yasmin and her amazing team have represented hundreds of people in need, from domestic abuse and human trafficking survivors in the UK, to Yazidi women fleeing ISIS. As the Asian Women of Achievement judges commented:
“Yasmin has an incredible generosity of spirit and is consistently seeking to help others in need across the globe. She is a force for change, doing what she can to ensure justice is accessible to all. She is also totally focused on changing the legal profession to make it more socially responsible and diverse.”
Building a society that works for everyone
Committed to giving a voice to the voiceless, Yasmin inspires us all into action. In her words:
“To me it seems the world is a little broken at the moment, divided and slightly frightening…and for me politicians don’t seem to be able to articulate the society that we want. As business leaders, as society leaders… I would say it is our responsibility to build the society that we want, that works for everyone, so that no one is left behind, and that there is something for the next generation.”
Indeed, we can wait for others to change the world, or we can find the courage to follow our dreams, to put ideas into action and to be the role models that the next generation so need. As Yasmin’s team know only too well, her favourite quote comes from Mark Twain: “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
The importance of the Asian Women of Achievement Awards
Next year the Asian Women of Achievement Awards will celebrate its 20th anniversary. The awards continue to offer a unique opportunity to spotlight the incredible achievements of Asian women in the UK – 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.
To watch the highlights from the 2018 ceremony, head this way.