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An exceptional individual who has smashed through glass ceilings at every level

21 October 2016

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has won a prestigious award. At last night's GG2 Leadership Awards at London’s Park Plaza Westminster Bridge, Secretary-General Scotland was named Woman of the Year.

Presenting the award, the Lord Feldman said, “Last year she was elected as the sixth Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of nations, the first woman to hold the post. A history-maker at almost every level, she has served this country and now the Commonwealth at the very highest levels. Baroness Scotland is an exceptional individual who has smashed through glass ceilings at every level.

“She has been a tireless campaigner against domestic violence and fought for equality and justice much of her life. Her appointment as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth comes at a crucial time for the organisation and the world in which we live.”

Earlier in the evening, the host BBC Radio 5 Live broadcaster, Nihal Arthanayake, carried out an impromptu interview with Secretary-General Scotland, much to the delight of the audience. The Secretary-General spoke about her childhood, what inspired her and her love of the Commonwealth. 

Congratulations to GG2 Woman of the Year Baroness (Patricia) Scotland of Asthal #PscotlandCSG #GG2awards #amgbiz pic.twitter.com/l4uOQY385m

— Eastern Eye (@EasternEye) October 21, 2016

The Awards are now in their 18th year. They celebrate multicultural Britain as well as offering organisations a chance to reach into the British-Asian and black minority ethnic communities with their year-long programme of activities.

Secretary-General Scotland said, “I’m humbled and happy to accept this prestigious award. The Commonwealth Secretariat, which I am proud to lead, serves more than 2 billion people, 60 percent of whom are aged under 30. By accepting it, I’m urging young black and Asian people to believe in themselves, become leaders and grab leadership opportunities.

"I’m calling on you to never let anyone say that you can’t do something, push your ambition as far as you can and dare to dream. As the inspirational Commonwealth leader Nelson Mandela said: 'It's always impossible until it's done.’”

"There's no disgrace in failing but only in not in trying"-Baroness Patricia Scotland #GG2Awards #gg2Awards16 @planetParle @asianculturevul

— Attika Choudhary (@attikac) October 20, 2016

The Awards are run by the Asian Media & Marketing Group, Britain’s biggest Asian publishing house with publications across the world and in Commonwealth countries. Candidates are nominated by the public and the winner decided by a panel of distinguished judges. 

“The judges felt that Secretary-General Scotland was an outstanding figure on the world stage,” said the managing editor of the Asian Media & Marketing Group, Kalpesh Solanki. “Her sheer determination, pioneering spirit and outstanding achievements make her a role model for all women, not just of colour, to emulate.”