Eastern Eye (UK)
Why ‘visible representation’ matters in creating a thriving society
BRINGING people together and celebrating success helps to create a better “understanding and appreciation” of each other, AMG managing editor, Kalpesh R Solanki, told the GG2 Leadership and Diversity Awards last Tuesday (7).
“There is more that unites us than divides us. By recognising and celebrating the success each winner contributes not only establishes a harmonious and respectful workplace, but also a harmonious and respectful neighbourhood,” he added.
Since it was founded in 1968, the Asian Media Group (AMG) – publishers of Eastern Eye and Garavi Gujarat news weeklies – have recognised and celebrated pioneers and their achievements.
Solanki said society had become “more tolerant and welcoming” and nothing highlighted this more than Rishi Sunak becoming the first UK prime minister of south Asian heritage.
“A British Asian prime minister provides enormous inspiration for all minorities who can aspire to hold the highest office in the country,” he said.
“It’s a landmark achievement for Great Britain and a historical moment for people of colour.
“His appointment also challenges the prevailing narrative of what a leader should look like or that only individuals from certain backgrounds and colour are suitable for positions of power.”
Solanki stressed that diversity was a critical factor in creating a thriving and successful society, and that “visible representation matters as it affects how we see ourselves and how others see us”.
“Progress has to be celebrated – that’s why this evening we will be recognising individuals and organisations who are championing and implementing diversity strategies,” Solanki said.
“Sustainable transformation occurs when organisations and their executives cultivate an environment that attracts and retains diverse talent, positioning themselves as an employer of choice for all communities.”
He also paid tribute to his late mother Parvatiben Solanki who, along with her late husband, Ramniklal Solanki CBE, founded the company. They championed the cause of British Asians through their publications, including
– the UK’s first-ever Gujarati-language publication.