Eastern Eye (UK)

Why ‘visible representa­tion’ matters in creating a thriving society

- Garavi

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.

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