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Chinese women honored at UK awards

By Cecily Liu | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-12-12 22:02

The exceptional achievements of women in the United Kingdom's Chinese community were celebrated on Monday evening at the Mulan Awards 2017 in London.

Attended by more than 100 guests, it was the fourth awards ceremony held since the charity Mulan Foundation Network was launched at the House of Lords in October 2013.

The charity is named after an ancient Chinese heroine Hua Mulan, who is also the subject of a Disney film. She masqueraded as a man to save her family honor and her country. The charity also hosts talks in the UK to inspire young Chinese female.

"Equality for Chinese women still have a long way to go, but we hope our charity can unite women to help each other and achieve more," said Mei Sim Lai, chairwoman of Mulan Foundation Network.

This year's awards were given to seven women, celebrating their contributions in business, arts and culture, education and science and healthcare.

The business and international banking award was given to Datuk Yvonne Chia, chairwoman of Standard Chartered Bank Malaysia and Standard Chartered Saadiq. Chia was the first woman to become CEO of a Malaysian bank in 1996.

The community arts and culture award was given to Alice Yu, a presenter at Chinese Spectrum, a radio show focusing on issues relevant to the British Chinese community. Yu, who previously worked as an English teacher, also helped many immigrant children from China and India ease into the British education system, which the award also recognized her for.

The business and enterprise award was given to Angel Xue, co-founder and creative director of Angeleye, a fashion brand that currently supplies products to businesses such as Superdry, Debehams, Next and ASOS.

The arts and culture award was given to Zhou Xu, a teacher and founder of Uprising Chinese Academy, which offers courses such as calligraphy, seal carving, Chinese painting, Chinese tea ceremony and Chinese music instruments. The award recognized her achievements in creating a platform for Chinese and British people in the UK to experience and connect with Chinese culture.

The social enterprise and young achiever award was given to Bonnie Chiu. She is co-founder and CEO of the social enterprise Lensational, which empower marginalized women by creating a platform for them to share their photos. She is also managing director of the Social Investment Consultancy, which helps charities and companies to maximize their social impact.

The education and science award was given to Chen Rongrong, a research scientist at Kings College London, who is also the lab manager of the Sino-British Joint Pharmaceutical Laboratory, which KCL established jointly with China's Guizhou Medical University. Chen's contributions were key to the lab's establishment in 2015.

The healthcare and tackling health inequalities award was given to Etheldreda Kong, a general practitioner, who is also the chairwoman of the NHS Brent Clinical Commissioning Group. She was the first Chinese woman to take on this role in 2011. Over the years she has mentored younger women in medical and other fields.

Prior to the establishment of the charity Mulan Foundation Network, the Mulan Awards ran for three years from 2009 to 2011, with funding and other support from Chinese for Labour, a group closely associated to the UK's Labour Party.

The award was established by Sonny Leong, chairman of Chinese for Labour, and Katy Blair, co-founder of the Islington Chinese Association, who is also one of the founders of Chinese for Labour.

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