Our speakers will share their journeys’ and stories of overcoming the odds, finding the strength, determination, aspiration, persistence, hard work and achievement and how they have navigated to success in their various fields.
2018 Global prize winner, Best teacher in the world.
Andria Zafirakou, a teacher at Alperton Community School in Brent, won $1 million when she was crowned the best teacher in the world.
Andria was born in north-west London to Greek-Cypriot parents and state-educated in Brent and Camden.
She is an art and textiles teacher in Brent on the outskirts of London, one of the world’s most ethnically diverse places. She is passionate about education and changing the lives of young people and underserved communities through creativity.
She has worked her entire teaching career of 13 years at Alperton Community School and was promoted to Deputy Head of Art within a year of her arrival. She is now Associate Deputy Headteacher leading on staff professional development.
Using the prize money awarded by the Global Teacher prize, Andria founded a charity called Artists in Residence (AiR) with an aim to improve arts education in schools.
Andria has also been named in the top ten of The Evening Standard’s 1000 Londoners List. A list of the most influential people in London.
Co-founder and CEO of The Five Foundation
Ali co-founded The Five Foundation, the Global Partnership to End FGM, with Brendan Wynne in 2019. This non profit works to raise the issue of FGM on the international agenda and re-grant funding to grassroots organizations working to end FGM. Ali previously worked as a civil servant. She also served as a women’s rights activist and an independent training consultant for a number of years.
In 2010, Ali along with psychotherapist Leyla Hussein founded Daughters of Eve.The non-profit organization was established to help young women and girls, with a focus on providing education and raising awareness on female genital mutilation (FGM). Ali underwent the procedure at the age of seven at a hospital in Djibouti while on vacation with her family. She later suffered health complications and had to undergo reconstructive surgery. The experience and meeting other females who had been incised inspired her to assist at risk girls and to call for the practice’s eradication.
Additionally, Ali served as a Network Coordinator for the End FGM/C Social Change Campaign. She has also written extensively on national gender rights.
Her book What We’re Told Not to Talk About (But We’re Going to Anyway): Women’s Voices from East London to Ethiopia was published by Penguin Books in June 2019. It includes stories of women who are sharing experiences they have always been told should be “secret and shameful” as well as Ali’s own story of living with FGM.
Chef, Restauranteur and Entrepreneur
Atul Kochhar’s unique talent as a twice Michelin starred chef has changed the way people perceive and experience Indian cuisine. Taking inspiration from his native India, while continuously researching regional dishes, Atul has managed to combine his heritage with his love of British ingredients to create a unique and innovative modern Indian cuisine.
Since 1994, he has been at the forefront of Indian cuisine, achieving his first Michelin star in 2001. His contemporary style and love of traditional cooking techniques led him to open his own restaurant, Benares, which won him a Michelin star in 2007. Since then he has opened numerous successful award-winning restaurants including: Sindhu in Marlow; Hawkyns in Amersham and Indian Essence in Kent. In 2018 Atul left Benares to pursue other independent ventures. In March 2019, he welcomed Kanishka in Mayfair and has now announced Mathura’s opening early 2020 in Westminster.
Having recipes featured in international publications and regular appearances on Amazon and television, including most recently BBC2’s Million Pound Menu, Atul has also written a number of successful cookbooks; Simple Indian; Fish, Indian Style; Curries of the World; 30 Minute Curries.
His work ethic and talent have not gone unnoticed as he has had the privilege to cook for Prince Charles at St James’s Palace, as well as having been personally invited to meet HM The Queen during one of the President of India’s official visit.
Dedicating time outside of the kitchen to philanthropic endeavours, Atul has worked with The Prince’s Trust and stands as an ambassador to The British Asian Trust to support high impact charities in South Asia and the UK. Atul is currently raising money for Great Ormond Street Hospital and in January 2019 he embarked on his second voyage to Antarctica for this fabulous charity, close to his heart.
When not busy with one of his various restaurants or projects, Atul enjoys spending time at home in London with his family. Continuing to thrive, the next few years look full of exciting new projects for Atul and his team.
Running Order for the event:
6.30pm – 7.45pm Doors Open for networking
7.00pm – Canapés Served
8.00pm – Welcome address by Reena Ranger
8.05pm – Address by Andria Zafirakou
8.15pm – Address by Nimco Ali
8.25pm – Address by Atul Kochhar
8.35pm – Q&A session with panel of speakers
8.50pm – Sponsors address
8.55pm – Closing address and vote of thanks
9pm -10pm – Dinner and Networking
Disclaimer: Speakers may change without prior notice. All partners at the event are individual third parties and personal due diligence should be done.
Women Empowered shall not take any responsibilities for any transactions done with any third party organisation.
Please Note: Photos and video recordings may be taken at this event and used on social media sites. Anyone that do not want to be included please let the organisers know.