Another Nigerian who has distinguished herself in her profession has been honoured with a prestigious MBE by the Queen of England.
A Nigerian-born British lawyer, Funke Abimbola, has been honoured by Queen Elizabeth II as a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE), for championing diversity in the legal profession and service to young people.
Abimbola who is a solicitor, compliance professional and senior leader for one of the world’s largest biotech company, is one of the most senior black lawyers working in the UK pharmaceutical industry.
This is just another feather in Abimbola's cap having been presented with a ‘Point of Light’ award by the UK Prime Minister in recognition of the impact of her voluntary diversity work in October 2016.
The elated Abimbola took to Twitter handle to write about her newest award:
“I was absolutely stunned when I received an official letter from the Cabinet Office informing me of this in early May but have had to keep this news confidential until now.
The letter explained that having taken advice from the Head of the Civil Service and the Main Honours Committee, the Prime Minister needed my permission before submitting my name to the Queen and recommending that I be awarded the M.B.E.
It is incredible to think that campaigning for equality in my personal time (having experienced both direct racial and gender-based discrimination myself) and supporting young people to reach their potential has led to me receiving a Queen’s honour.
I am still taking it all in and feel very humbled and proud to be receiving this honour. More than anything, I am extremely grateful to everyone who has supported my journey and played a part in shaping and developing my vision – my parents, my family, friends, teachers, mentors, and mentees.
Mine has not been an easy path at all and I still face many challenges but I am very thankful for the support and encouragement I have received along the way.
My aim is to use this recognition as an elevated platform to open more doors for under-represented communities and to further advance the equality agenda by demonstrating that we are all bigger than the box that either society or the workplace chooses to put us in.
I will be carrying as many people along with me as possible and continue to drive lasting societal change,” she tweeted.
In the personal letter to Abimbola, British Prime Minister, Theresa May had written:
“You have become a role model for thousands of young people, inspiring them to believe that race or gender should not be a barrier to achieving their potential.
By speaking so passionately to groups in Parliament, the Law Society and, most importantly, over two thousand school children and university students, you are supporting the professions to become more diverse.”
Read Abimbola's tweet here.
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