TIAW congratulates the extraordinary individuals who have been selected as recipients of the 2013 TIAW World of Difference 100 Award!
Today we share with you insight and inspiration from selected World of Difference Award recipients. Pervin Todiwala, from the UK, is a 2013 World of Difference Award recipient in the Entrepreneurship category is featured below.
Share your thoughts on being a 2013 World of Difference Award recipient?
I was amazed and somewhat in shock. More than that, the response I had after receiving this award was so humbling. Sometimes you think that people don't notice what you do, but they do, and I'm grateful to TIAW for the honour and recognition. Women everywhere should know that the world is watching us and what we do does make a real difference.
Why do you think is important to empower women/girls?
Looking at my industry alone, very few women occupy the most senior positions in the professional hospitality sector. Possibly one of the reasons is that many women have to make difficult career choices and not everyone has the opportunity or the means to develop her career because of the demands of the family. This is a fact of life. However, while it is slowly changing, I notice that when women do achieve in our industry, they are still often overlooked.
The recent cover of a well-known international magazine is a case in point because it seemed to celebrate only male chefs. But there are a number of women at the top of the cheffing profession and we need to give out the message that it is a credible profession and career for women, where you can rise to the very top. Young girls have to know that, and not just be encouraged to go into law or medicine, like many girls are, especially in India from my background. And I think you can still count the number of recognised restaurant managers that are women.
What inspires you to continue to make a difference?
My husband, Cyrus, whom I have admittedly supported throughout his career, inspires me because I look at him and say, if he can do so much to make a difference in people's lives, so can I. His energy inspires me. In life not everything will go your way all the time, but if you are resilient and never give up, you will always move forward. This is the attitude that inspires me.
What is the next thing you'd like to accomplish?
In the immediate future we are opening a new restaurant in London called Assado. It is our fourth and I am very excited about it as it is something we have worked very hard to achieve and this will take up a lot of my energies. However, I have always wanted to teach, to tutor and impart my knowledge to both my peers and the next generation. Even as a student, I seemed to excel in tutoring my classmates, just ask my best friend. If I find myself in this position in the future, I think it would be an extremely rewarding experience, and something I could make a real success of.
Read our next interview with Hassina Sherjan, from Afghanistan, 2012 World of Difference Award recipient in the Education category.