Kudos to local social entrepreneur Aspadiya

Azlan Othman

Local social entrepreneur Aspadiya binti Mohammad Shah received high commendations at the 2020 Women of the Future Southeast Asia Awards (2020 WOF SEA Awards), in the first ever virtual awards show held last Thursday.

Aspadiya is the Director of Society for Community Outreach and Training (Brunei Darussalam).

Ten women from across the region were named winners of the Women of the Future Awards Southeast Asia 2020, across 10 categories. From media to science, entrepreneurship to mentorship, the awards showcased the region’s trailblazers.

In her welcome address, Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex said, “I’ve been the global ambassador for the Women of the Future (WOF) programme for four years, and tonight marks the very first awards ceremony to be hosted online.

“Extraordinary times call for extraordinary leadership and our 2020 WOF SEA Awards exemplify how talented female leaders are paving the way and affecting positive change in so many professions, industries and sectors. I am hugely inspired by your work and the way in which so many of you are shattering stereotypes and inspiring the next generation of women across Southeast Asia.

Aspadiya binti Mohammad Shah. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

“Now more so than ever before, when it can feel that challenges are insurmountable, or when our traditional communities and support structures have been shaken, we need to find ways in which to connect, learn from each other and collaborate on a local and global scale so we support this generation of female leaders and the next,” she said.

The winners were selected from a shortlist of 48 candidates representing 10 countries across the region.

Women of the Future (WOF) programme founder Pinky Lilani said, “In these unprecedented times, we’ve had to adapt and for the first time virtually announce the winners. However, the vision and motivation of the awards remains the same. When we spotlight success, share our own stories and collaborate across professions and borders, we create a powerful community and support system for these women.

“I have been so very impressed by our candidates’ achievement and their deep desire to make the world a better place. Through these awards, we hope to continue inspiring women to broaden the female talent pool and support progress in the region.”