DMU Honorary Doctor wins seven awards in 2019 for work to close gaps in business

A De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) graduate who champions equality in the workplace has won no less than seven awards so far this year.

Honorary Doctor of Business Administration Bijna K. Dasani, who is Head of Architecture and Innovation at the UK’s second largest banking group, Lloyds, has been recognised repeatedly this year, in all areas of business.

Bijna-graduate-2018

For the second year running, Dr Dasani (35) has been named in the Financial Times and HERoes 100 Women Executives List, which identifies the top 100 women in senior roles across all industries and sectors globally. She has also jumped up an impressive 31 places to #29, having made it to #60 last year.

She has also been recognised by this year’s Techwomen 100 list and Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Power-list, as a global role model and leader in the world of technology and innovation.

Meanwhile her work for Lloyds as a diversity champion – where she connects, supports and develops colleagues through an inclusion lens – has earnt her a place on the Lloyds Banking Group BAME (Black Asian and Minority Ethnic) Role Models list for the third time in as many years.

Bijna award - web

“It’s humbling for my work to be recognised” she said. “My aim is to create equal opportunities for everyone, and pay it forward.”

Dr Dasani also scooped the title of Business Role Model of the Year at the International Women in IT Awards, and has been named one of the Top 50 Women to Watch (for FTSE Boards) by Cranfield University, as well as one of the Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives in the World by Yahoo Finance.

“The most important thing for me is to have an impact and support evolution, and these recognitions provide me with a platform to do that” she said.

Dr Dasani’s postgraduate thesis at the University of Oxford explored the gender gap at board level in the UK financial services sector, following which she went on to create exercises to upskill and establish new ways of working within her workplace and through the networks she serves.

Through her work as an advisory board member for FinTech Connect, The Inclusive Companies Network and CIO Net UK, she has pioneered video content, seminars and training to develop staff and recruit more women to STEM roles, for which the global average is only 10% today.

Dr Dasani has also been a presenter for the Women in Business TV show and spoken globally in the media on the way in which technology is changing our world, diversity and inclusion.

DMU-summer grads 2018-253

Prior to joining Lloyds, she worked for some of the world’s key players, including Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and State Street Global Advisors. She also spent a number of years working for Deutsche Bank on Wall Street in New York.

In 2018, 13 years after she first graduated from DMU with a degree in Business Administration, Dr Dasani returned to the university to be made an Honorary Doctor in Business Administration.

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During a speech at the graduation ceremony she told graduands from the Faculty of Business and Law that she still values DMU as her home.

She said: “It is where the heart feels content, where the mind feels intellectually curious and stimulated, and where there are limitless possibilities. Possibilities to connect with each other, to dream of the future, to create something better, to fail and rise higher, to learn by being, to win by achieving, and to grow by evolving.

“For me, DMU is really where the magic happens.”

Posted on Thursday 12th September 2019

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