One of the most senior members of the City Sikhs Advisory Board, Dr Kamel Hothi, has been awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for services to the banking industry in the UK.
Kamel has been a leading supporter and advocate for City Sikhs since it was founded in October 2010 as a network for British Sikh professionals. Her advice has seen it develop into one of the leading Sikh organisations in the country with over 6,000 individual members.
Over the last 37 years, she has changed the banking world by being a trailblazer for women and ethnic minorities. In 1979, she joined TSB as a cashier at the age of 16, and by 1990 she had become TSB’s first female bank manager in the South East and its first ever bank manager of Asian heritage.
She has gone on to play a leading role in helping Lloyds Banking Group recognise the contribution made by the Asian community to the British economy, as well as changing perceptions within the banking industry about women and ethnic minorities.
The Chair of City Sikhs, Jasvir Singh OBE, said “Kamel has been such an inspiration for the British Sikh community, and we at City Sikhs are extremely proud to have one of the leading members of our Advisory Board receiving this well-deserved honour.”
In speaking about the recognition, Kamel Hothi said, “I am truly humbled to be honoured in such a profound way but feel this recognition is for my parents who survived the partition of India and Pakistan – the biggest migration of refugees and brought us here to the UK to build a better life. My father was a civil engineer in India but unfortunately in the 60’s his skills were not acknowledged. He did struggle with this biasness and refused for me to go onto further education believing there was no point and arranged my marriage at 19. It was these experiences that have driven me to improve and create a level playing field for all concerned. I just wished my parents were alive today to witness me receiving my OBE from the Queen so to prove that hard work is recognised regardless of your background”