There are now 9 women of Asian origin serving on the boards of FTSE 350 companies with one of these Ruby McGregor-Smith the CEO of MITIE holding an executive position. Four of the group - Shriti Vadera, Ruby McGregor-Smith, Indira Thambiah and Manjit Woolstenholme - were educated in Britain, with the other 5 coming from the USA, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia.
Interestingly, all but two of the women - Ying Yeh and Sahar Elhabashi - either qualified as accountants or have built their careers within financial markets. Several of them have subsequently moved away from financial roles -
Shriti Vadera a former investment banker became an adviser at the Treasury and then a government minister and Indira Thambiah has moved into general retail and e-commerce management - but financial qualifications have proved valuable skills in overcoming barriers of both gender and ethnicity to reach the top of British business.
BHP Bilton & Astra Zeneca
Born: 1962 Uganda
Education: Northwood College, PPE Somerville College, Oxford
Career: Investment Banker at UBS Warburg, Government Minister
Ruby McGregor-Smith, CEO MITIE
Born:1963 Lucknow India
Education: Kingston University
Career: Qualified as accountant BDO Stoy Heyward SERCO Group. SGI Babcock. Joined MITIE 2002 as group CFO. Appointed COO 2005. Appointed CEO 2007.
Sahar Elhabashi, Telecity
Born: Alexandria, Egypt
Education: BS Economics MIT, MBA Columbia Business School
Career: COO of Conde Nast's entertainment division, previously COO of Discovery Networks International, Executive Vice President MTV, Consultant at Boston Consulting Group
Euleen Goh, Aviva
Born: 1955 Singapore
Career: Accountant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers. CEO Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore. Also non-exec at Singapore Airlines, DBS Bank, Singapore Exchange, CapitaLand Limited
Indira Thambiah, SuperGroup
Education: London Business School, MBA
Career: Qualified as Chartered Accountant, Consultant at Accenture, ASDA, Home Retail Group, Group e-Commerce Director at Dixons, CEO Multi-York Furniture. Previously non-Exec at Yorkshire Building Society
Provident Financial Group
Career: Qualified as chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers, co-head of investment banking Dresdner Kleinwort. Partner at Gleacher Shacklock investment bank. Non-executive Director of Capital and Regional plc. Non-exec governor of the Manchester Academic Health and Science Centre.
Ying Yeh, International Hotel Group
Career: From 1982 to 1997 US diplomat including Minister Counsellor, Commercial, US Embassy in Beijing. Chair and President of Eastman Kodak North Asia. Chair and Vice-President NALCO in Greater China 2009-2011. Non-exec director Volvo. Appointed to IHG board 2007.
Laura Cha, Deputy Chair HSBC
Education: BA University of Wisconsin, Law doctorate Santa Clara
Career: Deputy Chair of Hong Kong's Securities & Futures Commission, Vice Chair of China Securities Regulatory Commission, Deputy Chair HSBC,
Member of Executive Council of Hong Kong
Winnie Kin Wah Fok, 4GS
Education: University of New South Wales
Career: Trained as an auditor.Wide range of roles in asset management. Senior partner of EQT and CEO of EQT Partners Asia Limited; managing director of CEF New Asia Partners Limited.