Assistant Chief Officer recognised at The Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2023
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Anita Grant, Assistant Chief Officer at Sussex Police (ACO) for Trust and Legitimacy, has won the Public Service category of The Asian Women of Achievement Awards (AWA), which took place earlier this month.
The judges were impressed with Anita’s devotion to improving the lives of others, shaped by her own challenging upbringing and personal experiences of racism.
Twenty years of leadership in the charity sector has allowed Anita to pursue her passion for advocating for those most affected by inequality and make a significant difference.
Anita is involved in work across the trust and legitimacy spectrum, impacting the ongoing Violence Against Women and Girls strategy at Sussex Police, and leads on the Police Race Action Plan for Surrey Police and Sussex Police, where she's established and runs the joint Race Action Programme Insight and Delivery board to implement the national Police Race Action Plan across both forces.
Anita's role as critical friend enables her to explore every aspect of the force; asking questions, challenging, and changing policy, while encouraging real collaboration even when the conversations are difficult.
Anita said: “Winning the AWA award for Public Service is a massive honour and I have been overwhelmed by the response I have received. This award is a declaration that the community supports the work we are doing at Surrey Police and Sussex Police forces to advance equality, diversity and inclusion and puts our anti-racist ethos firmly on the map.
“Personally, I am proud to be recognised for my work across the charity and public sector - I dedicate the award to all young women who want to make a difference: face your fears, choose kindness and never lose sight of what’s truly important.
“The Asian woman of achievement award is, for me, a celebration of my promise to serve, guide and encourage. It serves as a reminder that anyone can achieve their goals and it’s never too late to pursue your dream!”
Deputy Chief Constable Dave McLaren said: “What an incredible difference Assistant Chief Officer Anita Grant makes to Sussex Police. Since joining a year ago, initially as a non-executive director and now as a member of the Chief Officer team leading trust and legitimacy, she has made us a better organisation, delivering a better serve to communities and creating a better environment for colleagues of colour. Anita is very much at the heart of transforming our service into an anti-racist organisation. Her ability to network, and bring people together willingly, has galvanised relationships across staff networks and associations. This has resulted in a cohesive, strong shared ambition to make Sussex Police a fully inclusive anti-racist organisation.
“On a personal level, and after 27 years in policing, I can honestly say that she has made me a better leader. It is hard to articulate how she does what she does, but she creates a psychologically safe environment where it is okay to have challenging thoughts and conversations about race. She provokes, she challenges, but importantly she cares, and does what she does knowing that the outcome is going to be better for us and the communities we serve.
I’d like to offer my congratulations to Anita in winning this award in recognition of her accomplishments here at Surrey Police and Sussex Police in driving forwards our Race and Inclusion work, as well as her wider achievements in the community and charity sector.”
The Asian Women of Achievement Awards celebrates multi-cultural Britain and the contribution of diverse cultures and talents to UK society. The event gives a platform to the phenomenal Asian women across the UK and across industries, who are making a valuable and important contribution to British life. The awards play a key role in redefining the contribution of Asian women and informing a new, positive, pro-diversity debate.
Pinky Lilani, (CBE) DL Chairman Asian Women of Achievement Award, said: “We are honoured to introduce an outstanding cohort of exceptional leaders hailing from a diverse range of professions and sectors. These remarkable women have left an indelible mark in their respective fields, and their accomplishments serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for the next generation of global leaders. We applaud each and every nominee – their unwavering determination to break down boundaries is redefining the leadership landscape and empowering countless others.”
The awards have led to the creation of numerous initiatives and projects designed to help women and improve opportunities for the next generation.