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Monday, April 22, 2024

Trailblazing Leadership: Adeeba Malik assumes role as West Yorkshire’s First ethnic minority female High Sheriff

Professor Adeeba Malik CBE DL has etched her name in history as the trailblazing first ethnic minority female to assume the esteemed position of High Sheriff for West Yorkshire.

In a momentous ceremony held at Leeds High Court on Monday 25 March, Ms. Malik made her Oath of Declaration, symbolising not just an individual accomplishment but a significant milestone in the ongoing journey towards diversity and representation in positions of influence and authority.

This prestigious year-long appointment, steeped in over a millennium of tradition, underscores the enduring importance of the Office of High Sheriff, a role dating back to Saxon times, second only to the Crown in its secular significance.

Ms. Malik’s journey to this historic role is a testament to her unwavering dedication to fostering social and economic opportunities for marginalised communities. Born in Bradford to Pakistani immigrants, she embarked on a career that transcended boundaries, from teaching in Bradford and Hull to becoming a stalwart advocate for the underprivileged nationwide.

Expressing her profound sense of honour, Ms. Malik remarked, “It is an enormous honour to take on this important role. I look forward to serving my home county and meeting the many different people who do so much good for West Yorkshire. It will be a privilege to support those who work so hard in crime prevention, as well as those from the public, private, community, charity, and voluntary sectors, who create such positive impact for the region.”

She added: “West Yorkshire, like the rest of the UK, has faced many challenges over decades. However, through my years of work in the county, I know there is so much good work taking place by so many different people, and I want to acknowledge that in my year as High Sheriff, and champion those people who do great work across our communities.”

New High Sheriff Adeeba Malik with Yorkshire’s Lord Lieutenant Ed Anderson

Throughout her illustrious career spanning over 32 years with the QED Foundation, Ms. Malik has left an indelible mark, emerging as a leading voice for the socially disadvantaged. Her appointment as High Sheriff amplifies her commitment to championing those who tirelessly work towards the betterment of our communities.

Dr Mohammed Ali OBE, CEO of the QED Foundation, said: “When I set up QED 34 years ago, I stated a vision, which was to see ethnic minorities play full roles in Britain’s mainstream social and economic life. I see this vision becoming reality in all walks of life, which gives me great pleasure that we are on the right track. Adeeba’s appointment as the first ethnic minority woman High Sheriff for Yorkshire is a great example of that. I’m immensely proud of Adeeba and all her achievements and contribution to QED over the years. She’s already a much-loved and respected force for good in our region and beyond.”

Ms. Malik’s multifaceted contributions extend far beyond West Yorkshire, encompassing a diverse array of roles and responsibilities across Whitehall and various national and regional boards. From shaping government policy to facilitating integration, she has wielded her influence on effecting tangible change.

The former teacher’s achievements are endless with accolades and awards including Asian Standard Bradford’s most influential 2023, Yorkshire Post Top 20 Influential Women of Yorkshire and Top 50 Northern Power List for Women. In 2023, she was the recipient of Woman and Home magazine’s, Amazing Woman Award.

In 2004, she received an MBE, and in 2015, a CBE for her contribution to mainstream public bodies.

As she steps into her role as High Sheriff, Ms. Malik’s dedication to inclusivity is evident not only in her actions but also in her choice of attire. By designing a blue tunic-style ensemble that respects both tradition and religious values, she sends a powerful message of inclusivity and aspiration, paving the way for women from underrepresented groups to aspire to similar heights.

In applauding Professor Adeeba Malik’s historic appointment, we not only celebrate an individual achievement but also reaffirm our collective commitment to diversity, inclusion, and progress. As she embarks on this transformative journey, we stand in solidarity, wishing her every success in her role as High Sheriff of West Yorkshire.



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