Celebrating Britain's 101 Most Influential Asians 2024

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Marina Wheeler


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MARINA WHEELER is a distinguished barrister who has come into prominence recently because of her willingness to help the Labour party put together the forthcoming Green Paper on how women could deal more effectively with workplace harassment. “Women in the workplace too often suffer sexual harassment and assault and they pay a heavy price for speaking out,” she declared. “Knowing this, and to keep their jobs, they suffer in silence,” she added. “Having spent over two decades litigating employment disputes, I am delighted to be working with (La bour’s shadow attorney general) Emily Thorn berry to help formulate solutions – including law reform where necessary – to encourage women to come forward.”

She has spoken to many ethnic minority women during the process of gathering evidence for her report. She has no fixed political allegiances but when the call came from La bour, she worked on the “cab rank” principle traditionally adopted by lawyers and agreed to contribute to what she considered a vital issue. Marina, who is a KC and an acknowledged expert in employment law, is the daughter of the legendary BBC foreign correspondent, Sir Charles Wheeler, and a Sikh mother, Kuldip (known to everyone as “Dip”) Singh. In fact, the couple met and married in Delhi where Charles was stationed as the BBC’s South Asia correspondent and Dip was the glamorous social secretary to the Canadian high com missioner.

It could be Marina has acquired her sense of fair play from her parents, who have now both passed away. Marina has written a moving book about how her mother grew up in Sarghoda in west Punjab but had to flee to India because the place was allocated to the newly created state of Pakistan at Partition in 1947. Marina has told the story of her search for

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