TV presenter Shani Dhanda takes coveted number one spot at the Disability Power 100 2023 event MC-ed by the Last Leg’s Alex Brooker 

TV presenter Shani Dhanda takes coveted number one spot at the Disability Power 100 2023 event MC-ed by the Last Leg’s Alex Brooker 

Dr Shani Dhanda, a regular on Loose Women and Rip Off Britain, campaigner and businesswoman, said: “I really hope that non-disabled people are taking note and stop having low expectations of us, because we are flipping amazing!” 

Shani, an asian woman with short stature is stood behind a big bunch of flowers and next to Alex Brooker, who is wearing a blue suit. The screen behind has a black and white image of Shani and her name written in white text.

The number two spot was taken by adaptive fashion designer Victoria Jenkins, who has been featured in Vogue and showed her collection at London Fashion Week.  

While number three was taken by comedian Rosie Jones, who caused controversy earlier in the year with her documentary exploring the online abuse faced by disabled people. 

While the top three spots were taken by women, the top ten also included Oxford academic Jason Arday and Paralympian, surgeon and first disabled astronaut John McFall. 

The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker MC-ed the sometimes-raucous gala event in Wembley at which the winners were celebrated.  

Alex said: “It was a pleasure to be number one on the list in 2018.” “Apparently you can’t win it twice … got nothing to compete for now!”, but added “It’s also great to see Shaw Trust helping to spotlight the incredible achievements and contributions disabled people are making across the UK.” 

The 100 finalists were selected by an independent judging panel from more than 1,500 public nominations.  

Speaking about the winners, the chair of judges, BAFTA Trustee, Andrew Miller MBE, commented: “The Disability Power 100 not only recognises difference, perseverance and hard work, the list also celebrates the positive benefits that diversity and greater equality bring.” 

The event attracted significant sponsorship, demonstrating the importance that huge corporations place on disability inclusion, and their commitment to making change happen.

The following images can be used alongside publication of this press release.

Shani, a woman of short stature, is stood on stage in front of a packed audience. "Dr Shani Dhanda winner" appears behind her
Text on a screen reads "Welcome to the disability power 100£. A man in smart clothes is talking to someone off screen
Alex Brooker stood laughing in a candid shot
Lots of people on stage, smiling

Notes to Editors 

Shaw Trust 

  • Shaw Trust’s mission is to help people into good work – work that is satisfying, rewarding, purposful and has opportunities for progression. 
  • Shaw Trust was founded in 1982, and now supports people across England, Wales and Scotland. 
  • In 2022, Shaw Trust supported 335,000 people, in areas such as health and wellbeing, employability, and education and skills. 
  • At the Shaw Trust Foundation, we’re tackling the disability employment gap by demanding that the strengths and talents of disabled people are recognised and that society is inclusive. 

Disability Power 100 

  • The Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 recognises disabled individuals and disabled-led organisations who have had significant impact and success in the past 12 months. 
  • It amplifies the achievements of disabled people, and promotes representation and inclusion. 

Top 10 winners 

  1.  Dr Shani Dhanda (also winner of the Business and Finance category
  1.  Victoria Jenkins (also winner of the Visual Arts, Fashion and Design category
  1.  Rosie Jones (also winner of the Entertainment, Television, Radio, Theatre, Online category
  1.  Professor Jason Arday (also winner of the Education category
  1.  Pam Duncan-Glancy MSP (also winner of the Politics and Law category
  1.  Amy Francis-Smith RIBA (also winner of the Science and Engineering category
  1.  John McFall FRCS (Ortho) (also winner of the Sport category
  1.  Celestine Fraser (also winner of the Media and Publishing category
  1.  Simon Sansome (also winner of the Digital and Technology category
  1.  Martin Hibbert (also winner of the Community Advocate category

Special category winners 

Changemaking Organisation – 
Disabled Students UK (DSUK) 

Best Campaign – 
Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme 

Judges Choice –  
Ruth Madeley 

Rising Star –  
Ava Jolliffe 


Amazon – Changemaking Organisations sponsor

Channel 4 – Entertainment sponsor 

Differently Enabled – Visual Arts, Fashion and Design sponsor 

Google – Media and Publishing sponsor 

Iconi Software – Digital and Tech sponsors 

Lloyds Banking Group – Business and Finance sponsors 

Nationwide – Community Advocate sponsors 

Nimbus Disability – Sport sponsor 

Xerox – Science and Engineering sponsor 

Key disability stats 

  • 1 in 5 of the working age population are disabled 
  • 78% of people acquire their disability or health condition aged 18+ 
  • It is estimated that 70%+ of disabilities are invisible. 
  • According to government figures the disability employment rate has increased by 9.2 percentage points from 43.4% in July to September 2013 to 52.6% in July to September 2022