Mindy Kaling presented the award to Bajaria.
Universal Television president Bela Bajaria, who is an Indian American, was named Inspiring Woman of the Year at the March of Dimes annual Celebration of Babies luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire, in California. Actress Jessica Alba received the Grace Kelly award.
March of Dimes, the nonprofit organization that works to improve the health of mothers and babies, gave Alba the coveted award, presented to her by Rachel Zoe, for making child care a core component of her business the Honest Company. Alba’s company offers a range of natural healthy products for children, as well as donates money to fund child-care centers and medical research into child-related diseases and conditions.
“I wanted to make sure that our success was measured by how it changed people’s lives, not just profit,” Alba told The Hollywood Reporter.
Mindy Kaling presented the Inspiring Woman of the Year Award, joking that she first met honoree Bajaria “at a meeting of the Indian mafia that secretly runs Hollywood.”
Kaling said that Bajaria was a remarkable person, noting how “[y]ears before television was as diverse as it is now, Bela was my champion. Even though I did not look like any other leading lady on television. Maybe that’s because there weren’t a lot of studio heads that looked like Bela.”
Despite being a powerful Hollywood exec, Bajaria spoke to the Hollywood Reporter about her most important job: being a mom. “I think it’s amazing that [the kids] see a mom who goes to work, who’s passionate about her work and that’s important, but is involved in a lot of different charities, but is also at home, at a soccer game, and hanging out playing Monopoly. I think it’s important to see that all of those things are possible,” she said.
Terry Crews also was in attendance to support Bajaria and described the exec as “one of the best people I’ve ever met in the business.”
The luncheon, which was emceed by Nick Cannon, celebrated people who had become parents in 2015, including celebs such as Naya Rivera and her husband Ryan Dorsey, Dave and Odette Annable, Tracy Anderson and Molly Sims. Sims and her husband, producer Scott Stuber, presented the Prematurity Champion Award to Dr. Michele Hakakha, the report said.