I was born in Stamford Brook, in west London, and grew up in north London in Haringey, a few metres from Camden, spending plenty of time with my grandparents who lived in Hendon (Barnet) as both my parents worked full time. My family came to London from Bengal (Bangladesh and India) from the 1920s onwards.
Studying physics at Cambridge University, I spent a number of years in academic and industrial research, in geophysics and low-temperature physics. After an MBA, I worked as a business analyst for M&S in their IT department, introducing better, more efficient and national award-winning ways for working with suppliers in new ways. I also worked on procurement of IT infrastructure and services. As part of my induction I enjoyed three months selling menswear in an Oxford Street store.
Since my son's birth in 2003 I have worked part time at times and full time at other times. As a parent of a young child balancing work, parenting and campaigning I understand the pressures on London's parents, particularly the parents of young children of all communities.
I am currently a specialist adviser to the NHS Trust board of a London hospital where I advise on the needs of a diverse local community in a rapidly changing world.