Nominations are now open for WeAreTheCity’s 2021 Rising Star Awards

Rising Star Awards 2021 Banner

WeAreTheCity is delighted to announce that nominations for our 2021 Top 100 Rising Star Awards are now open.  

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Now in its seventh year, the Rising Star Awards are the first to focus on the UK’s female talent pipeline below management level. Our strategic goal, set in 2015, aims to showcase 1,000 outstanding women by 2022. By highlighting the accolades of these women, WeAreTheCity are not only promoting the amazing female talent that exists across the UK, but actively encouraging organisations and business leaders to invest in and recognise these women as leaders of tomorrow and individual contributors to their respective industries.

These awards will recognise and celebrate a further 100 female individual contributors from over 20 different industries that represent the leaders and role models of tomorrow. These winners will join our award’s alumni of 650 previous winners, across the UK and India.

New for this year, we are also excited to introduce a new “Global Award for Achievement” category to our awards to expand our search for global talent. This category is a female individual who works within any industry, outside of the UK, whose current position is below director level.

Alongside these categories, we are also calling for nominations for Champions, Men for Gender Balance and a Company of the Year. Our Champion award recognises the achievements of five senior individuals, of any gender, who are actively supporting the female pipeline outside of their day job. Nominations for this award are individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to gender, e.g. HeForShe supporters, network leaders, directors, MD’s & C-Suite individuals who are championing women either inside or outside their organisations.

The Men for Gender Balance category is for men who are championing women and gender balance either inside or outside their organisation. Nominees must be at least Director level (or equivalent) or above, and must demonstrate that they have actively supported the female pipeline either through their current work role or external activities.

The Company of the Year award recognises the achievements of a company who can clearly demonstrate that they are actively supporting its female talent pipeline through their initiatives, training, development programmes and internal employee relations and diversity network groups.


In previous years, the awards have been supported by an array of FTSE sponsors and this year is no different.

The 2021 Rising Star Awards are powered by the Royal Bank of Canada and supported by 3M, Accenture, Barclays, Bloomberg, the British Army, C&C Search, Cancer Research UK, Citi, CMI Women, Elysian, Goldman Sachs, GSK, Highways Sector Council, HSBC, Lloyd’s Insurance, National Grid, Northern Trust, Oliver Wyman, Oxford Said Business School, and Reed Smith.

Rising Star Sponsors 2021(2)


The nominations process opens today, 11 January 2021, for all categories.

A shortlist of ten women from each industry category will be chosen by an esteemed panel of judges and will be published in April. The shortlist will then be open to a public vote. Judging for the final five winners for each category will take place with independent judges in May. The Top 100 Rising Stars will be announced on 25 May 2021.

Our 2021 winners, Rising Star alumni, judges, sponsors and supporters will be invited to a prestigious ceremony – details to be announced.

Watch our 2020 virtual awards ceremony below:


Categories including in the 2021 Rising Star Awards are as follows:

  • Rising Stars in All Other Industries
  • Rising Stars in Banking & Capital Markets, sponsored by Goldman Sachs
  • Rising Stars in Charity & Not-for-Profit, sponsored by Cancer Research UK
  • Rising Stars in Defence, sponsored by The British Army
  • Rising Stars in Digital, sponsored by Barclays
  • Rising Stars in Diversity, sponsored by Citi
  • Rising Stars in EA/PA, sponsored by C&C Search
  • Rising Stars in Education & Academia, sponsored by University of Oxford Saïd Business School
  • Rising Stars in Energy & Utilities, sponsored by National Grid
  • Rising Stars – Entrepreneurs & Start-Ups
  • Rising Stars in Healthcare, sponsored by GSK
  • Rising Stars in HR & Recruitment, sponsored by Elysian
  • Rising Stars in Infrastructure, Transport & Logisitics, sponsored by Highways Sector Council
  • Rising Stars in Insurance, sponsored by Lloyd’s of London
  • Rising Stars in Investment Management, sponsored by Northern Trust
  • Rising Stars in Law (The Lynne Freeman Award), sponsored by Reed Smith
  • Rising Stars in Professional Services, sponsored by Oliver Wyman
  • Rising Stars in Science & Engineering, sponsored by 3M
  • Rising Stars in Technology, sponsored by Accenture
  • Rising Star Champions, sponsored by CMI Women
  • Rising Stars Company of the Year, sponsored by Bloomberg
  • Rising Stars Men For Gender Balance, sponsored by HSBC
  • Rising Stars Global Award for Achievement

Criteria for entries

  • Open to all women regardless of age
  • Nominees must be below senior management level (e.g. below Director level)
  • Nominees must be working within the industry of the category for which they are nominated
  • Nominees must be working in the UK (with the exception of the Global Award for Achievement)

How we define a Rising Star

  • Someone who is or who has the potential to be a role model in their business or sector
  • Someone who strives to achieve success and results
  • Someone who gives back or inspires others
  • Someone who is recognised by others as having the potential to become a future leader in their industry

Awards Timeline

  • Nominations open: 11 January 2021
  • Nominations close: 08 March 2021
  • Shortlist announced and public vote*: 19 April 2021
  • Public voting closes: 30 April 2021
  • Winner’s announced: 25 May 2021
  • Award’s ceremony: Date TBC

*There is no public vote of support for the Champion of the Year, Global Award for Achievement, Company of the Year or Men for Gender Balance award

If you have any additional questions about the awards, please contact [email protected]. For details of entry criteria, please visit here.

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About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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