Rising Star Awards’ Celebration 2019 | In Words

Images from the WATC Rising Stars Awards Ceremony, 03July2019

WeAreTheCity celebrated the winners of the 2019 Rising Star Awards last night (Wednesday 3 July), at a prestigious ceremony at The Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, London.

Over 400 winners, sponsors, judges and guests attended the fifth Rising Star Awards and enjoyed a sparkling reception, a three-course meal and fine wine. Guests also had the opportunity to network with an array of inspiring attendees including 14-year-old, Royal Marines cadet, Bea Jackson; Dr Shola Mos-Shognamimu, Lawyer, Founder of Women in Leadership Publication; Political & Women’s rights activist; Paul Sesay, CEO & Founder, The Inclusive Companies and The National Diversity Awards; and Helene Reardon-Bond OBE, Former Director of the Government Equalities Office and international gender pay gap expert, amongst many others.

Hosting the awards’ ceremony, sponsored by The Times and The Sunday Times, for a second year, Jane Hill, journalist and BBC News presenter, said, “It is all about you tonight; it’s all about the awards, and the men and women who go the extra mile to help champion young people.”

During her opening speech, Eleanor Mills, Editorial Director, The Sunday Times, instilled her advice to the room. She said, “Many women don’t blow their trumpets enough.”

“You’ve got to network and hustle a bit and tell people what you’ve done.”

 “Don’t be like Cinderella waiting to be tapped on the shoulder!”


Rounding off the speeches, Vanessa Vallely, Managing Director of WeAreTheCity, said, “What was missing five years ago was an awards that could recognise that pipeline of talent… we now have 450 rising stars and every single one of those individuals is dedicated to helping each-other; paying it back.”

“As a society, from a female perspective, we stand on the shoulders of each-other.”

Throughout the evening, guests were entertained by 1920’s girl band, Just The Tonic and to close the night, multi-Brit and MOBO award winner and Magic Soul FM DJ, Lemar.


Now in their fifth year, the awards are the first to focus on the UK’s female talent pipeline below management level. Through these awards, we celebrate 100 individual female contributors that represent the leaders and role models of tomorrow. WeAreTheCity hope that by raising the profile of our shortlist and winners, we will encourage organisations to consider how they strengthen the development of their female pipeline for the future.

The awards were entered by over 1,250 individuals and were judged by a panel of 54 independent judges. Over 35,000 public votes of support were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees across 115 countries.

The winners of each category can be found in alphabetical order below. Full details of each winner can be found here.

Rising Stars in All Other Industries

  • Anna Blackwell and Kate Culverwell- Kayaking the Continent
  • Claudia Craig – Centenary Action Group
  • Hannah Elderfield – Canvas8
  • Hope Virgo – Mental Health Campaigner, Public Speaker & Author of Stand Tall Little Girl
  • Louise Maynard-Atem – Experian

Rising Stars in Banking & Capital Markets

  • Christine Ondimu – HSBC
  • Clodagh McCullagh – Barclays
  • Ericka FitzGerald – MUFG
  • Jemma Waters – Lloyds Banking Group
  • Preeti Chaudhary – AIB UK

Rising Stars in Charity

  • Agnieszka Baliszewska – Nursing and Midwifery Council
  • Herchran Boal – RSPCA
  • Laura Perkins – Young Women’s Trust
  • Natalie Moore – Apps for Good
  • Sonia Meggie – Inspirational YOU

Rising Stars in Creative Industries

  • Anila Chowdhry – Freelance at Channel 5’s The Vine Show and The Telegraph
  • Georgina Bobb – Connect2TV Coaching
  • Gina Thompson – Warner Bros TVP
  • Isabella Silvers – Hearst UK
  • Juliette Nicholls – Pineapple Audio Production

Rising Stars in Defence

  • Emma Sagar – British Army
  • Faith Jayne – Raytheon Systems Limited
  • Georgina Brown – Ministry of Defence
  • Hazelle Garton – Royal Navy
  • Victoria Cope – BAE Systems

Rising Stars in Digital

  • Anahita Mahmoudi – Capgemini
  • Anna Somaiya – KPMG
  • Jem Collins – Journo Resources
  • Laura Chung – PayPal
  • Tara Annison – Lendingblock

Rising Stars in Diversity

  • Elizabeth Seward – Airbus
  • Salma Zulfiqar – SBZ Creative Media
  • Sarah Garnett – Telefonica UK Ltd
  • Sharniya Ferdinand – NatWest
  • Sheree Atcheson – Deloitte

Rising Stars – EA & PA

  • Hanna Stacey – Rackspace
  • Helen Rees – Marwell Wildlife
  • Melissa Francis – Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  • Nikki Holland – PwC
  • Paula Moio – Time Family Office

Rising Stars in Education & Academia

  • Aimee Atkinson – UWE Bristol
  • April-Louise Pennant – University of Birmingham
  • Caroline Thraves – The University of Wales Trinity Saint David
  • Joanna Donegan-Edwards – Dartford Science and Technology College
  • Kerry Pace – Diverse Learners Ltd

Rising Stars in Entrepreneurs & Startups

  • Angelica Malin – About Time Magazine
  • Caroline Pegden – TempaGoGo
  • Cat Trebilco – Reach the Peak
  • Isobel McFarland – Care
  • Naomi Jane – A Life Less Ordinary Wanted

Rising Stars in HR & Recruitment

  • Edleen John – KPMG
  • Emily Lewis – Finlay James
  • Mikahla Chapman – Accenture
  • Millie Smyth – Accenture
  • Morgana Aiyer – Accenture

Rising Stars in Insurance

  • Emilia Gibson – Marsh
  • Emma Adie – Talbot Underwriting Ltd
  • Emma Thomson – British Friendly
  • Jasmine Shell – r10 Consulting
  • Natalia Zurowski – Synechron

Rising Stars in Investment Management

  • Alexandra Jackson – Rathbones
  • Jenny Qian Qi Quan – Smith & Williamson
  • Rachel Green – Aviva Investors
  • Rebecca O’Dwyer – M&G Investments
  • Shalah Akhtar – PwC

Rising Stars in Law (The Lynne Freeman Award)

  • Asma Al Abbarova – Law Business Research
  • Cherry Swift – DLA Piper UK LLP
  • Dana Abdulkarim – Linklaters LLP
  • Katherine Ramo – CMS
  • Natalie Carter – Greenberg Traurig LLP

Rising Stars in PR & Communications

  • Emma Dean – Hanover Communications
  • Emma Molloy – Moonpig
  • Esther Harris – Bookollective
  • Leigh Rimmer – LendInvest
  • Serena Chana – 23 Code Street

Rising Stars in Professional Services

  • Kenda Macdonald – Automation Ninjas
  • Mary Agbesanwa – PwC
  • Meera Kotak – innogy Consulting
  • Megan Cross – Accenture
  • Monique Malcolm-Hay – PwC

Rising Stars in Property, Construction & FM

  • Candy Hollingum – CBRE
  • Frankie Isherwood – CBRE
  • Helen Heward – Planning House
  • Michelle Hicks – Merlin Entertainments
  • Ninarita Williams – Transport for London

Rising Stars in Public Sector

  • Charlene Chigumira – Bedford, Luton & Milton Keynes Sustainability & Transformation Partnership
  • Judith Hardisty – Health and Safety Executive
  • Nadine Barrett – Slough Borough Council
  • Sophie Daud – Department for Work and Pensions
  • Vimla Appadoo – FutureGov

Rising Stars in Science & Engineering

  • Lorna Bennet – Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
  • Mariapia Angelino – WSP
  • Rain Irshad – STFC RAL Space
  • Rand Alkhatib – Arcadis
  • Rosario Barcena – Systra

Rising Stars in Technology

  • Claire Donoghue – 3M
  • Ekaterini Tasiopoulou – IBM
  • Love Oyeniran – LRO Consults
  • Martha Imprialou – QuantumBlack
  • Rebeka Marton – Deloitte

Rising Star Champions

  • Carmel McKinney OBE – Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service
  • Deborah Gilshan – The 100% Club
  • Foluke Akinlose MBE – PRECIOUS
  • Sarah Atkinson – techUK
  • Sarah-Jane Butler – Parental Choice

Company of the Year

  • Aviva Investors

Rising Stars – Editor’s Choice

  • Ann Miller-McCaffrey – Royal Navy
  • Christina Blacklaws – The Law Society of England and Wales
  • Gemma Kybert – Oscar’s Wish Foundation
  • Holly Rafique – #techmums
  • Katherine Loe – Morgan Stanley
  • Laura and Rachel Beattie – Careaux
  • Vivienne Artz – Refinitiv

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.

Related Posts