Our first virtual Rising Star Awards in 2020

WeAreTheCity celebrated the winners of the 2020 Rising Star Awards last night (Thursday 30th July) via a virtual award’s ceremony.

Given the circumstances, the team at WeAreTheCity had to do things a little differently with the Rising Star Awards this year. The event was attended by winners, judges, sponsors and special guests and our winners had the opportunity to network with each other in our interactive breakout rooms. Each winner received a goodie box with their award, complete with champagne, chocolates, books and other treats.

The virtual award’s ceremony was hosted by Julia Streets, CEO, Streets Consulting. Throughout the evening, guests were entertained by comedian and actress, Sally Phillips; singer-songwriter, Antigoni and Southend Vox Choir.

Watch the video from the night below

Speaking about the awards, Vanessa Vallely OBE, Managing Director, WeAreTheCity, said, “I am so proud that for the sixth year running WeAreTheCity has been able to shine a light on the achievements of so many remarkable women, organisations and male champions across the UK.”

“This year has been an extraordinarily challenging year.”

“We have all experienced unprecedented change both in terms of our personal and professional lives – yet still, we remain standing.”

“Ready to face the world and its new normal, ready to continue to learn and grow, and ready to help each other to adapt in whatever way is needed.”

“It is that trait of tenacity, achievement, resilience and passion to help others that helped our judges to identify this year’s Rising Star winners.”

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate every single one of our outstanding role models once again.”


In May, WeAreTheCity announced the winners of our 2020 Rising Star Awards.

The list of winners showcases remarkable women within the UK from across 20 categories representing different industries and professions. Those highlighted include Joanna Monck, a Stonewall Schools Role Model and National Diversity Mentor, who works voluntarily as a hate crime ambassador for Sussex Police; Anuradha Damale, UK Director  of Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security, an organisation set up to advance the leadership and professional development of women in colour in the fields of international peace; Catherine Cobb, who lost her left leg to bone cancer when she was seven, but realised her dream of becoming an engineer; and Dr Larisa Corda, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and is ITV This Morning’s and Channel Mum’s Fertility Expert.

The Rising Star Awards were entered by over 1,000 individuals and were judged by a panel of 45 independent judges. Over 35,000 public votes of support were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from 115 countries.

The 2020 awards are headline sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada. Category sponsors include an array of leading FTSE 100 companies and industry leaders: 3M, Accenture, Barclays, Bloomberg, British Army, Cancer Research UK, C&C Search, Citi, CMI, Elysian Search Consulting, Goldman Sachs, GSK, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Lloyd’s, Mott MacDonald, Northern Trust, Oliver Wyman, Oxford Said Business School, Reed Smith and Sage.

The winners of each category for the Rising Star Awards can be found in alphabetical order below. Full details of each winner can be found here.

All Other Industries

  • Carina White – Tongue Tied Media
  • Lisa Marr – Barclays
  • Louise Littlefair – GSK
  • Millie Gooch – Sober Girl Society
  • Virginia Stuart-Taylor – UK Civil Service

Banking & Capital Markets

  • Aisha Lewis – Nationwide Building Society
  • Camilla Allnatt – MUFG
  • Fariha Alauddin – Barclays
  • Gabi Burnside – Ulster Bank
  • Natalie Ojevah – Barclays

Charity & Not-For-Profits

  • Fareeha Usman – Being Woman
  • Lucienne Edge – The Royal British Legion
  • Monica Stancu – Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Sasha Buonasorte – Shelter
  • Sharan Jaswal – Sharan Jaswal


  • Anuradha Damale – UKSEDS/Women of Color Advancing Peace and Security in the UK/VERTIC/British Pugwash
  • Fatima Zaman – Kofi Annan Foundation
  • Krystina Pearson-Rampeearee – BAE Systems
  • Pamela McNeill – HM Forces
  • Vinita Meissner – IMI Truflo Marine


  • Charlotte Wibberley – VIP VA
  • Cheryl Laidlaw – Website in a Day
  • Kate Samuelson – CHEAPSKATE London
  • Patricia Keating – Tech Manchester
  • Radhika Patel – Capco


  • Catherine Cobb – Amey
  • Emma Horsfall – Barclays
  • Giulia Olayemi – Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry
  • Hannah McNamara – Citi
  • Joanne Monck – Evergreen


  • Catherine Diment – Alcumus
  • Esther Dawson – Ridgeview Wine Estate
  • Julie Burns – Glasgow Caledonian University
  • Kelly McAulay – William Grant & Sons Limited
  • Laura Blower-Harris – Accenture

Education & Academia

  • Alisha Airey – University of the West of England (UWE Bristol)
  • Denise Chippindale – General Assembly
  • Eno Maycock – Coventry University
  • Rachael Ainsworth – University of Manchester
  • Sarah Mullin – Priory School

Energy & Utilities

  • Alero Abe – Shell
  • Carolina Escudero – Vattenfall
  • Hasmeen Deol – Capital Dynamics
  • Laure Vernier – Bloomberg
  • Susan Robson – National Grid

Entrepreneurs & Startups

  • Amber Cowburn – Working Well (SW) Ltd.
  • Bryony Farmer – Precious Stars
  • Caroline Andrew – Caroline Andrew London
  • Jacynth Bassett – the-Bias-Cut.com
  • Taslima Khan – Taslima K


  • Ayomide Ayorinde – Imperial College London
  • Khadija Owusu – St George’s, University of London
  • Larisa Corda – NHS
  • Mansata Kurang – VR Revival/Royal Holloway University of London
  • Olamide Dada – Melanin Medics

HR & Recruitment

  • Catherine Coltart – Northern Trust
  • Gurdeep Sira – London Fire Brigade
  • Leah Bracha – RBS
  • Louise Deverell-Smith – The Daisy Chain
  • Maya Welford – Barclays


  • Angie Wang – PwC
  • Laureen Ramsay – Marsh
  • Louise van der Valk – Louise van der Valk
  • Luise Kindsvater – Euler Hermes
  • Pelumi Ojo – Aon

Investment Management

  • Alexandra Jorden – Octopus Investments
  • Georgie Hazell – Augmentum Fintech
  • Marina Gordon – J.P. Morgan
  • Paris Jordan – Sanlam Investments
  • Salena Lee – Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets

Law (The Lynne Freeman Award)

  • Aïssata N’Diaye – Morgan Stanley
  • Becca Naylor – Reed Smith
  • Chloe Weir – Barclays
  • Eman Hassan – Moore Blatch LLP
  • Katie Cotton – Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (UK) LLP

Logistics & Transport

  • Evlynne Smith – IBM
  • Patrice Gordon-Mantey – Virgin Atlantic
  • Saskia Demeyere – Transport for London
  • Susan Keir – British Army
  • Vivien Yip – Transport for London

Professional Services

  • Emma Bennett – PwC
  • Jessica Garbett – PwC
  • Karina Klimaszewski – Aon
  • Kiren Bhardwa – Capgemini
  • Kirsty McKnight – Oliver Wyman

Property, Construction & FM

  • Amie McCabe – AHR Architects
  • Elisabeth Pywell – CBRE
  • Harriet Glen – Crossrail
  • Lucy Maddin-Uden – Keltbray Group
  • Simona Stanynaite – Transport for London

Science & Engineering

  • Amber O’Connor – Siemens Aeroderivative Gas Turbines
  • Chrisma Jain – Transport for London
  • Hannah Ratcliffe – Jacobs
  • Katie Burnell – Amey
  • Rebecca Cocklin – BP


  • Arteesha Bosamia – Dentsu Aegis Network
  • Caryn Tan – Accenture
  • Daphne Coates – IBM
  • Ivana Skerlikova – Atos
  • Katie Shannon – Accenture


  • Alexandra Knight – Amey
  • Ana Perez – Oracle
  • Carol Ann Whitehead – The Zebra Partnership
  • Claire Curran – Linaker
  • Lindsay Law – NatWest


  • M&G plc

Men for Gender Balance

  • Christian Edelmann – Oliver Wyman
  • Danny Pallett – Dark Horses/ Badass.gal
  • Gareth Morris – HSBC
  • Philip Baldwin – Gay Times Columnist/ Trustee Ozanne Foundation
  • Steve Collinson – Zurich Insurance

Editor’s Choice

  • Bea Jackson – Royal Marine Cadets
  • Jim Bichard – PwC
  • Joy Foster – TechPixies
  • Oliver Holmes – Accenture
  • Sam Cooper-Gray – HSBC

WeAreTheCity covers the latest female centric news stories from around the world, focusing on women in business, careers and current affairs. You can find all the latest gender news here.

Don’t forget, you can also follow us via our social media channels for the latest up-to-date gender news. Click to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

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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