WeAreTheCity’s 2020 Rising Star Awards shortlist announced


WeAreTheCity are extremely proud to announce our shortlist for the 2020 Rising Star Awards.

Over a seven week period, we received over 1,000 nominations from across the UK and Northern Ireland. The calibre of entries for this year’s awards was exceptional.

On behalf of the Royal Bank of Canada and our supporting sponsors, it gives us great pleasure to announce the 2020 Rising Star award’s shortlist and to congratulate all of the shortlisted individuals.

The 200-strong shortlist showcases remarkable women within the UK from across 20 categories representing different industries/professions. An example of the amazing women shortlisted this year are; Joanna Monck, a Stonewall Schools Role Model and National Diversity Mentor, who works voluntarily as a hate crime ambassador for Sussex Police; Fareeha Usman, Founder of Being Woman, a non- profit organisation working towards to educate and empower women with the skills and confidence to challenge all forms of prejudice and discrimination in the society; and Dr Larisa Corda, an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, and is ITV This Morning’s and Channel Mum’s Fertility Expert.

New for this year, we are also celebrating Men for Gender Balance, which celebrates senior men who are championing women and gender balance either inside or outside their organisation. The shortlisted nominees for this year include; Philip Baldwin, a human rights activist and writer, who focuses on equalities issues, homelessness, asylum and faith inclusion; and Ranajoy Basu, a partner at Reed Smith and Chair of the Womanity Foundation, who also launched the firm’s Social Impact Finance Group.

The Rising Star awards also include a Company of the Year award, which recognises the achievements of a company who can demonstrate that they are actively supporting and developing their female talent pipeline through initiatives, training, development programmes and/or internal employee relations groups. Shortlisted companies this year are Goldman Sachs, HSBC and M&G plc.

The awards will continue to celebrate Rising Star Champions, recognising the efforts of senior leaders who are actively supporting the female pipeline, included in this year’s shortlist are; Ana Perez, Senior Director at Oracle UK & Ireland, who leads Oracle’s Women’s Network (OWL) and is also a trustee and company secretary for women’s charity, Smart Works; and Anya Navidski, Founding Partner at Voulez Capital – Europe’s First VC fund for female founders.


Rising Star Awards banner

The shortlist will now be judged by an additional set of expert judges and the winners will be announced on 11 May 2020. The winners will then be invited to celebrate their achievements at our prestigious award’s ceremony (date TBC), alongside our sponsors, judges and guests.

We would like to thank our judges for giving up their time in support of this year’s awards: Adam Fidler; Amanda Brock; Ania Rontaler; Anna Delvechhio; Baroness Mary Goudie; Bev Shah; Charlotte Sweeney OBE; Christina Riley; Commander Sam Kinsey-Briggs MBE; Dame Inga Beale DBE; Diana Kennedy; Dr Diahanne Rhiney BCAe; Dr Funke Abimbola MBE; Dr Heather Melville OBE; Dr Ruth Oshikanlu MBE; Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu; Elizabeth Vega; Elliot Shaw; Emma Codd; Helen Pankhurst CBE; Jessica Taplin; Jessica Wade BEM; Julie Baker; Kaela Fenn-Smith; Katie McEwan; Lieutenant Colonel Sulle D Alhaji; Lucy Chamberlain; Mark Hedley; Margarete McGrath; Melanie Seymour; Paul Sainthouse; Paul Sesay; Paulette Mastin; Sir Peter Hendy CBE; Philip Palmer; Pips Bunce; Roni Savage; Seyi Akiwowo; Shing-Wai Wong; Sophie Walker; Steph MacLeod; Terri Duhon; Victoria Williams; Victoria Wratten; and Wincie Wong.

The public vote of support is now open for all shortlisted nominees. The public vote only determines one winner out of the five winners of each category, the other four winners are decided by our judges. Votes can be cast here. Please note there is no public vote for the Champion, Men for Gender Balance or the Company categories.

Dave Thomas , RBCSpeaking about the awards, Dave Thomas, CEO, RBC Europe said, “Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) are delighted to be the headline sponsor of the Rising Stars Awards and, on behalf of everyone at RBC, I would like to congratulate all 1,130 nominees. These awards are critical to celebrate and showcase incredible talent across multiple industries in the UK. At RBC, we support diversity and inclusion at all levels and it’s one of the ways we bring our purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper to life.”

Vanessa-VallelyVanessa Vallely, Founder of WeAreTheCity, added, “The calibre of entries this year has been truly exceptional. I am so excited to meet our shortlisted individuals in October at our prestigious awards ceremony. Every one of these women should be extremely proud of their achievements. They are key contributors to their industries and outstanding role models. I wish them the very best of luck in the final round of judging.”



For more details about the awards, please click 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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