WeAreTheCity’s 2023 Rising Star Awards Winners announced

Rising Stars Winners Montage

WeAreTheCity, together with Royal Bank of Canada, are proud to announce the winners of their Rising Star Awards 2023

In a world where women continue to shatter glass ceilings and redefine the boundaries of success, it is with great pride that we announce the winners of this year’s Rising Star Awards. These outstanding women have not only demonstrated exceptional talent and expertise in their respective fields but have also become trailblazers and role models for generations to come.

Now in their ninth year, the Rising Star 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.

The awards were entered by over 1,445 individuals and were judged by a panel of over 40 independent judges. Over 16,000 public votes of support were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from across 115 countries.

Recognising excellence across a diverse range of industries, the Rising Star Awards celebrate the achievements of women who have made a significant impact and overcome hurdles, inspiring others to follow in their footsteps. This year’s winners are shining examples of courage, resilience and innovation, and we are honoured to acknowledge their extraordinary contributions.

A huge congratulations to all our 2023 winners, and a huge well done to everyone who was shortlisted and nominated for this year’s awards.

This year’s list of winners showcases remarkable women within the UK from across 20 categories representing different industries and professions. Those highlighted include Natasha Day in our Defence category who is a Paramedic in the British Army. Natasha set up a breastfeeding network when she realised that there was nothing in place to support women integrating back into the forces after maternity leave. Another winner in our entrepreneur category is Dr Pearl Jarrett, who has built a “Sustainable Water Ecosystem” that has Air-To-Water technology, allowing water to be pulled from the humidity in the air. Krsna Mohnani, in our Healthcare category was also recognised as a winner for her work designing and implementing the first mental health pathway for asylum-seeking children at the Imperial NHS Trust and for her work improving the management of homeless patients attending A&E.  Zoe Henley, in our Science and Engineering category, utilised her synthetic and medicinal chemistry skills to enable the identification of potential drug candidates, one of which reached Phase 2 clinical trials in patients.

Rising Stars Winners Montage

The awards also include a Company of the Year award which recognises the initiatives of a single company who are actively supporting the progression of female workforce. This year’s award will be presented to Starling Bank.

The awards also recognise five Rising Star Champions, who are actively supporting the progression of women in the workplace. This year, we are proud to shine a spot on the work of Ifrah Shafiq who is the youngest female Faith Leader in Kirklees, and Women’s Empowerment Lead for Al Mu’Minun (The Believers). We also recognise the achievements of Tori Ford who is the founder of Medical Herstory, an international award-winning youth-led non-profit on a mission to eliminate sexism, shame, and stigma from health experiences.

The awards also leave our UK shores to celebrate women around the world with our Global Award for Achievement. This year’s five winners include Blanca Vázquez de Castro who is an associate in Latham & Watkins’ Tax Practice, based in Madrid who is driving several inclusion initiatives for Hispanic and latina women within the legal sector.

We also celebrate the dedication of our male allies with our Men for Gender Balance award, which celebrates senior men who are championing women and gender balance either inside or outside their organisation. Amongst the five winners for this year are Kabir Alam, Business Manager, HSBC, for his work in inclusion, spearheading HSBC-wide events to over 7,500 colleagues on topics such as women’s health issues; discrimination within the LGBTQ+ community; HIV and testing, and transitioning.

This year, WeAreTheCity included a Public Vote award which enabled members of our shortlist to win an additional award!  The winner of this year’s public vote is Amber Sidney, Vice President, eFX Distribution, Morgan Stanley.

WeAreTheCity also announced their five Editor’s Choice winners.

The Editor’s Choice award winners are specifically selected by the leadership team at WeAreTheCity and one independent judge. This award recognises their outstanding contribution and tireless efforts towards gender equality, both in the workplace and across wider society.

Winners include Jodie Evans, Defence Digital, Strategic Command and Defence Women’s network lead for her incredible work forming the Defence Women’s network. We are also highlighting the achievements of our youngest ever Rising Star award winner, Emily Olivia who is just 6 years old and dedicates all of her spare time inspiring and empowering children to learn STEM.

The 2023 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, BAE Systems, Citi, CMI Women, Funding Circle, Highways Sector Council, HSBC, Lloyd’s, London Stock Exchange Group, Marie Claire, National Grid, Northern Trust, Oliver Wyman, IHG, Reed Smith, Warwick Business School, Refuge and Wellbeing of Women.

Once again, we would like to congratulate all our winners and extend a sincere thanks to everyone who supported Rising Stars during 2023.

Dave Thomas

Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) is delighted to be powering the Rising Stars Awards for the fourth year and extended our partnership through to 2024. These awards are critical to celebrate and showcasing incredible talent across multiple industries in the UK, something that is particularly important during these challenging times. Diversity and inclusion are more than just a value at RBC, it’s our strength, and it’s one of the ways we bring our purpose of helping clients thrive and communities prosper to life.

Dave ThomasCEO, RBC Europe

I am so proud that for the ninth year running WeAreTheCity has been able to shine a light on the achievements of so many remarkable women across the UK. Our 2023 winners join a phenomenal alumnus of previous winners who continue to soar, both professionally and personally. These remarkable women embody the spirit of resilience, determination, and passion. Through their accomplishments, they have shattered stereotypes, championed equality, and forged new paths for women in their respective fields. Their success not only inspires us but also reminds us of the limitless potential that lies within every individual, regardless of gender.

Vanessa Vallely OBEFounder, WeAreTheCity
Vanessa Vallely OBE

The Rising Star Awards not only celebrate these extraordinary women and girls but also serve as a powerful reminder that gender should never be a barrier to success. As we honour the achievements of these trailblazers, let us continue to strive for a world where every woman has equal opportunities to excel, where their contributions are valued and recognised, and where their dreams know no bounds.

Congratulations to all the winners of the Rising Star Awards! May your journeys continue to inspire and empower generations to come.

Our Rising Star winners will be celebrated at a prestigious ceremony on 12 July at the Intercontinental Hotel, Park Lane.  For more detail on this event and to book tickets, visit here.

We would also like to thank our incredible sponsors who power our work to find and recognise these incredible individuals.

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