Rising Stars in Banking 2016

 Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Banking category for 2016

Rachel Webster


In 1985 I left school with limited qualifications and choose at the time a slightly different career path – against all odds in the mid 80’s I was accepted on a welding apprenticeship.

After 4 years as a ‘welder’ I felt I needed a new challenge and decided to join the army.  I never thought when I walked through the Army Careers Office in 1989 that I would complete 24 years service and not only that but work my way up through the ranks from Private soldier to a commissioned officer, leaving as a Captain. I spent over 11 years deployed on operations; serving in NI, Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.

In 2013 it was time to hang up the combat boots and become a civilian – I started working in Barclays, initially supporting the military programme and more recently as a Business Manager.

I am single, no children but own a wonderful westie called Hamish – who is now in retirement and lives with my parents in Brigg, North Lincolnshire.

Khalia Newell

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Khalia recently became the Global Middle Office Risk and Control at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Before this, she was an AVP of Risk and Control at Barclays. Her unique journey into the world of Banking, outstanding contribution in Financial Services and extracurricular work in diversity and inclusion has earned her The Black British Business Rising Star Award in 2015.

When she isn’t mentoring the next generation of female talent, she spends time reading novels or watching TV programmes such as Scandal (where she tries hard to pretend she does not share the same mannerisms as Olivia Pope).

She is currently writing a book on problem solving and strategy in the workplace.

Luma Zitani


Born and raised in Syria, Luma obtained her BA in Economics from Damascus University and worked as an Economist for two years while teaching Principals of Banking at the Commercial Polytechnic in Damascus.

In 2003, Luma won the UK’s FCO Chevening Scholarship to complete her master’s degree in the UK at Cass Business School.

Luma joined BACB, a London-based bank in 2004 where she rotated between the Front Office relationship team, Trade Finance operational area and the Risk Management team.

In 2012, Luma left BACB to join Barclays Plc where she continues to work today. She provides Subject Matter Expertise within Barclays’ Financial Crime function.

Luma is Member at the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment, has CISI’s Diploma in Investment Compliance and an ICA Diploma in AML with distinction.

She’s married and lives in Kent with avid interest in current affairs, foreign policy and photography.

Ebi Obode


Recognised as a Young Achiever by the Financial News Extra Mile 40; Ebi has built a reputation for her creativity, resourcefulness and commitment to effecting positive change.

Her current role involves the development, design and embedding of front office controls within the Corporate and Institutional Banking division. Ebi is also a chair of the Young Bankers Association within RBS and served on the Committee of the Focused Women’s Network to attract, retain and develop female talent.

She supports the RBS Early Careers team in their recruitment initiatives; getting involved in schemes such as National Careers Week and mentoring new joiners to the Business. Outside of work, she volunteers with charities such as Cancer Research UK and mentors University & School students.

She also hosts monthly networking events to encourage entrepreneurship,  personal and professional development.

Lauren Garey

J.P. Morgan

Lauren Garey is a Private Banker at J.P. Morgan who focuses on advising female clients, predominantly entrepreneurs, executives and other women of influence. Lauren previously worked in Barclays’ US, UK and Asia Private Banks across Boston, London and Singapore. Lauren was recently awarded a coveted spot on Citywealth’s inaugural Future Leaders List.

Lauren started her career in microfinance with Fundacion Mujer in Costa Rica to provide female entrepreneurs with seed funding, authoring a report measuring the economic impact of microfinance in India, and ultimately creating a micro-fund to support small-scale businesses in Ghana.

Lauren graduated with an Honours Bachelor of Science in Global Business Management from Babson College and holds RDR Level 4 qualifications. Lauren is a Trustee of Ubunye Challenge, member of the Ellevate Women’s Network, mentor for Angel Academe and the Social Mobility Foundation, board member of the Groton Women’s Network, and a passionate volunteer for microfinance initiatives.

Rising Star Champions 2016

Rising Star Champions

 Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Champions category for 2016

Carolyn Pepper

Reed Smith

Carolyn is a partner at Reed Smith specializing in litigation, entertainment and media and intellectual property law. Carolyn sits on the firm’s Executive Committee and is an advocate for diversity and equality in all its guises. She chairs the firm’s award winning Disability Task Force in London and has mentored two young women with disabilities seeking to enter the legal profession. She is a regular speaker at the firm’s Insight Days which enable young people to learn more about working in the legal profession and has offered work experience and work shadowing to many students over the years. Brummell Magazine named Carolyn as one of its Inspirational Women 2015: City Champions of Diversity last year and she was recently invited to speak at the Law Society’s City Firms Diversity Forum.

Funke Abimbola

Roche UK

A senior leader for Roche, the world’s largest biotech, Funke leads the legal & corporate compliance functions supporting Roche’s pharmaceutical operations (UK, Ireland, Malta and Gibraltar).

She is a multi award winning solicitor and diversity campaigner and has received national and European recognition for her work, speaking regularly at conferences (UK and abroad), to school students (as part of Speakers4Schools) and to University students (as a Professional Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors).  She is a Champion for Women in Law London network (supporting the pipeline of women lawyers) and the First 100 Years Project (a digital library celebrating 100 years of women lawyers). In 2015, she founded Women Leaders in Life Sciences Law, a network supporting the international pipeline of female legal talent within life sciences.

A mentor, sponsor and proud working mother, Funke advises working mothers on achieving life balance. She is passionate about the law, diversity, education and healthcare and a regular media commentator, keen fundraiser for various charities and has twice served as school governor and as a board director.

She was recently admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, recognizing the outstanding contributions she has made to society as a whole.

Heather Melville


Heather Melville was appointed as the Director for Strategic Partnerships and Head of Business Inclusion Initiatives in January 2016, following a successful career in International sales, a role which leverages vast global client relationships together with her sector specialism especially within the Retail and Textile industry.

A graduate of the IBM business school, together with a wealth of international experience secured over a 30 plus year career in the world of finance, with the last 9 years primarily focused on the SME client base positioned her in a strong place to meet the evolving global challenges of her clients.

For a number of years, she has sat on the judging panel for the prestigious “UK Fashion & Textile Awards”, “The National Diversity Awards”, “We Are The City Rising Stars” as well as the “Brummel’s Top 30”. Through her partnership with the Latvian Chamber of Commerce in 2015, she is now a Patron and has been invited as a guest judge for this year’s International competition for young fashion designers within Europe.

The Founder and Global Chair of the RBS Focused Women’s Network, which is managed by volunteers, to date have Circ. 12,000 members in 33 countries. Not only does she sit on a number of internal and external diversity boards, in 2010 she was awarded the prestigious Women in Banking & Finance Award for Achievement under the category of Champion for Women, and in 2012 was also awarded the World of Difference 100 Award (TIAW) recognising her as one of the top 100 women worldwide who have made a difference to the economic empowerment of women.

Outside of the financial industry, having completed an executive coaching programme, Heather is a Career Coach and Mentor advising young people who are striving to be tomorrows Entrepreneurs. She represents RBS as a Non-Executive Director for Enterprise Enfield a business consultancy funded by the Government to help small businesses. As an established speaker Heather is regularly invited to speak at a number of global business forums, and last but not least is also a Justice of the Peace.

Heather is a mother of 2 sons, a grandmother of 4 girls, who enjoys jazz and driving fast cars!

Robert Thesiger

The Fiser Group

Robert is a graduate of Exeter University and Cranfield School of Management with over 24 years’ experience of Human Capital Management within Financial Services. Robert’s career has been framed within recruitment where he was the Chief Executive of a publically listed global financial services recruitment business which he was instrumental in building to over 500 staff across 15 international locations. In 2010 he co-founded The FISER Group, of which the senior leadership team is almost entirely female and four are part-time return to work mothers. He has been recognised by the Recruiter Awards for Excellence, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation and Best Companies for championing diversity and work in Financial Services.

Robert has been instrumental in a number of gender diversity initiatives in human capital, including the creation of the Women in Financial Institutions Index (WiFI Index), which tracks the recruitment and engagement of women in financial services, and a Financial Services Diversity Forum which provides an opportunity for senior decision makers in the industry to discuss strategies and approaches to diversity in the sector.

Robert was also the principal driver behind the establishment of the City Talent Initiative (CTI), a programme dedicated to supporting high-achieving young people from low-income backgrounds (of which over 60% are female) gain entry to leading City firms. Today the CTI has gained cross party support from the Hon David Lammy MP, Mark Field MP and Baroness Kramer and sponsoring firms include Ernst & Young, JP Morgan, Strutt & Parker, Bank of America, Resource Solutions and RBS. In the last year over 30 students from low-income backgrounds who are unable to get practical improvements in social mobility them from their schools or families have gained experience through the CTI.

Tamara Box

Reed Smith

Tamara Box is an internationally recognised expert in legal and financial structuring and in strategic financial advice.  She is currently Global Chair of the Financial Industry Group at international law firm Reed Smith, where she also serves on the firm’s Executive Committee.

A founding member of the 30% Club Steering Committee, Tamara is knowledgeable and passionate about the efforts to establish gender parity in corporations and professional organisations.  In order to achieve gender balance, she focuses strongly on the pipeline of talent that takes rising stars up the leadership chain.‎

A few years ago, she created Women in Structured Finance to actively encourage and mentor women in the male-dominated sector.  She is a member of the Board of Governors of the London School of Economics, where she is also a frequent speaker.  For the past two years, she has been the chair of “Women of Influence”, an initiative that has raised almost £1 million in support of the senior women fellows of Cancer Research UK.‎

Tamara was a commissioner on the All Party Parliamentary Group’s first Commission on the Future of Management & Leadership, which launched at the House of Commons in 2014. She has lectured at the University of South Bank, debated at the Oxford Union, and written articles for many publications on the topic of gender balance and the pipeline of talent women offer‎.  Tamara is also a member of The Committee of 200 (C200), an invitation-only organisation of women who mentor future female leaders through scholarship programmes at the world’s foremost universities.  Last year she was instrumental in selecting three rising stars at the LSE for this honour.

Rising Stars in technology

Rising Stars in Technology 2016

 Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Technology category for 2016

Babs Ofori-Acquah


As a Business Development and Marketing professional, I have worked across a number of industries, focusing on technology in the last two years. At Olswang, a technology law firm, I joined as a Business Development Executive with the goal of bringing innovation and change to the way the firm communicated with potential clients. I was pivotal in the development and launch of the Olswang equIP Programme for tech start ups, which launched in October with an event at Google Campus.

I was also instrumental in building Olswang’s adtech practice, focusing on events and thought leadership. I created the Adtech Stars event series, which has been held in London and New York with influential speakers such as Sarah Wood of Unruly, helping to build Olswang’s brand as the go to law firm for adtech. My success at Olswang has led me into a new role as Business Development Manager for MVF, one of the fastest growing tech companies in Europe, where I will be supporting clients in reaching new SME customers.

Outside of my day job, I run a blog and network – Working Girl London – for women who want to get ahead at work while enjoying everything that London has to offer. The blog has been live for just over a year, and the launch event for the network was at the end of 2015 with another event coming up soon. I am also a member of the Tech London Advocates and, specifically, their Women in Tech working group.

Ellie Ulrich


Ellie is the Apprenticeship Manager for Cisco UK and Ireland, and leads the delivery and development of their growing programme.

Since joining Cisco in 2014, Ellie has expanded the Apprenticeship programme into new areas of the business; doubling the number of opportunities available to young people to start a career in technology. Prior to joining Cisco Ellie completed her own Apprenticeship, which lead her into roles with the National Apprenticeship Service, promoting the programme as a desirable opportunity for both companies and young people alike.

Ellie never envisaged being an Apprentice or having a career in technology. Because of this she is a passionate advocate for young people, particularly young women, to consider this pathway to progress into digital careers.

Her biggest focus is to inspire future talent to see the potential technology has; by identifying and and tapping into an individual’s passion, then relating it to technology. This has resulted in two successful industry days specifically for young women and careers events that have reached over 8000 young people since September 2015. This activity, alongside gender balanced assessment processes that promote Cisco’s existing female talent, has ensured that the Cisco Apprenticeship has an above average gender profile of 35% with the aspiration to achieve 50:50 diversity during the next phase of recruitment.

Lucie Svandelikova


I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, and studied at the University of Nottingham. I joined BT on the Business Management graduate scheme and now work as a Commercial Finance manager in Global Services.

When I look back on life I want to feel that I have made a positive impact and contributed to something transformative. That is why it is exciting for me to work in technology and play my part in innovations which touch every aspect of our lives and transform our social landscape.

Outside work, I have been involved with schools and universities to inspire young people to go into STEM careers and currently serve as a School Governor at a local school. This is important to me because I believe that whether or not an individual fulfils their potential in life is strongly determined by the quality and level of education they receive as a child.

Sarah Chapman


Obsessed with STEM education and people development, Sarah loves connecting people and ideas to make things happen, with energy and creativity. After graduating Sarah wanted to use her scientific skills in a commercial environment so joined diversified technology company 3M. She has had a variety of technical roles including approvals administrator, technical service engineer, regulatory specialist and build project manager for a multi-million pound Customer Innovation Centre. Sarah has interacted with thousands of students including hosting work placements, supporting science and code clubs and organising STEM career events; she was instrumental in the development of 3M Careerwise and contributed to 3M’s Big Tick Education award in 2011. Sarah is part of 3M’s Technical Forum and Women’s Leadership Network; a passionate and determined advocate for diversity, mentoring and flexibility, she leads by example. She has recently taken on a junior technical management role, launched 3M Lean-In circles and started a family.

Sarah Khan

Sara K Digital

Having worked in digital marketing for nearly 10 years, l noticed the rarity of experts, companies who genuinely care for employees and customers beyond financial gain and company politics. How can the UK be the leaders in technology if we aren’t providing British SME’s the tools to grow their businesses at honest prices? As a result, SARA K Digital was born.

I serve the hardworking SMEs of the UK and support them to grow their business through online marketing such as social media. My current project provides practical, simple and empowering online marketing training and advice to SMEs – accessible online 24/7 with an expert at hand for further support.

SARA K Digital is an honest business that values each and every stakeholder and gives back to the community because it genuinely cares for people. I practice what l preach as a result, l volunteer my time to mentoring students, young professionals and helping startups who are unable to grow due to personal financial difficulties. Furthermore, a percentage of project profits go directly to educational schemes to help third world countries. And my next venture involves helping children with learning difficulties in the UK.

I believe it’s our duty to inspire and help make the world a better place through our actions for the next generation.

Rising Stars in Sport

Rising Stars in Sport 2016

Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Sports category for 2016

Manisha TailorManisha Tailor


Manisha Tailor is a highly regarded football coach who through her brand ‘Swaggarlicious’, engages in community projects targeting females, BAME groups, disability groups including mental health, and young people

using the influence of football. Her exemplary work includes: ‘Simply Being’, a project which engages those with mental illness by providing an inclusive safe environment to engage in physical activity within the Borough of Barnet.  She is a UEFA B licensed football coach, making her a minority of the highest qualified Asian females in the country.  Manisha previously worked as Head Coach at a Girls Centre of Excellence, a professional FA academy in which she inspires girls into football. As well as an influence with charity, ‘Show Racism the Red Card’, she works nationally to deliver equality education through the power of football to young people.  The last few years have seen Manisha’s work gain recognition internationally where she has travelled to Canada, Cyprus and Belgium to work with young people delivering football sessions with a focus on teamwork and integration.

Sophie Radcliffe

Challenge Sophie
Endurance athlete, adventurer and blogger Sophie Radcliffe quit her London 9-5 job three years ago in search of a new story. Driven by her philosophy “One day I will not be able to do this. Today is not that day” she is the only person in history to have climbed the highest mountains in the eight Alpine countries and cycled between them, climbing five times the height of Mount Everest in 32 days. She’s cycled 300km from London to Paris in 24 hours on nine occasions, completed multi-sport adventure races around the world, raced her bike coast to coast across the USA, completed 100km ultra-marathons, and is a two-time Ironman finisher.
Her mission is to champion ordinary people achieving extraordinary things. Which she does by spreading positive messages around self-confidence, body image and the right mindset to dream, perform and achieve in life. A motivational speaker, entrepreneur and writer, she’s passionate about bringing life changing moments to people’s lives that help us on our paths to greatness.

Francesca Brown


Francesca is the Managing director & CEO of Goals4Girls, which was launched in June 2013. Goals4Girls is a football development programme which works with young women aged between 11-16. The programme aims are to break down barriers & reduce inactivity amongst young women in sport, by raising the aspirations, self-confidence, self-esteem and mind sets of young women inspiring them to set and achieve their goals.

The Football development programme provides football coaching, player development pathways, coaching, qualifications, workshops, inspirational seminars, trips and mentoring to girls in and around East London.

The Goals4Girls coaching experience is different in the way that we cater to the needs of the young women, making each session Fun and rewarding. Being a female only development programme we pride ourselves with having the ability to work with a diverse selection of young women, from all cultures, backgrounds & abilities. G4G aims to encourages every individual we work with to challenge themselves, in a safe environment.

Goals4Girls has developed over 300+ Young women since launching. Currently the programme is running in The Royal Docks Community school, working closely with organisations like London Youth, Sports England, Prince’s Trust,The FA, London FA & Tottenham Hotspur Ladies.

Francesca’s experience stems from her success as a professional athlete, playing for teams such as Manchester United community and Manchester city.

She is the Ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, and is a FA Qualified coach who has worked with young women from BAME, African and ethnic minority communities’ across London. Francesca is also motivational speaker who has provided insight into her business and lifestyle, to organisations such as Women in Sport & Sports England.


Alexandra Merisoiu

The Merisoiu Technique Institute

Alexandra is known as The Body Engineer and is the founder of The Merisoiu Technique Institute Of Health And Natural Human Movement™.

She works with men and women entrepreneurs re-engineering how the body functions to run like clockwork.

She works with people who have a passion and want to excel through strong foundations. It is more than just fitness and fun, it is body mastery based on Martial Arts Wisdom™ and Natural Human Movement™. Her clients are passionate and dedicated to get the results they seek.

Alexandra is also a passionate Karate champion. Since 1995 she has explored how the body and mind works. She has done this through using many different sporting techniques and working with a wide variety of highly respected coaches.

She has been ranked 1st in WMO BRITISH NATIONAL CHAMPSIONSHIP, 2nd and 3rd at WORLD KARATE CHAMPIONSHIP, 2 times NATIONAL KARATE CHAMPION, WORLD CUP CHAMPION and is a 3rd Dan Black Belt in Karate Shotokan. She still competes at an international level with her recent 3rd place at the Karate Shotokan World Championship in October 2015 representing England.

Her mission is to challenge the statues quo of how to get a fit, strong and powerful body.

Hayley Bennett

Kick It Out

Hayley is developing the future of equality in football in her role as Education Officer at Kick It Out. Her role involves coordinating the organisation’s message to young people as well as educating people about discrimination, from all vantage points. Hayley travels to schools, colleges and universities nationwide with her message, and aspires to promote a positive change in the world. Hayley is passionate about football and equality and a firm believer in the power of sport to catalyse change in modern society.

Rising Stars in Sales

Rising Stars in Sales 2016

 Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Sales category for 2016

Elizabeth Drummond


Elizabeth has been working in Government Affairs at Bloomberg L.P. since 2013. In this role, she is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with government and regulatory agencies throughout Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

Previously she served as a Legislative Affairs Representative for Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. She also worked for the United States House of Repsentatives and the House of Lords in the UK  Parliament. She received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Ohio Northern University and a Master of Science in Public Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Emma Gillies

Sedgefield Racecourse

I am an enthusiastic, highly dedicated and ambitious individual. I enjoy developing my skills within a fast paced environment and I am familiar with business development practice and the importance of maintaining a loyal customer base in order to hit KPI’s and increase annual profit across all income lines on an annual basis.

I enjoy meeting new people and have had great pleasure in building a network of clients and creating personalised and bespoke packages to meet the requirements of each individual. I am well versed in event management, proposals, negotiation, account handling, administration, hospitality, sponsorship sales and most recently marketing. I am quick to grasp new ideas and concepts and I am keen to develop problem solving strategies. Outside of work, I enjoy running, dancing and time with friends.

Mary Kay

Real Staffing (SThree)

Brand representative for diversity and inclusion for Real Staffing, a trading division of SThree. Mary joined SThree as one of the youngest employees at the age of 20 with the view to making a difference for women in business and within the Life Science industry. She threw herself into the role and she is consistently performing as a role model and as an outstanding achiever in Real Staffing.

  • Number 1 female biller worldwide in the Pharma sector
  • Top billing female in the UK & Ireland, performance over the past 3 years
  • She has given industry interviews within the market that she recruits within which have also featured within TOPRA
  • Holds 2 records for the highest value deal within Pharmaceuticals, Most deals in one year on the Pharma UK team

Outside of her normal day to day job, she has delivered one of the highest number of training sessions and has supported other teams within SThree, including flying to Frankfurt to help train the Pharma team, and also delivering a Road Show in Europe and the UK with Board directors to help implement the contract strategy, which she has consistently championed across the UK since the roll out, whilst also offering to train other offices in the UK, including Birmingham, Leeds and the City office Externally, she has done three skydives for charity, and this year used her annual leave to volunteer in Lesvos at a refugee camp for 2 weeks. This was an experience that profoundly affected her and in the first week upon her return she raised £2000 for the cause. She is due to go to Calais in a few weeks. She has just started training towards rowing the Atlantic next year. Mary is an avid believer that there is no such thing as a limitation, and that anything is possible with resilience and a positive mind set.

Shauna Bull

Pure Storage

Shauna is an extremely ambitious recent International Business Graduate, and has a wealth of international experience from her time studying in Australia, France, Germany and China, and working in the USA, The Netherlands and The UK. She has a passion for sales, which started during her Secondary School years, setting up various small businesses both inside and outside of school. Her progression has led her to work for a Silicon Valley based technology company in Inside Sales, where she can demonstrate her drive, enthusiasm and passion to succeed in International Business. Outside of the office, Shauna enjoys attending various events, recently attending a Women In Technology event hosted by The Guardian at Skype HQ London, is part of a Graduate Lean In Circle (Sheryl Sandberg Organisation), and was a participant at a TEDx Event in 2015, where she gave a speech on ‘Making Your Own Luck’.

Valentine Rabin

  • Passion – My determination to be the best as a successful employee, leader and team player requires dedication and commitment. Career successes include exceeding sales targets, managing key client accounts, promotion, partnering with a key client to launch a large scale marketing campaign and winning the Global ‘Exceptional Sales Award’ for input into the successful win of a key strategic deal in 2015.
  • Leadership skills – Head Girl at school. Pioneering MasterCard’s Womens’ Leadership Network Personal Development Stream and the successful ‘Happenista Initiative’ supporting coaching sessions for junior to middle level management.
  • Growth through change – Opening doors to harness new talents; using the best of myself to fulfill potential.
  • Giving something back – volunteering at a London based food bank, charity work (last year I raised over £1k in support of children born with Cerebral Palsy) and being inspirational to others and aspirational for myself.

Rising Stars in the Public Sector

Rising Stars in Public Sector 2016

Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Public Sector category for 2016

Lorraine Eyers


I have been a Public Liaison Officer working at the Greater London Authority since 2000. I have spent most of my working life in the Public Liaison Team but left the team for two secondment opportunities in the Mayor’s office and the Equalities team. During those years I was involved in higher stakeholder and public engagement initiatives and projects and found the roles challenging, rewarding, and motivating working with London’s diverse communities. My passion lies in community work, and in particular issues around young people and women. I have worked on establishing a network that supports women, celebrating their achievements, creating learning and sharing forum for staff and encouraging women into more senior positions in the organisation. I love the work I do for the Women of London City Hall Network and am tremendously proud of the work myself and my fantastic steering group has achieved.

Emma Redman

Southend Council

Emma Redman is a dynamic, thoughtful and vital role model working within the social care industry for over 13 years. Currently leading a team of drug and alcohol workers and volunteers as a Senior Practitioner, supporting the vulnerable youth of Southend deal with an array of complex issues and provide opportunities to enhance their future. As an emotionally demanding role it is hard to switch off, Emma has an exceptional track record of enabling others to make positive change and puts her heart and soul into supporting her team and young people.

In Emma’s spare time, she continues to support others by fundraising, most recently raising over £5000 to help a friend with MS, being a listening ear and offering encouragement to those in need as well as occasional volunteering work. Young adults Emma supported in the past still turn to her for help and advice which she willingly gives. As well as enhancing the life of others Emma actively does this for herself and has gained qualifications in Social Science, Health and Social care, Coaching and Counselling; is currently working toward a foundation project management qualification to broaden the range of skills she brings to the workplace.

Emma is the founder and captain of a local Netball Team, Pink Spirit, which was established in 2007 to support breast cancer charities, and others close to the team members raising over £3k to date. Emma believes in encouraging women to participate in sport to improve overall wellbeing and is proud of the environment her club provides.

As a travel enthusiast, Emma’s ambiton is to travel the world. She has visited 20 countries to date and is naturally designed for the beach (Just not Southend Beach!).

Temitope Roberta Lawal

Ministry of Justice

Temitope Roberta Lawal is a Recruitment Hub Manager at the Ministry of Justice. She is dedicated to improving recruitment in her organisation and successfully leads a team of Recruitment Advisors. Temitope is resilient, interested in helping her community and the overall Justice system, that is why she became a Magistrate and now volunteers her time to hear evidence in Court which will allow her, together with other bench members, to decide whether a defendant is guilty or not and, if he/she is, the appropriate sentence. In her spare time Temitope enjoys singing, reading books and making clothes.

Hannah Cotton

Transport for London

I’m a high achieving middle manager, whose career started 11 years ago within Intelligence at the MPS. I moved to TfL nine years ago and have worked on challenging and exciting projects, including congestion charging, traffic enforcement and cycle super highways. The pinnacle of my career to date was as Operations Manager for the Olympic Route Network, and I’ve been hoping for similarly challenging roles since. A keen believer in extra curricular activities, I volunteer my time to the schools outreach programme. I care passionately about violence against women, coordinating events to help and inform colleagues if they are someone they know is affected.  I’m thrilled to be nominated and thank my coaching partners for this opportunity.

Susan Russell

Festivals Edinburgh

Susan has spent the last twelve years working across tourism and cultural roles and is currently the Marketing Manager at Festivals Edinburgh, the strategic umbrella organisation for the city’s 12 major festivals.  Susan leads on delivering major integrated campaigns promoting the Festival City within the UK and in key international markets.  Susan has led on many key projects, including growing the annual PR output from an initial £100,000 PR AVE to in excess of £16m. In January Susan launched Women In Tourism, a not-for-profit which aims to support, develop and motivate women within the sector to reach positions of leadership.  Susan chairs a committee of nine with the most recent development the results of an industry-wide survey to identify the challenges and opportunities for women within the sector.  Susan is aso a committee member of Tourism Society Scotland and on the Steering Group of Edinburgh’s China’s Ready Group.

Rising Stars in Property Management

Rising Stars in Property Services 2016

  Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Banking category for 2016

Alex Chitty

Land Securities

I joined Land Securities in May 2014, having previously undertaken a 6 month secondment in 2012 during my graduate rotations at Knight Frank. Since joining I have worked on various high profile projects such as the Sky Garden at 20 Fenchurch St, a residential re-development of Portland House and more recently have led on a planning consent for Nova Place, a mixed use scheme in the heart of Victoria. The scheme incorporates a public library, affordable and private housing and re-built listed façade. I led the project from feasibility, through design Stages C and D, submitting the planning application and finalising the consent via S106 agreement.

I have also initiated a formal work experience programme within Land Securities, designed at widening the diversity of our placement students, and encouraging greater co-operation across the business. I lead the application and selection process, and mentor the students during their time with us.

Alice Boswell

British Land

I specialise in retail property and have been working in the industry for 10 years. My current role is responsible for the implementation of a shopper focused approach across the British Land retail portfolio. The role is incredibly varied (and often complex) and covers everything from the delivery of a comprehensive customer service training programme for over 900 site staff; to the roll out of a car parking approach which puts the shopper first; to the delivery of new uniforms through to the installation of WiFi. I also support and champion best practice across the portfolio. Ultimately the customer, both shopper and retailer lie at the heart of my role and if they are not happy neither am I.

Jessica Neale


Jessica joined CBRE at the age of 17 as the first female apprentice on the CBRE Apprenticeship scheme. Since joining she has immersed herself within the business, internal and external networks and industry as a whole, taking on every opportunity handed to her. Jessica is extremely passionate about the scheme and was part of the focus group setting up CBRE’s school engagement programme, and managed the scheme in her first year at CBRE. Jessica won the CBRE Going Above and Beyond Award for her persistent determination and passion in promoting the scheme, and continuously exceeding expectations.

For personal financial circumstances Jessica did not attend university, however was determined to make a career for herself, and so left school early to join CBRE. Jessica actively promotes careers and apprenticeships to young people, acting as an ambassador for the programme by doing school presentations and careers fairs. Jessica has also spoken at the CBRE London Business Update to all London based employees, about her passion for diversity and the apprenticeship scheme. Furthermore Jess has spoken at a Real Estate Women’s event sharing her experiences and thoughts from a different social and economic background to the industry norm. She has also written various articles and been interviewed by Estates Gazette and Property Week regarding diversity in real estate. Jess is one of the youngest employees at CBRE and is the youngster member of the CBRE Women’s Network Management Board, where she represents apprentices and graduates. Jessica has been at CBRE for three years, gaining a great reputation for herself by demonstrating drive, determination and enthusiasm in everything she does, and always fulfils work to high standards. She is extremely passionate about diversity and represents the next generation of talent.

Jessica has excelled in her role as an apprentice surveyor, both academically and practically, and is therefore a great role model for not only young women but young people. Her drive and determination is an incredible asset to CBRE and the industry. If Jess was to receive this award it would encourage young people who are looking to pursue a career in an industry as an apprentice. Her personality is humble, her efforts are second to none, and her sheer determination is infectious to others. She undoubtedly has an incredible career ahead of her.

Najwa Jawahar

WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff

Najwa is an award winning structural engineer driven by her passion for designing tall buildings, business development, and commitment towards developing young engineers and promoting engineering as a career.

Najwa’s vision is to leave her mark not only on the skylines of cities around the world, but also on the construction industry as a whole by improving diversity. She wants to help more girls realise that engineering is not just for boy’s.

She graduated with a first class Masters (MEng) degree in Civil and Structural Engineering, from the University of Leeds and joined WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff in 2012 as a graduate. Within four years of her career, Najwa has already shown great dedication to achieving her ambitious goals. She leads as an example for other engineers, by empowering them to contribute towards technical development and knowledge management within the company and mentoring and inspiring future generation.

Rebecca Fieldhouse

Iceni Projects Ltd

From the moment I started my first job at Plymouth Council in 2007, I’ve had the ambition to become a chartered planner. Since then, I’ve worked at Berkeley Homes and Indigo Planning, and joined Iceni in 2014, bringing with me a positive, diligent and straight-forward approach.

My passion for the profession encourages me to support aspiring planners. This is reflected in my voluntary role as Honorary Secretary for RTPI London and Education Ambassador, where I take pride in speaking at universities and supporting careers events. I’m a member of Women in Property and recently assisted at a Speed Interviewing event.

At Iceni, I’ve helped introduce a programme for colleagues preparing their APC submissions and organised and delivered workshops to trainee RICS Planning & Development surveyors.

My energy, drive and commitment was recognised at Iceni, by a peer nominated Achievement Award.

Outside of work, I love escaping to the countryside.

Rising Stars in oil and gas

Rising Stars in Oil & Gas 2016

 Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Banking category for 2016

Anne Bailey

Baringa Partners

Anne is a strategic consultant passionate about renewable energy development, particularly in emerging markets.

As a Senior Consultant at Baringa Partners, she provides quantitative data-driven advice to players in the energy industry; including power project developers, investment banks, funds and government. She supports clients in issues across the project development lifecycle, from new market entry strategy to commercial due diligence, financial modelling and optimisation of operational performance. Previously, she worked to optimise performance of existing assets and capital projects for heavy industry.

Anne graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with a first class degree in Engineering (MEng). Passionate about addressing educational inequality, she worked on initiatives to increase the number of successful state-school applicants and supported Teach First recruitment. She is also keen to dispel the myth that science and engineering are ‘subjects for boys’ and speaks at various events to encourage girls to study STEM subjects at university.

Anne Claudel


Luck = Preparation + Attitude + Opportunity + Action.

Preparation – Master in Civil Engineering in France, fluent in English and German, enough Spanish to order tapas. An intense training with Schlumberger (international oil-services company) started my love for Oil & Gas and its people.

Attitude – A resilient and can-do mind-set took me to live in 6 countries and work in over 14. My EQ combined with a proven track record of delivery gets me the respect of colleagues, including oilrig workers.

Opportunity – Grab it. Network. Chairperson of Society of Petroleum Engineers London 2016/17 (2,200 members). Committee member of BP Women Network. Volunteer with Inspire the Future: energize kids to choose further education.

Action – A Yes-Woman… Before BP in London, I froze in Canada by -40deg, sweated in the Algerian desert by +50deg, and looked like a Teletubbie in my survival suit offshore North Sea.

I believe in capability, not in gender considerations.

Eleanor Collins


I was born in the UK and grew up in Warwickshire. Having nurtured an interest in the Sciences and Art and Design through school I elected to study Chemistry at Durham University. I completed my Masters of Chemistry in the automotive lubricants industry and have since gained experience in research for upstream oil production and fuels and lubricants product development. I currently sit in my seventh professional role formulating the next generation of Castrol Magnatec Products. Driven by an acute interest in innovative technology and the responsible provision of energy I also input to BP Group Technology as an Emerging Technology Champion. I love my job because it requires both scientific application and creativity. I am passionate about inspiring the next generation of STEM students, raising awareness of the importance of gender parity and championing diversity of thought in the workplace. I am involved in several initiatives to achieve these goals, including organising classes and teaching at local schools, speaking at Universities in the UK and hosting events to empower and inspire colleagues to achieve their full potential. In my spare time I like to travel, cook, exercise and paint portraits.

Kerrine Bryan


Kerrine Bryan is an electrical engineer and children’s book author.

She has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 10 years.

In 2014 she was listed by Management Today Magazine and The Sunday Times as one of the UKs top 35 women in business under the age of 35, which highlighted her work as a lead engineer for a large North Sea Offshore oil platform project. She is the 2015 PRECIOUS Award winner for outstanding woman in STEM.

Kerrine is a volunteer mentor for the IET and a STEM Ambassador, with a passion for educating youngsters on what engineering is really about. This led her to set up Butterfly Books, and work with her brother and a close friend to publish children’s educational picture books, including ‘My Mummy is an Engineer’ and My Mummy is a Plumber, which were published in 2015.

Nicola Hartshorn

British Gas

I’m so fortunate to have found a career that always challenges and engages me, allowing me to be both creative and analytical. British Gas has given me some amazing opportunities to learn and grow into a well rounded UX professional (my favourite being leading the redesign of our online account management system).

I have a particular passion for lean UX – getting things out to users quickly to gain real world feedback for further improvements. I love collaborating with my scrum and empowering all my team to take an active interest in the design of our products. I want to ensure everyone feels like they have a voice so they can buy into our products and love what we build – it really works! I enjoy thinking outside the box and challenging the norm when finding solutions and, above all else, I want to make clear and simple experiences our users love.

Rising Stars in Media and journalism

Rising Stars in Media & Journalism 2016

Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Sports category for 2016

Samantha Brooker

Secret Escapes

I have recently joined Secret Escapes as Head of Media, UK  after being approached for this role by a previous employer. I am heading in to progress their creative solutions offering and help to grow what is currently a relatively media small team for such an expanding proposition.

I’ve kindly been nominated for securing the investment needed to steer the Factory Media business model from a print-loss digital company to a digital and broadcast business – opening a new revenue stream which has transformed our place in the market and paved the way for (fingers crossed) industry awards.

In truth I chose a career in client services purely because it was what my mum did. She ran her business from home and I grew up listening to her build rapport with clients on the phone. She always seemed to be laughing or having warm conversations with people so I never imagined myself doing anything less than this, and was lucky enough to find it in media.

Outside of work I love to exercise and travel, ideally both at the same time. I’m also a mentor within the Careers Academy where being a sounding board for my 17 year old mentee actually gives me a lot of perspective; remembering how hard it is to be 17 makes 29 feel a like breeze!

Nejra Cehic


Nejra is a London-based television reporter and radio anchor for Bloomberg, covering the financial markets and the top European business and economy stories.  Since joining Bloomberg in 2010, Nejra has travelled all over Europe to report on a variety of stories. In the past year alone, Nejra has reported on the UK election, broken news from Brussels and covered the Bank of England’s Super Thursday live in the heart of the City. She has interviewed a number of prominent newsmakers, from economists to Prime Ministers to CEOs. Prior to joining Bloomberg, Nejra worked for BBC local radio, the BBC World Service and at the BBC Paris bureau. She has a PGDip in Broadcast Journalism from Cardiff Journalism School and a BA (Hons) in Classics and Modern Languages from the University of Oxford. She was shortlisted for an Asian Women of Achievement Award in the Media category.

Jenna Jones

Maggie Semple Ltd

Residing Editor of the Semple blog and Magazine, Jenna graduated from Goldsmith University with a degree in Media and Communications and a fierce desire to find her dream job in the fashion industry. Jenna lives and breaths her sartorial dreams through the written word and can normally be found lusting over all manner of designer brands, from The Row and Alexander McQueen to Mary Katrantzou and Acne. When she isn’t managing the blog or planning the next issue of Semple Magazine Jenna can be found at the latest V&A exhibition, online shopping, coming up with awful puns or daydreaming about Coachella.

Roz Sanderson


After graduating from the University of Kent in 2010 with a degree in English literature and creative writing, my career as an editor has spanned national newspapers including The Independent on Sunday and The Financial Times, as well as for the Lonely Planet Traveller Magazine at the BBC. In the last three years I have worked my way up from an editorial assistant at UBM to editor, and have helped establish an award-winning group for Women in Health and Safety, after it was noticed there was a need for a support network for women in the profession. In my spare time, I volunteer for a children’s charity, sing in a community choir and grow vegetables in my garden.

Ruth David


I grew up across India and those gypsy feet followed me into adulthood, travelling to Washington DC for a masters and then to New York to work with Forbes. I moved back to Bombay to cover India for Forbes, then in two years moved again, this time to Hong Kong, covering financial institutions in the region and still writing the big finance stories from India. Bloomberg offered me a job back in India in 2010 and I joined them on the finance team, writing award-winning stories on the microfinance crisis in the country. I moved to London two years later, covering deals for Bloomberg. Starting from scratch in arguably the financial capital of the world was challenging but I built up enough contacts to break news on some of the biggest IPOs and mergers in Europe as well as report exclusively on the victories and failures of big investment banks.

Rising Stars in Law

Rising Stars in Law 2016

 Introducing our Rising Stars winners in the Law category for 2016 (The Lynne Freeman Award)

Claudine Adeyemi

Mischon de Reya

Claudine is a 25 year old lawyer in the tier 1 Property Litigation team at Mishcon de Reya LLP. Claudine advises on disputes relating to commercial and high value residential properties.

Claudine is passionate about diversity, particularly ethnicity and social mobility issues affecting young people. Claudine therefore sits on the firm’s Diversity Committee and in her spare time, founded and runs The Student Development Co. CIC, a non-profit organisation which provides career related support to 16 to 24 year olds from less privileged backgrounds. Claudine has worked with Mishcon de Reya, PwC, Sky and CEB and supported 150 young people.

Claudine is excelling in her field, featuring in Property Week’s Fearless 40 under 40 in 2015 and Highly Commended Junior Lawyer of the Year in the Law Society Excellence Awards. Claudine was also chosen by Women For Refugee Women to be a representative for their Set Her Free campaign.

Kim Opszala


I am an associate in the Corporate team at Dentons, based in Milton Keynes.  Our team was recently voted “Corporate Team of the Year “ at the Insider Dealmaker Awards, Central & East.

When I can, I like to help out worthy causes and recently coordinated a local collection of items to be taken to the Calais Jungle before winter. I regularly volunteer for Worktree, an education charity based in Milton Keynes, which aims to help and prepare school students (aged 11-16) for the world of work by introducing them to employers.

In my spare time I enjoy travelling and have backpacked around the world visiting Australia, Fiji, India, Hong Kong, South East Asia, Europe and Eastern Canada.  I also enjoy cooking and baking and I like to keep fit by regularly attending the gym.

Danielle Ayres

Gorvins Solicitors

Danielle Ayres is a solicitor at Gorvins Solicitors who specialises in pregnancy, maternity and sex discrimination. Danielle provides her expert legal advice to both employers and employees in this area. Danielle is a mum herself to two young boys and during her maternity leave was made aware through speaking to other new mums just how widely prevalent pregnancy and maternity discrimination was. With this in mind, Danielle set up her own niche area to which she would focus her attention upon her own return from maternity leave. This led her to set up specialist advice clinics called ‘Keeping Mum’ for expectant and new mothers, offering legal advice and support to those encountering problems at work. These clinics have resulted in Danielle being involved in a large number of Tribunal cases in this area, acting on behalf of both Claimant and Respondent clients. Further to this, she has also been able to successfully negotiate settlement agreements, securing some large financial settlements as well as apologies on her clients’ behalf. Danielle’s hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed: she is now regularly called upon by various news and radio shows, including the BBC and national newspapers, and is an active contributor to issues in this complex area of law. She has also been recognised by being shortlisted for various awards, such as Manchester Young Talent Awards 2015 and BizMums Awards 2015.

Leah Glover


As the daughter of a single mother, Leah is passionate about helping women overcome adversity. Leah has volunteered her free time as Vice-Chair of the Law Society’s Women Lawyers’ Division (WLD) for three years, the organisation that  represents more than 80,000 women lawyers registered on the Solicitors Roll of England and Wales. Despite being the youngest person ever to be a member of the committee, Leah has been instrumental to hosting a plethora of career development events, networking events and writing thought leadership articles circulated to the members of the WLD. She conquered her fear of public speaking, delivering a speech to nearly 200 attendees on International Women’s Day 2015 on behalf of the WLD, emphasising the importance of the day as a reminder of the issues faced by women and what can be done to bridge the gender gap and the power of mentoring junior lawyers.  Leah also plays and active role in the WLD “Returner Course” which is a weekend course for women lawyers who have had time out of work (usually to look after children) and want to get back into the profession. Leah also assists with female students that are trying to get into the profession, hosting events for university societies and answering tough questions like “Is law still an inherently sexist profession?”.  Leah believes sexism, whether conscious or not, exists from the very start of a woman’s career, regardless of whether or not she has children, and as a result, sexism must be combatted at every level. When she is not volunteering for WLD, Leah is a banking lawyer at DWF LLP. She sits on her firm’s diversity panel and is a passionate advocate of the “lift as you climb” philosophy, with several female mentees including both junior lawyers and paralegals at DWF.

Rhiannon Paine

Clifford Chance LLP

I am a third seat trainee solicitor with Clifford Chance LLP currently sitting in our Real Estate Finance practice. I am also the youngest ever, first female and first trainee to act as co-chair of our LGBT network, Arcus (latin for rainbow).

I joined Clifford Chance and Arcus in February 2015. In the last year, I led on the development of female engagement with our LGBT network and was appointed to both our internal Steering Committee and the Steering Committee of the (external) Gay Women’s Network, representing Clifford Chance. I returned from international secondment to the Debt Capital Markets team of our Paris office in March, and in April replaced our outgoing co-chair.

I speak to media on CC’s diversity efforts and LGBT life at the firm, and pull in our internal and recruitment contacts and GWN members for workshops and networking events I coordinate. I also speak at LGBT conferences and at recruitment events to ensure CC attract the best talent.

Female engagement, or lack thereof, with LGBT networks is an issue many corporates face. I have worked to identify some of the reasons behind lack of female turnout and develop innovative LGBT and Allies events in partnership with client and women’s networks that, by being open to all and so ‘label-free’, encourage attendance and participation and foster a culture of inclusivity.

As co-chair my remit is now wider.  I am now driving a series of learning events on ‘multiple identities’ that touch issues including mental health and wellbeing, gender identity and faith and the interaction of each of these with our sexuality and how this effects our happiness and productivity at the office. As a network we constantly seek to develop and I feel privileged to contribute to positive cultural growth, diversity and inclusion within Clifford Chance.