We are proud to announce the top 10 shortlisted individuals for the Rising Star Champions category, sponsored by Oliver Wyman

The individuals contained within the shortlist are now able to receive public votes of support. If you wish to show your support, please cast your vote below.

We look forward to welcoming all shortlisted nominees to our celebration drinks reception sponsored by Bloomberg on 8 June.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank our judges for their time and to wish all nominees the very best of luck in the next round of judging.

Rising Star Champion’s Shortlist

Amali de Alwis | Code First: Girls

Amali de Alwis is CEO of Code First: Girls, a  multi-award winning​ social enterprise ​that works​ with companies and women ​directly ​to increase the proportions of women in tech and entrepreneurship. ​They do this by running free ​and paid ​coding courses for men and women, by advising companies on tech talent, and by running a community of 5500+ women who are interested in tech. Over the past 3 years they’ve provided £2.5 million+ worth of free tech education, and taught 4000+ women how to code. They are the largest provider of free in person coding courses for women in the UK. Amali previously worked as a consultant at PwC, which included a secondment to the World Economic Forum. Prior to this she was a senior research and strategy consultant at TNS Global. Outside of the day job, she is a member of the steering committee at the Tech Talent Charter,…

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Brigid North | Reed Smith

Brigid trained and qualified at Richards Butler before the merger with Reed Smith, and has spent her whole career to date at the firm.  She is a real estate lawyer with a broad practice including acting for developers of mixed-use and residential development projects;  transacting for investment clients, particularly in the office and logistics spaces; and acting for occupiers of real estate space, notably in the leisure and luxury retail sectors.  Brigid was listed as a Rising Star in the 2015 edition of the Super Lawyers Magazine published by The Telegraph and was promoted to partner in January 2015.   Brigid is the current vice-chair of Reed Smith’s women’s initiative network’s London committee and serves on the London office’s graduate recruitment panel, in both of which roles she takes an active role in championing gender equality.  Brigid has also spoken on a number of panels both within the firm and externally…

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Chuck Stephens | Google

Chuck is a recognized leader in Diversity and Inclusion (D&I). Leveraging more than a fifteen years’ of experience building, deploying, and managing D&I practices, Chuck delivers measurable, business-focused solutions that meet the demands of complex organizations. He has guided some of the world’s largest companies in addressing their D&I challenges while increasing their eminence as diversity leaders. He has deep experience establishing and governing broad-based D&I practices that are tailored to the needs of individual business units while leveraging knowledge across the organization. He is a long standing champion of equity and equality for all. Creating pathways for organisations, leaders, and individuals to move from tactical to transformational is a hallmark of his career. This is achieved via building awareness, changing attitudes, and promoting behaviours to create new outcomes. Established relationships with Fortune Magazine, Human Rights Campaign, Stonewall, Race for Opportunity, UN Women, Working Mother, OpportunityNow, OutStanding, The Guardian newspaper, and…

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Dana Denis-Smith | Obelisk Support

In 2014 I founded the First 100 Year project ( and Obelisk Support, my business, funded initially and has helped coordinated since 2014. It all began with an image from 1982 – that of one woman surrounded by a group of 50 or so male partners marking the 100th anniversary of one of the City of London’s best known law firms. I was fascinated to understand how it felt to be the only woman and what her journey in the legal profession had been. I was anxious to ask her how it felt to be a lonely star? And I am delighted Dorothy Livingston, the woman in the middle, has embraced the project and shared her story with us all. The aim of the First 100 Years project was ambitious and clearly defined from the outset: a 5 year project (2014-2019) to create the world’s first digital museum ( dedicated…

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Liz Dimmock | Women Ahead & Moving Ahead Group

I am founder and CEO of Women Ahead and Moving Ahead Group, set up in 2014. Before then I  worked in the fields of consultancy, coaching and mentoring for 16 years in businesses ranging from 30 employees to 330,000. I have held commercial, coaching and leadership roles at IMG, KPMG, HSBC (Global Head of Coaching), and GP Strategies (Managing Partner). In 2012 I cycled the entire route of the Tour de France, one week ahead of the men’s race, matching them stage for stage, riding 3,479kms in 21 days. This journey highlighted the inequalities in the sport I love; the fact that there is no women’s Tour de France (despite the clear physiological ability of women to complete it) was a driving factor in the creation of Women Ahead.

Mohammed Zafran BEM | All 4 Youth & Community

Mohammed Zafran known as Zaf in the Uk is a Community Liaison Officer at South and City College and the Founder of a Non Profit Organisation All 4 Youth & Community. As highlighted on a national scale, the inspiration for Zaf to do the brilliant work in the community was two tragedies which occured in his life. Seven years ago, Zaf lost his blind sister to cancer at the age of 30. After that he started helping charities and doing voluntary work to help people. A year later, Zaf lost his 24 year old brother in law who was brutally murdered in a local park stabbed in the head with a screwdriver. Instead of grieving, Zaf went out in the streets in the middle of the night and started to engage with youths who were in gangs in parks and alleys and involved in crime and drugs. Zaf risked his…

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Ruth Grant | Hogan Lovells

Ruth Grant is a Board member and lead diversity Partner at Hogan Lovells. Over the last ten years, her global diversity agenda has created a cultural shift within the firm and transformed its reputation as a diversity pioneer. Ruth is the founder and chair of the firm’s Global Diversity and Inclusion and London Diversity Committees. She was the London Managing Partner from 2005-2009 and sole woman on the firm’s International Executive Committee. She was previously a member of the firm’s International Operations and New Partner Committees and was People Development Partner from 2009 to 2015. As lead diversity Partner, Ruth has created and grown a comprehensive programme of activity to promote diversity globally, and many of her efforts have specifically focused around recruiting and developing women and other minority groups. Ruth is also a role model for gender equality externally and actively promotes diversity and inclusion throughout the legal profession….

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Ruth Oshikanlu | Goal Mind Limited

Ruth Oshikanlu – Award-winning Queen’s Nurse, midwife and health visitor and parenting expert.  She is the founding director of Goal Mind Limited, and has over 22 years track record in delivering secondary and primary health care services in the independent, statutory and voluntary sectors.  She is an inspirational professional who is passionate about women and children having supported a vast amount of women from conception, birth and beyond. Ruth is a published author of Tune In To Your Baby: Because Babies Don’t Come with An Instruction Manual; a holistic self-help parenting book that promotes maternal and infant mental health.  She runs a private practice in London’s Harley Street supporting women who have had assisted conception or previous miscarriage to enjoy their pregnancy without fear. Ruth is a champion for nurses, midwives and health visitors, enabling her colleagues to be better practitioners and deliver excellent standards of care to the women…

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Sally Clark | Barclays

Currently Chief Internal Auditor at Barclays where I have worked for the past four and a half years.  In charge of a team of 700 auditors globally and passionate about what we do in audit and in making sure we continue to improve and innovate the function.  Big supporter as well of the diversity initiatives that we have in the firm surrounding gender and also millenials.  Currently the Executive Sponsor for the Emerge Network which is our network for Early Careers employees in the firm.  Previously worked in Audit at RBS for 9 years particularly focussed on investment banking and at JPMorgan for 18.5 years before that again in Audit.

Shay Doran | Barclaycard

Shay is the Vice President for Channel Strategy at Barclaycard and he also leads the Male Allies initiative, set up in June 2016, aimed at involving more men in the gender agenda. Shay joined Barclays in 2007, starting his career in retail banking having just turned 17 and quickly became one of the youngest Branch Managers for Barclays at the age of 19. Since then, he has held various roles across multiple parts of the Barclays group, including retail banking, business banking, business propositions, and most recently, business strategy at Barclaycard.During his career to date, Shay has championed both gender equality & the LGBT agenda, by establishing the Male Allies initiative across the U.K & leading key LGBT events for Barclays.