WeAreTheCity presented the winners of the Top 100 Rising Star awards with their trophies last night, in a ceremony at Barclays, London.

Over 200 winners, sponsors, judges and guests attended and enjoyed a champagne reception. The audience were welcomed by Vanessa Vallely, WeAreTheCity Managing Director; Sally Clark, Chief Internal Auditor, Barclays; and Caroline Dinenage, MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Women, and Family Justice Equalities.

After congratulating the Top 100 winners, Sally Clark spoke of the importance of networking and urged the audience to connect with each other. She said, “Networking was the last thing I wanted to do, but I realise now that was a failure on my part”

“So make sure you can find a new friend and I wish you all a fabulous evening.”

Following on, Caroline Dinenage, MP said, “It is lovely to be here this evening. It feels like yesterday I was speaking at last year’s awards.”

“I am really pleased to be speaking today because these awards are promoting role models, and that is exactly what we need to do.”

“We all need allies. Madeleine Albright once said, ‘there is a special place in hell for women who do not help other women’, and I’m a firm believer in that.”

“You are all winners, all stars and all role models to those who come after you.”

Broadcaster and journalist, Brenda Emmanus, hosted the awards ceremony, sponsored by Barclays. Congratulating the winners, Emmanus said, “You are all diamonds in the rough that are about to shake up the establishment.”

“Where you are right now is exactly where you are supposed to be. You are about to make serious strides.”

“I commend you for where you are so far, and I commend those behind you who have got you this far.”

“This is an army and we march forward together.”

During the interval, the audience were treated to surprise entertainment from the North London Military Wives Choir. The choir delivered a moving performance and received a standing ovation from the audience.

Military Wives Choirs

Closing the awards, Emmanus left the crowd with inspiring words, saying, “When God created women, he was simply showing off.”

“We don’t get bitter, we get better.”

The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management level and to create 100 female role models across 20 different industries and professions as well as celebrating the hard work and support of our Rising Star Champions.

The winners were narrowed down from over 800 nominations and were judged by a panel of 21 independent judges. Over 28,000 public votes were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from across 118 countries.

The winners of each category can be found in alphabetical order below. Full details of each winner can be found here.

Rising Stars in Banking – Sponsored by Societe Generale
  • Ebi Obode, RBS
  • Khalia D. Newell, Bank of America Merill Lynch
  • Lauren Garey, J.P. Morgan
  • Luma Zitani, Barclays
  • Rachel Webster, Barclays

Veronique Sabbah, Managing Director – Head of UK Asset Managers & UK Insurance Companies, Societe Generale, said: “Be the voice of tomorrow and do not just wait for it to happen.”

Rising Stars in Consultancy – Sponsored by EY
  • Amber Rosier, Accenture
  • Cynthia Yoon, KPMG
  • Hannah Selby, Weston Williamson + Partners
  • Helen Campbell, PwC
  • Jennifer Curtis, ZS Associates

Rob Toguri, Partner at EY, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to be presenting these awards this evening. At EY, one of our top three business goals is to promote diversity.”

Rising Stars in Sport – Sponsored by PedalSure
  • Alexandra Merisoiu, The Merisoiu Technique Institute
  • Francesca Brown, Goals4Girls
  • Hayley Bennett, Kick It Out
  • Manisha Tailor, Swaggarlicious
  • Sophie Radcliffe, Challenge Sophie

Philip Lochner, Founder and CEO at PedalSure, said: “We at PedalSure are pleased to sponsor the award. Each of these ladies are using sports to make a difference, in this society, communities and across the UK.”

Rising Stars in Education & Academia – Sponsored by The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
  • Amy Farrelly, Rugby School
  • Brenda Neburagho, St Mathew Academy
  • Carrie Dunn, University of East London
  • Faye Kilgour, Graydin
  • Hasmita Chavda, Ignite!

Eugenia Patriniche, Director Corporate Development EMEA, dedicated her speech to Vanessa Vallely, saying: “She is a great example of someone who knows how to bring people together.”

Rising Stars in Insurance – Sponsored by Lloyd’s
  • Adobea Atsrefi, AIG
  • Amy Sinnott, AIG
  • Charlotte Lach, AIG
  • Christy Mitchell, Zurich
  • Sarah Millman, LV=

Paul Awcock, Head of Talent Sourcing at Lloyd’s said: “It was great to be at awards outside of the finance silo.”

Rising Stars in Law (The Lynne Freeman Award) – Sponsored by Reed Smith
  • Claudine Adeyemi, Mischon De Reya
  • Danielle Ayres, Gorvin Solicitors
  • Kim Opszala, Dentons
  • Leah Glover, DWF
  • Rhiannon Paine, Clifford Chance

Nola Beirne, Vice Chair of the Financial Industry Group for EME at Reed Smith, spoke of the how to award became known as the Lynne Freeman award. She said: “I am delighted to say it’s been renamed the Lynne Freeman award, after Lynne who ran our women’s initiative. Sadly she passed away unexpectedly last year, leaving a hole in all our hearts, but I’m sure she would be extremely proud to be honoured in this way.”

Rising Stars in Property – Sponsored by Kier
  • Alex Chitty, Land Securities
  • Alice Boswell, British Land
  • Jessica Neale, CBRE
  • Najwa Jawahar, WSP | Parsons Brinkerhoff
  • Rebecca Fieldhouse, Iceni Projects

Leigh Thomas, Managing Director, Kier said: “I am delighted to be presenting these awards. As a father of two girls, it is great to see so many inspirational women here today.”

Rising Stars in Investment Management – Sponsored by Newton Investment Management
  • Alison Ure, Hermes Investment Management
  • Emma Bullock, Saunderson House
  • Jamie Tolentino-Deludet, Investec Asset Management
  • Katie Trowsdale, Standard Life
  • Sarah Hudson, BlackRock

Stephanie Gore, Charity Business Development Manager, said: “For us [these awards] combine two things that we are passionate about at Newton: investment management and women. As companies we need to be supporting women in their careers.”

Rising Stars in Public Sector – Sponsored by Socitm
  • Emma Redman, Southend Council
  • Hannah Cotton, Transport for London
  • Lorraine Eyers, Greater London Authority
  • Susan Russell, Festivals Edinburgh
  • Temitope Roberta Lawal, Ministry of Justice

Nadira Hussain, President of Socitm, said: “We don’t have many women in our company and we want to change that. We are continuing with the crusade and hoping we can attract more women into both the society and the sector.”

Rising Stars in Sales – Sponsored by WorldPay
  • Elizabeth Drummond, Bloomberg
  • Emma Gillies, Sedgefield Racecourse
  • Mary Kay, Real Staffing (SThree)
  • Shauna Bull, Pure Storage
  • Valentine Rabin, Mastercard

Steve Newton, SVP Relationship Management at WorldPay, said: “The reason our business is supporting these awards and will continue to support WeAreTheCity is to demonstrate our commitment to gender equality.”

Rising Stars in Technology – Sponsored by Morgan Stanley
  • Babs Ofori-Acquah, MVF
  • Ellie Ulrich, Cisco
  • Lucie Svandelikova, BT
  • Sarah Chapman, 3M
  • Sarah Khan, SARA K Digital

Sonam Belbase, Vice President at Morgan Stanley spoke of the emotion in the room saying: “I was expecting this evening to be inspiring and exciting but I was not expecting it to be moving. But it has been so moving.”

Rising Stars in Media & Journalism – Sponsored by Bloomberg
  • Jenna Jones, Maggie Semple Ltd.
  • Nejra Cehic, Bloomberg
  • Roz Sanderson, UBM
  • Ruth David, Bloomberg News
  • Samantha Brooker, Secret Escapes

Heather Harris, Executive Editor at Bloomberg, made light of the recent news saying, “I promise no cheap Brexit jokes, but I don’t think it’s cheap to say, a couple of guys have wrecked the House, now a woman’s going to have to clean it up.”

Rising Stars in Charity – Sponsored by Cancer Research UK
  • Frah Saeed, YMCA North London
  • Mary Dobson, LYCP
  • Michelle Thorpe, UK Homes 4 Heroes
  • Samantha Jones, Smart Works
  • Sophie Richardson, Free the Children UK

Frances Milner, Executive Director of Philanthropy and Partnerships at Cancer Research UK, said: “It is so inspiring to be amongst so many fabulous women.”

Rising Stars EA/PA – Sponsored by Executive & Personal Assistants Association (EPAA)
  • Amanda Hargreaves, PZ Cussons
  • Hannah-Kate Smith, RSA
  • Jennifer Corcoran, Crédit Agricole CIB
  • Karen Glenn, Colt Technology Services
  • Simone White, BlackRock

Victoria Darragh, Founder of EPAA, said: “It’s been quite emotional at the back as frankly it’s a blooming miracle for EA & PAs to be included in something like this.”

Rising Stars in Diversity – Sponsored by AON
  • Elisha St. Hilaire, AON UK
  • Julie Thomas, Zurich Insurance
  • Lauren Peel, Aviva
  • Rupal Kantaria, Oliver Wyman
  • Stephanie Kouame, Bloomberg
Rising Stars Entrepreneurs – Sponsored by Virgin Media Business
  • Amma Mensah, Beyond the Classroom
  • Charlotte Pearce, Inkpact
  • Clare Anyiam-Osigwe, Premae Skincare & JoClarePR
  • Georgina Bullen, Team Insight
  • Phoebe Gormley, Gormley & Gamble

Jeannie Ivanov, Propositions Development at Virgin Media Business, said: “I have nothing but respect and admiration for these women so early on in their careers. I would wish them well but they definitely don’t need it.”

Rising Stars in HR & Recruitment – Sponsored by Twenty Recruitment Group
  • Ellen Hartley, Barclays
  • Julia Vanoli, House of Commons
  • Kayleigh Bottomley, Progressive Recruitment (SThree)
  • Tarryn Severn, Barclays
  • Winnie Oudemans, Barclays

Stephanie Lloyd, Company Manager at Twenty Recruitment, said: “Thank you for allowing us to be one of the founding sponsors for these awards. On a personal level, it is so inspiring and it gives me hope that we are knocking down those barriers.”

Rising Stars in Facilities Management – Sponsored by ISS
  • Cheryl-Anne Sanderson, G4S FM UK and Ireland
  • Elaine Gibson, NSPCC
  • Lianne Lawson, Interserve Construction
  • Mary O’Connor, London Bridge Quarter Estate Management
  • Sophie Kimber, ISS UK

James Lester, UK Corporate Director at ISS, said: “Our industry is very diverse by nature and I am proud to be presenting this award.”

Rising Stars in Defence – Sponsored by PA Consulting Group
  • Hayley Barnden, Ministry of Defence
  • Natalie Grainger, 846 Naval Air Squadron
  • Sarah Cotman, Royal Air Force
  • Sarah Stevens, Royal Fleet Auxiliary
  • Sherry McBain, Royal Air Force

Nick Newman, Head of Global Defence and Security Sector at PA Consulting Group, said: “The winners of the defence category clearly represent leaders in the truest sense of the word.”

Rising Star in Oil & Gas – Sponsored by PwC
  • Anne Bailey, Baringa Partners
  • Anne Claudel, BP
  • Eleanor Collins, BP
  • Kerrine Bryan, CB&I
  • Nicola Hartshorn, British Gas

Alison Baker, Partner at PwC, said: “This evening is a way of celebrating those on the way to the top, but there is a lot more to be done. I am a big fan of Walt Disney when he said, ‘if you can dream it, you can do it’. All our dreams can come true if we pursue them.”

Rising Star Champions – Sponsored by Oliver Wyman & United Nations Women
  • Carolyn Pepper, Reed Smith
  • Funke Abimbola, Roche UK
  • Heather Melville, RBS
  • Robert Thesiger, The FISER Group
  • Tamara Box, Reed Smith

Francois Austin, Partner at Oliver Wyman, said of the Champions that “rarely is there as much energy, enthusiasm and happiness.”