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Shining a spotlight on the female talent pipeline

07 January 2016 10:15


Top 100 Rising Star Awards 2016

Since 2008, WeAreTheCity has helped thousands of women enhance their careers through
dedicated events, networking groups and its own platform Now in its 7th year WATC is more committed than ever to highlighting the achievements of the female talent pipeline across the UK. In 2015 WeAreTheCity set a strategic objective of promoting the achievements and supporting the careers of 500 women over the next five years, both in the UK and India.

Through WeAreTheCity’s Rising Star awards and with the support of a number of key organisations, WeAreTheCity plans to add to the list of 50 winners from 2015 by
recognising the efforts of an additional 150 women in 2016 (100 in the UK and 50 in India). By highlighting the accolades of these women, WeAreTheCity hopes to encourage organisations and business leaders to invest in and recognise these women as leaders of tomorrow and individual contributors to their respective industries.

These awards are the first to focus on the UK's female talent pipeline below management level.

Categories for nominations include:-

Banking Charity Consultancy
Defence Diversity EA/PA
Education and Academia Entrepreneurs Facilities Management
HR & Recruitment Insurance Investment Management
Law (The Lynne Freeman Award) Media & Journalism Oil & Gas
Property Services Sales Sport
Technology Telecoms Rising Star Champions

Rising Star Champions is the only category in the list to recognise the efforts of senior leaders, male and female, who are actively supporting the female pipeline outside of their corporate re-sponsibilities.

Vanessa Vallely, founder and CEO of WeAreTheCity, said: “The focus on increasing the number of women on boards in the UK over the past few years has been incredibly successful. We now need to focus on helping to highlight women who will be future managers and directors within our organisations.

“There is an abundance of female talent of all ages in the UK but we need to give these women the chance to shine, these awards are the perfect opportunity!"

Vanessa continued: “When I first started out in business there were very few women’s networks or awards that promoted the female pipeline. Without internal sponsorship, the help of mentors and being in the right room with the right people, it is very difficult for all of your achievements to be recognised.

“WeAreTheCity has championed women at all levels, both corporate and entrepreneurs for the past seven years and we feel the awards are an opportunity to share these women’s achieve-ments with a much wider audience. Our hope is that our winners go on to be role models and ambassadors for not only their industries, but for other women. We are dedicated to providing ongoing support for our winners through membership to our Careers Club and by profiling their achievements on WeAreTheCity for years to come.”

WeAreTheCity is also pleased to announce Barclays as the headline sponsor of the event. Mark McLane, Managing Director, Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion at Barclays PLC com-mented: “We are delighted to be the lead sponsor of the Rising Star Awards which recognises the achievements of talented women on their way to the top; the contributions they make to their organisations and society in general.”

The WATC awards are sponsored by Barclays and supported by leading organisations including AON, Bloomberg, BNY Mellon, Cancer Research UK (Women of Influence), Chicago Booth
Business School, Executive and Personal Assistants Association, EY, Keir, Lloyd’s, ISS, Morgan Stanley, Oliver Wyman, PA Consulting, PwC, Reed Smith, Societe Generale, Twenty Recruitment and Worldpay.

WeAreTheCity defines a Rising Star as:

• Someone who is a champion of women in their business or sector
• Someone who strives to achieve success and results
• Someone who gives back or inspires others
• Someone who is recognised by others as having the potential to become a future leader in their industry

The Rising Star Awards are open to all women regardless of age.

Nominations for the Rising Star Awards open on 01 February 2016 via (Closing date 18 March 2016)

A shortlist of 10 women from each industry category will be chosen by an esteemed panel of judges and will be published on 25 April. The shortlist will then be open to a public vote.

Final judging will take place throughout May when independent judges will choose the final ten winners from each of the ten categories. The results of the public vote will also be factored in to the final scores. The top ten rising stars will be announced in June and will then be invited to a prestigious evening reception at Barclays in London to celebrate and collect their awards.

-ENDS- was founded in April 2008 with the aim of providing a free platform to sup-port women who want to progress their careers, enhance their skills and build their external networks.

In 2012, WeAreTheCity launched WeAreTheCity Jobs (formerly Careers City) - female job board. Its creation was in response to members' requests to provide a job board as part of our service offering. During 2012, WeAreTheCity was also recognised by both Mumpreneur and the Good Web Guide for its work in the female community.

In 2014, WeAreTheCity launched an Indian platform ( and has quick-ly become one of the most recognised online women empowerment organisations in India. The company also expanded its UK offering to provide a suite of services and products to support or-ganisations that wish to attract and retain their female talent.

In April 2015, WeAreTheCity launched its on line learning centre, “Careers Club” and won the RBS Focused Women “Company of the year” award for its gender related services and prod-ucts. The company also introduced two new phone apps to further support its members both in the UK and India. These are available via IoS, Windows and Android.

WeAreTheCity in numbers

• 4 million hits per month
• 200,000 unique visitors
• 42,000 members (80% professional women)
• <5,000 Alexa ranked UK website
• Access to 20,000 women through our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn)
• 75+ events run / co-partnered
• £80,000 raised for charity

For more information, images or to interview Vanessa Vallely, please contact:

Emily Jane Brown Gemma Guise
Journolink Journolink
07841679541 07904342808

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Press Contacts

Chantelle Akerman

Head of Operations



About WeAreTheCity

The aim of WeAreTheCity is to provide an information careers and lifestyle portal for women working in London and across the UK. It was founded in 2008 by husband and wife team, Stewart & Vanessa Vallely with the intention of providing career orientated content to working women and entrepreneurs across London.

Other key facts

• It has been funded by both founders and was run as a not for profit from 2008 to 2013.
• WeAreTheCity has a database of over 30,000 professional and entrepreneurial women.
• The company has a projected reach (via network relationships) of approx. 400,000 women across the UK.
• WeAreTheCity experiences over 4million hits per month, 210,000 unique visitors
• is the top 1% of visited websites in the UK (as per, ranking at 7,275 out of 10 million websites
registered in the UK, 181,977 out of 1 billion websites worldwide.
• WeAreTheCity has a job board offering specifically aimed at our female members, which was
launched in October 2012.
• has a sister site based in India which was just launched in March 2013, This is
currently sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP
• We have a combined social media reach of 9,000 via Twitter, 1,500 on Facebook and 5,000 members on LinkedIN.
• WeAreTheCity has over 25 resident bloggers and over 250 volunteer writers.
• We generate around 25-30 unique pieces of content per week.
• We supports over 25 charities with free advertising through our Giving Back section.

WeAreTheCity provides the following services.

• Provides career and lifestyle orientated information to professional and entrepreneurial women working in London and
across the UK.
• Provides corporates with a platform (through to advertise their open vacancies directly to a female
• Project manages events for corporates who wish to engage with particular demographic of women (eg Technology).
• Provides a platform for corporate companies to enhance their brand within the female community by publishing gender
related content.
• Provides a platform for female entrepreneurs to advertise and promote their quality products or services to a large female
• Offers training opportunities to our members via free webinars.
• Profiles inspirational women across the UK in order to raise their profile and inspire our members.
• Promotes restaurants, bars, business schools, wellness activities in London plus other female centric services.
• Provides competitions and unique discounts for our members.
• Provides our own events, eg networking drinks 4 times per year.
• Engages with our members via a bi-weekly newsletter and various social media feeds.
• Promotes female leadership programmes and opportunities for women to up-skill outside their corporate environments.
• Provides a calendar of events from female networks and other learning providers.
• Provides a directory of recommended coaches.
• Promotes giving back activities (Charities and social enterprises) to our membership to encourage them to give back to their
• Provides a platform for female writers to share their stories and experiences with other women.

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