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Vanessa Vallely has been shortlisted for the UK’ Largest Diversity Awards.

08 August 2014 09:00


Headline sponsors Microsoft be just one of the brands supporting a sky fall of diversity talent – positive role models, community organisations and businesses from the LGBT, ethnic minority, age, gender, religion and disability communities.

Over 21,000 nominations were received this year paying tribute to inspirational individuals and groups nationwide that have dedicated their lives to enhancing the equality agenda.

Vanessa Vallely is a recognized expert in person-to-person business networking, online branding and a sought after motivational speaker. She is regarded as one of the most well networked women in and out of the City of London and is passionate about sharing her know-how and experiences with others. Vanessa has helped women progress in their
careers in over 80 companies in Europe, the US, India and the Middle East.

Vanessa experience stems from a 25 year career in Banking and Finance, holding senior positions such as Chief Operating Officer and Global Head of Governance and Business Management.

In 2008, Vanessa started the networking site: (WATC) as a vehicle to help other Women connect and grow both personally and professionally. Today, WeAreTheCity experiences over 4 million hits per month and an average of 200,000 unique visitors.

WATC has become the Little Black Book for UK’s female workforce. Its 30,000+ members rely on this fantastic site to inspire, motivate and provide them with the direction they need to take their careers or businesses to the next level.
In 2014 with the help of EY, WATC was also launched in India ( with the intention of providing career advice to local women. As well as the two WeAreTheCity sites, Vanessa also launched in 2012, which is a niche female job board aimed at raising visibility of career opportunities open to Women in the UK.

Vanessa works tirelessly to furthering the Diversity Agenda. To this end, Women in Banking & Finance (WiBF), recognized her achievements with the ‘2011 Women’s Champion Award’. In 2009, Vanessa co-founded the citywide diversity forum, The Networks of Networks (TNON). The TNON includes the Diversity heads and heads of women’s networks from over 70 firms. The TNON also recently expanded to cater for other diversity streams, such as LGBT and the BAME community.

Global corporations, universities, charities & radio broadcasters invite Vanessa to speak on career progression, networking, mentoring & profile as well as her 25 years of experience in the City and Financial services.

As testimony to the success of the knowledge she shares with others, Vanessa is on every watch list following top women in the City, such as: Financial News Top 100 Rising Star across Europe, Africa and EMEA, Financial News Top 100 Women in Finance as well as The International Alliance for Women’s Top 100 Global Women who are making a notable difference to female empowerment. In 2013, she has received accolades such Brummel’s Top 30 Inspirational Women in the City, as well as being awarded the Global Leadership Award at Columbia University from US network Womensphere. Vanessa’s latest achievement is being cited as 1 of 50 Women of Influence by UK’s leading magazine, Good Housekeeping (Nov 2013).

Vanessa has recently released her first book, “Heels of Steel” which tracks her amazing career climb to the C-suite. As well as being an autobiography, the book also imparts 13 chapters of tips and advice aimed at helping the next generation to achieve career success.
Vanessa is committed to community work, serving as board member for Cancer Researches Women of Influence programme and she is also the Pearly Queen of the City of London.

The Hurlingham Club, London will play host to the prestigious black-tie event on September 26th, to honour the outstanding achievements of grass root communities nationwide.

Lloyds Banking group, which operates the UK's largest retail bank, international accountants PwC, media giants Sky and Secret Service MI5 will be amongst sponsors backing the Best of British diversity at the UK's Largest Diversity Awards.

TV personality Brian Dowling will return to host the ceremony alongside CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell. He said: ‘I am so excited! I have witnessed the awards go from strength to strength and I am always truly taken back by the humbling and uplifting stories of all the nominees and award winners.'

Bafta award winning actor, Adam Deacon added his support 'The National Diversity Awards exceed in bringing people from all walks of life together. Their ability to highlight positive role models and community organisations from underrepresented backgrounds is so necessary in the fight for social justice'.

Paul Sesay, founder of the NDA’s said; ‘The quality and quantity of nominees this year has been exceptional. I would like to wish all shortlisted nominees the very best of luck, and we look forward to meeting you on the night of the ceremony!'

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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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