HomePeopleCharityRising Stars Awards a huge success, despite (or because of) being online

Rising Stars Awards a huge success, despite (or because of) being online


WeAreTheCity’s 2020 Rising Star Awards had to be presented a little differently this year, due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) edpidemic.

The winners were announced back in May, five in each category from a shortlist of 10. Then, on 30 July, a virtual award’s ceremony took place on Zoom, hosted by Julia Streets, CEO of Streets Consulting. Throughout the evening, guests were entertained by comedian and actress, Sally Phillips; singer-songwriter, Antigoni and the Southend Vox Choir.

The event was attended by winners, judges, sponsors and special guests. Each winner received a goodie box in advance, complete with their award, champagne, chocolates, books and other treats.

Vanessa Vallely, WeAreTheCity.

Speaking about the awards, Vanessa Vallely OBE, managing director of WeAreTheCity, said, “I am so proud that for the sixth year running WeAreTheCity has been able to shine a light on the achievements of so many remarkable women, organisations and male champions across the UK.

“This year has been an extraordinarily challenging year. We have all experienced unprecedented change both in terms of our personal and professional lives – yet still, we remain standing, ready to face the world and its new normal, ready to continue to learn and grow, and ready to help each other to adapt in whatever way is needed.

“It is that trait of tenacity, achievement, resilience and passion to help others that helped our judges to identify this year’s Rising Star winners. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate every single one of our outstanding role models once again.”

Julia Streets.

Host Julia Streets was still bubbling the following day. “It was truly magnificent evening and I was honoured to be entrusted with such an important and special event,” she said.  “To all the winners: many, many, many congratulations, to all the sponsors and presenters: thank you … and to all the judges, wow what an incredibly tough call. It speaks volumes about you all that you’d step up and judge – your decisions changed people’s career journeys last night!

“Finally, how wonderful to see children, parents, friends, partners, bosses and pets!”  It truly had been a family evening, with many participants being joined online by friends, family, pets and random visitors.

The Rising Star Awards were entered by over 1,000 individuals and were judged by a panel of 45 independent judges. Over 35,000 public votes of support from 115 countries were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees.

The list of winners showcases remarkable women within the UK from across 20 categories representing different industries and professions. Those highlighted include Joanna Monck, a Stonewall Schools Role Model and National Diversity Mentor, who works voluntarily as a hate crime ambassador for Sussex Police; Anuradha Damale, UK Director of Women of Colour Advancing Peace and Security, an organisation set up to advance the leadership and professional development of women in colour in the fields of international peace; Catherine Cobb, who lost her left leg to bone cancer when she was seven, but realised her dream of becoming an engineer; and Dr Larisa Corda, Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, who is ITV This Morning’s and Channel Mum’s Fertility Expert.

A full list of categories and winners can be found on the Rising Stars 2020 website.

The event’s sponsors, without whom even the online ceremony wouldn’t have taken place, were headline sponsor Royal Bank of Canada and category sponsors 3M, Accenture, Barclays, Bloomberg, British Army, Cancer Research UK, C&C Search, Citi, CMI, Elysian Search Consulting, Goldman Sachs, GSK, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Lloyd’s, Mott MacDonald, Northern Trust, Oliver Wyman, Oxford Said Business School, Reed Smith and Sage.


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