Royal Bank of Canada




WeAreTheCity are delighted to invite you to our Rising Star award’s ceremony.

Given the circumstances, the team at WeAreTheCity are having to do things a little differently with our awards this year. We will be holding a virtual awards evening for all winners, sponsors and judges on the evening of 15 July 2021.

Over the course of the awards ceremony, you will hear from inspirational speakers and entertainers who will all be endeavouring to create a truly magically experience for you all. We cannot give you the true physical experience of one of our award ceremonies, however what we have planned will be an evening to remember!



17:45 Welcome speeches

18:00 Opening Keynote

with Dr Heather Melville OBE CCMI, Director, PwC and Chair of CMI Women

18:10 Future First

with Laura Underwood, Business Services Director, Future First

18:13 Awards Presentation

19:13 Entertainment break

with Jermain Jackman

19:20 Awards presentations

20:14 Education Partner

with Niki Mullin, Associate Director, Oxford Said Business School

20:19 Entertainment break

with Jaspreet Kaur

20:24 Awards presentations

20:54 Closing entertainment

with Elle Yaya

Southend Vox Choir

21:10 – Close



Julia Streets is a champion of fintech entrepreneurship, innovation and diversity.

In 2007, Julia founded Streets Consulting, the business development, marketing and communications consultancy. She helped launch the Chi-X brand of international alternative stock exchanges, including Chi-X Australia. Since then she and her team have advised a wide range of firms in the world of capital markets, B2B and payments, and offering specialist technology including blockchain, artificial intelligence, cyber and more.

Wary that diversity and inclusion is fast becoming the latest corporate marketing jargon, last year Julia launched a podcast series, ‘DiverCity Podcast’. On each episode, industry luminaries shine a light on progress, call out areas requiring further focus and offer insights and best practice to help listeners drive change.



Having held a number of senior positions across a range of high profile organisations (RBS/NatWest, IBM, Daiwa Europe Bank and, most recently PwC), Heather has established a purpose values driven reputation, together with a gentle, focused yet persuasive style that is known for supporting both individuals and businesses to be successful.

Her most recent appointment as Director of Client Relationship Programmes (a programme specifically designed for C Suite clients) and Head of People Business Networks, has provided the firm with a strong foundation to continue to engage with our 65,000 clients, 22,00 alumni and 22,000 employees through a clear vision and strategy that brings them together to solve critical business problems.

Heather is also very passionate about the progression of both female and BAME talent from the early entrance into the education system, right through to that very first role they may have secured in the corporate workplace.

In 2017 Heather was awarded an OBE for her services to female entrepreneurs, diversity in business and gender equality. In July 2019 she was awarded with an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Portsmouth for her contribution to Diversity in Business.

She is the Chair of CMI Women, Trustee and board member of Enfield Enterprise, Patron of Women In Banking & Finance and in a personal capacity has contributed to ongoing independent reviews for the Labour Government re creating an inclusive culture. In 2020 Heather became a member of the PwC Colour Brave Charity Committee.



Jermain Jackman is a talented English singer who rose to fame on the popular BBC singing competition The Voice UK. A passionate political activist, Jermain is a performer with big dreams and an even bigger talent.

At the age of 11, he was spotted by the Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn at a school talent contest that the former Labour leader was invited to judge. Corbyn asked Jermain to perform at Labour rallies with the two forming a double act. Jermain’s success saw him eventually enter and win the third season of the hit BBC talent show The Voice UK.

After The Voice UK Jermain tested the waters with an EP of collaborations entitled Jermain Jackman Sessions. Released as a free download, he was buoyed by the response prompting him to develop a full album. His debut album, Jermain Jackman was released in 2015 featuring his debut single “How Will I Know”.

Since then Jermain has balanced his performance life with his studies in politics at the University of Leeds. An active political figure, he harbours ambitions of becoming an MP and is a role model to generations of future politicians. Jermain is an act unlike any other. A talented singer and active political youth, Jermain is wise beyond his years.



Jaspreet Kaur, better known as Behind the Netra for her poetry, is an award-winning spoken word artist and writer from East London. She is also an educator and has taught History, Sociology & Politics in secondary schools across London. With an academic background in both history and gender studies & a passion for social justice, Jaspreet has been committed to using her writing and spoken word to tackle gender discrimination, mental health stigma, the postcolonial immigrant experience, & taboo issues within the South Asian community.

She has performed at a number of events including performances – the Service of Celebration at Westminster Abbey, Theatre Royal London, Oxford and Cambridge University, London City Hall and the House of Lords.

Jaspreet has been awarded the Asian Women of Achievement Award for her work in Arts and Culture, the ‘WeAreTheCity’ Rising Star Award in Education.



Having signed to Paul Epworth’s label at the tender age of 15, ELLE YAYA is an intriguing artist with a story to tell. Her drive and ambition saw her skipping university and heading to London alone to pursue her dreams, collaborating with the likes of Vince Staples, Glass Animals and Clams Casino along the way. However leaving home and the cushion of her supportive family for the arms of the unforgiving music industry proved a struggle. Having spent nearly two years in recovery for drug and alcohol addiction, the 24-year-old has experienced more self-sabotage and darkness than many people would experience in a lifetime.

Though written during her chaotic days, her innate and consistent ability to curate deft R&B Pop fusions has helped her process her past, resulting in the spectacular debut full length ‘Pharmacy’. With undeniable vocal delivery and razor sharp lyricism, if it’s gritty, passionate and captivating music you’re after, there should only be one name on your lips.



Southend Vox is a dynamic and captivating not-for-profit community choir that loves to entertain! Founded in 2009, the choir was established to create a modern and unique approach to choral singing in the Southend community. Starting out with a handful of singers, the choir today consists of nearly 50 members from in and around the Southend-on-Sea area. Vox sing an eclectic mix of pop classics, show songs, spirituals and contemporary pieces, and have performed at a number of prestigious venues including Union Chapel and most recently, The Royal Albert Hall. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, rehearsals have moved online and their performances have become ‘virtual’ – they’ve even won their first ‘virtual’ choir competition! Southend Vox are thrilled to join the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars award and we hope you all enjoy the performance!