Guidance & Criteria

Now in its sixth year, the Rising Stars Awards are the first to focus on the UK’s female talent pipeline below management level.

Our strategic goal, set in 2015, aims to showcase 1,000 outstanding women by 2022. By highlighting the accolades of these women, WeAreTheCity are not only promoting the amazing female talent that exists across the UK, but actively encouraging organisations and business leaders to invest in and recognise these women as leaders of tomorrow and individual contributors to their respective industries.

Alongside our Rising Star categories, we are also calling for nominations for Champions and a Company of the Year. Our Champion award recognises the achievements of five senior individual, of any gender, who are actively supporting the female pipeline outside of their day job. Nominations for this award are individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to gender, e.g. HeForShe supporters, network leaders, directors, MD’s & C-Suite individuals who are championing women either inside or outside their organisations.

The Company of the Year award recognises the achievements of a company who can clearly demonstrate that they are actively supporting its female talent pipeline through their initiatives, training, development programmes and internal employee relations and diversity network groups.

New for this year, we have also introduced a Men for Gender Balance category. This category is for men who are championing women and gender balance either inside or outside their organisation. Nominees must be at least Director level (or equivalent) or above, and must demonstrate that they have actively supported the female pipeline either through their current work role or external activities.

We are proud to announce that this year, we will add to our existing Rising Star award winner alumni of 550 women by recognising the achievements of an additional 100 women and five champions in the UK throughout 2020.

By highlighting the accolades of inspirational female talent, WeAreTheCity hopes to encourage organisations and business leaders to invest in and recognise women as leaders of tomorrow and additionally, as individual contributors within their respective industries.

The Rising Star awards are open for nominations from 13 January 2020.

We are accepting four types of nominations for this year's Rising Star Awards:

Rising Star Individual

A female individual who works within one of the categories whose current position is below director level

Rising Star Champion

A senior individual of any gender who is championing gender equality either inside or outside their organisation

Rising Star Company

A company that clearly articulates their commitment to supporting their female talent pipeline

Rising Star Men for Gender Balance

A senior man who is championing women and gender balance either inside or outside their organisation.

Nominating an individual, champion, men for gender balance or a company is straightforward. Simply tell us in no more than 250 words why you believe the individual/company you are nominating deserves a Rising Star award. Before nominating, please ensure you have checked your entry against the criteria set out below and viewed our terms and conditions.

• Open to all women regardless of age
• Nominees must be below senior management level (e.g. below Director level)
• Nominees must be working within the industry of the category for which they are nominated
• Nominees must be working in the UK

• Someone who is or who has the potential to be a role model 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

• Open to all genders
• Nominees must be Director level (or equivalent) or above
• Nominees must demonstrate that they have actively supported the female pipeline either through their current work role or external activities
• Nominees must be working in the UK

• Open to all UK-based companies
• Company must be able to provide evidence of gender-based initiatives that have successfully supported and developed their female talent pipeline

  • A senior man who is championing women and gender balance either inside or outside their organisation.
  • Nominees must be at least Director level (or equivalent) or above
  • Nominees must demonstrate that they have actively supported the female pipeline either through their current work role or external activities and must be working in the UK.

Once a nomination is submitted, the nominee will be sent a series of questions by the WeAreTheCity team to respond to (including supplying any supporting information requested) by the closing date (see below). If the supporting documentation is not received by this deadline, WeAreTheCity will be unable to process the nomination and the entry will be void.

Once nominations have closed, all completed entries will be sent to our first round of judges. Once the judging has concluded, WeAreTheCity will publish the shortlist on to the Rising Star website and via our Twitter and Facebook.

The shortlist will consist of ten women from each industry category and ten from the Champion category alongside three shortlisted companies for the Company of the Year award. Once the shortlist is announced, we will also open the public votes of support, which enables individuals to show their support for a specific shortlisted individual.

The results of the public vote will also be factored into the final scores by acting as an additional judge. Please note there is no public vote for the Champions or the Company of the Year award category. Finally, the shortlist will be judged by a second set of industry judges who will help us to establish our final 100 Rising Stars, our five winning Champions and our Company of the Year for 2020.

All winners will be announced on 11 May 2020 and winners will be invited to a prestigious award’s ceremony in July 2020 (date TBC).

  • Nominations open – 13 January 2020
  • Nominations closed – 08 March 2020
  • Shortlist announced & public vote opens – 20 April 2020
  • Voting closes – 01 May 2020
  • Winner’s announced – 11 May 2020
  • Award’s Ceremony – Date TBC

Please refer to our frequently asked questions if you require any additional information or email [email protected]