Rising Stars – EA & PA 2016

WeAreTheCity are proud to announce the winners of their Top 100 Rising Star awards. The Rising Star awards were introduced to showcase the UK pipeline of female talent below management and to create female 100 role models across 20 different industries and professions. The awards also included a new category in 2016 which celebrates the efforts of senior individuals who champion gender equality both within and outside of their organisations.

The awards were entered by 850 individuals were judged by a panel of 21 independent judges. Over 28,000 public votes were received for the 200 shortlisted nominees from across 110 countries. The awards were kindly sponsored by Barclays and supported by AON, Bloomberg, Cancer Research UK (Women of Influence), The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Executive and Personal Assistants Association, EY, Keir, Lloyd’s, ISS, Morgan Stanley, Newton Investment Management, Oliver Wyman in partnership with UN Women National Committee UK, PA Consulting, PedalSure, PwC, Reed Smith, Societe Generale, Twenty Recruitment, Virgin Media Business and Worldpay.

Vanessa Vallely, MD of WeAreTheCity said “It has been a total honour to run this years awards and highlight the achievements of so many amazing women, the calibre of entries was truly phenomenal.  WeAreTheCity is very much about supporting the female pipeline and introducing these awards was a perfect opportunity to showcase the amazing talent of women across the UK. We are exceptionally proud of our winners and look forward to following their future success.  We wouldn’t have been able to launch these awards without the support of so many organisations who took no convincing to support these women and recognise their achievements. Both myself, my team, our sponsors, judges and supporters are very much looking forward to celebrating with all of our winners at Barclays on 30 June”.

Once again, we would like to congratulate all our winners and extend a sincere thanks to everyone who supported Rising Stars during 2016.

Jennifer Corcoran

Credit Agricole CIB

Welcome to my bio.  Tooting your own horn can feel a bit awkward but when it comes to championing the PA/EA profession or being an advocate for fairness and equality I’m more than happy to wax lyrical.

For me the pen is mightier than the sword and in 2014 I set up my own PA related blog.  I have also guest blogged on subjects such as networking, speaking up, creating an internal PA forum, the importance of a professional headshot and getting an up to date job description.  I have pushed through my comfort zone and spoken at conferences as to how social media can empower Assistants.

On the voluntary side I am the National PRO for EUMA UK which is a not-for-profit Association for Management Assistants across 25 countries.  I am also a proud founding member of WEP and belong to the SPRING women’s network at CACIB.

Simone White


I am the Founder and Chair of the ACE Network (Assistant Community EMEA) at BlackRock, the world’s leading Asset Management Firm.  Having worked in administration for over 20 years, I have a wealth of experience in supporting executives at every level as well as managing teams and offices. As Chair of ACE, I work with managers, HR and assistants to ‘raise the bar’ and elevate the role of the admin professional.  The ACE Network provides specific training for assistants and managers as well as assistant on-boarding, business knowledge sessions and networking.  Under the ACE Connects banner, ACE host network sessions encouraging internal & external assistants that speak every day to meet face to face and make those important connections and support their businesses and themselves. I actively connect with assistants via 1-1 mentoring or networking across industries and time zones to encourage them to take the lead and make change.

Alongside this, my day job is Executive Support to the Heads of iShares EMEA Product, Global Sustainability, and EMEA Range Management.  I am also the Assistant Co-ordinator for iShares London.

I am a Fellow of EPPA and a member of EUMA and the London PA Network.

Karen Glenn

Colt Technology Services

I am an award winning PA with over eight years’ experience, extremely passionate and ambitious, who champions the role as a truly fantastic career choice. It is a career that I enjoy and have turned it into an opportunity to be among the best in my field.  An efficient and career-focused PA who believes passionately about providing the highest level of support to the Executive which assists in underpinning their strategic objectives and someone who consistently works to the highest professional standards with superb communication skills and the ability to build solid relationships. I have been described by my Executive Team as the rock, the go to person in the team, always in tune with the feelings of others and knowing when to offer extra support or advice. A PA who enjoys networking with peers with the aim of sharing knowledge and supporting others starting on their career journey along with becoming a fellow member of EPAA this year. 

I  have also recently started public speaking, with the first attempt being at a PA training day, it is important to always challenge yourself and look for areas of development to grow. More recently I am proud to be the co-founder of a new network for Essex office support staff called “NESS”.  It is aimed not only at PA/EAs but office administrators, office managers, receptions, office juniors to bring the support staff together to connect, share & develop.  NESS had its launch event on the evening of 10th May 2016.

Amanda Hargreaves

PZ Cussons

Amanda is Executive Assistant to the Executive Committee of PZ Cussons International and has primary responsibility for the CEO, CFO and HR Director.

Amanda is incredibly proud of the fact that she is a co-founder of the Manchester PA Network (“MPAN”) www.manchesterpanetwork.co.uk. MPAN is a not-for-profit organisation founded in July 2011.  MPAN was borne out of the founders’ frustrations of there being no meaningful or beneficial network for PAs in the Manchester area and it has since grown organically to over 600 members.

Hannah Kate Smith


I’m Hannah, Executive Assistant to the MD of our Commercial business at RSA Group. My role is really varied; one day I’m writing a speech; the next I’m facilitating a Board meeting! I joined the RSA graduate programme in 2011, fresh-faced from Leeds University with a History of Art MA in hand. Since then, I’ve worked in underwriting, business development, leadership and marketing positions in the UK and mainland Europe.

One of my proudest moments was being elected first female Chair of the Young Members’ Committee at the Insurance Institute of London. We organise development and networking events for young professionals across the market. Other highlights include shaping a Mentoring scheme for ACII exam candidates and participating at Dive In Festival; promoting diversity in insurance.

Outside work, I’m an avid charity runner and perform in musicals with a London-based Am-Dram society.

What motivates me? Challenging the norm; making a difference.


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