Yesterday on 1st February 2016, nominations opened for the Rising Star Awards 2016, the first to focus on the UK’s female talent pipeline below management level. The awards will celebrate 100 individual female contributors who represent the leaders and role models of tomorrow. Founded in 2015, the awards will shine the light on female talent across the country.

The awards are supported by Minister for Equalities, Nicky Morgan, who commented: “These awards are an incredible celebration of the great achievements women are making in business. We have more women on FTSE boards than ever before, the lowest gender pay gap on record and we’ve been rated the best place in Europe for women to start a business. I am proud of how far we’ve come but we must now build on that momentum so we achieve true gender equality.”

Founder and CEO Vanessa Valley hopes the awards will encourage organisations to consider how they strengthen the development of their female pipeline in the future. She said: “The focus on increasing the number of women on

boards in the UK over the past few years has been extremely successful. We now need to focus on helping to highlight women who will be future managers and directors within our organisations.”

This year the awards will also welcome a number of new

The awards will recognise 100 women from across the UK and Ireland – an increase of 50 compared to last year’s ceremony.

categories, which include Rising Star Champions and a Defence Category. The Rising Star Champions category will recognise both male and female senior leaders who actively support the female talent pipeline, and the Defence category is the first of it’s kind, celebrating the pipeline of future leaders in Defence.

WeAreTheCity have a wide range of sponsors from a number of sectors, including AON, Barclays, Bloomberg, Cancer Research UK (Women of Influence), Executive and Personal Assistants Association (EPAA), EY, Kier, Lloyd’s, ISS, Morgan Stanley, Newton Investment Management, Oliver Wyman, PA Consulting, Pedalsure, PwC, Reed Smith, Societe Generale, So-citm, Twenty Recruitment, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Virgin Media Business and Worldpay.

Nominations will take place online at A shortlist of 10 women from each industry category chosen by an esteemed panel of judges will be published towards the end of April. The shortlist will then be open to a public vote.

The Top 100 Rising Stars be announced in June and all winners, sponsors and supporters will be invited to attend a prestigious evening reception at Barclays in London to celebrate and collect their awards.