Now in their eighth year, the Rising Star awards are the first to focus on the achievements of women below senior management level, supporting the next generation of future leaders across a range of industries and professions.
The awards have so far put the spotlight on the achievements of more than 750 women (650 in the UK and 100 in India) through the process that is run by WeAreTheCity - an online forum for professional women who want to progress in their careers, enhance their skills and build external networks.
Members of the public are invited to nominate an inspiring woman in any of the industry categories, which can be found on the website. Nominations are also invited for the Company of the Year; the Rising Star Champion; the Men for Gender Balance award and the Global Award for Achievement.
3M’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion lead for North Europe, Tina Monk, says: “Females remain under-represented in many Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) professions. As an ongoing sponsor of the Rising Stars in Science and Engineering category, 3M is championing STEM equity by shining a light on female role models - future leaders who can drive meaningful change by inspiring the next generation.”
Speaking about the impact of winning a Rising Star in Science and Engineering award in 2021, Frida Nzaba from Rolls-Royce, who is now on secondment as a Manufacturing Engineering manager, says: “This award has certainly propelled me in multiple ways. I was featured on the Rolls-Royce intranet page and had quite a few of my colleagues congratulating me on my achievements; including the work I do to support the younger generation and encourage them towards STEM with my social enterprise ‘Edu-Cater Global’.
“Through this award I have been able to approach senior management within the company with full confidence and it has also motivated me to keep nominating people who I see make a difference at work and in society in order to further encourage them, so it’s like a domino effect.”
3M STEM Champion, Sarah Chapman, won a Rising Star award back in 2016 and will present the Science and Engineering awards this year.
She says: “I received the award just after I returned from maternity leave and it gave me a huge confidence boost. It was one of the reasons I stayed in the industry as it made me feel valued at a time when I was struggling with all the usual nerves and worries of being a first-time parent. The Rising Star awards recognise potential as well as achievement as they are aimed at those below senior management level and they have all the more impact for that.
“Putting a deserving candidate forward for a Rising Star award is also a great way to showcase female talent. Award winners gain access to a wealth of careers support and networking opportunities to help them progress.”
Managing director of WeAreTheCity, Vanessa Vallely, hosted a webinar in 2021 that shared some top tips and tricks to make a nomination stand out. In this, she explains why Rising Stars are different to other awards, how an award can help raise your profile, why you should nominate others and also talked about the beauty of self-nominations.
You can access a recording of Vanessa's presentation via the WeAreTheCity website.
Nominations will stay open until 8 March and all entries will be assessed by a panel of independent judges. The public will be invited to vote for the shortlisted candidates between 27 April and 10 May, with the winners announced on 24 May.
The 2022 winners, Rising Star alumni, judges, sponsors and supporters will be invited to a prestigious awards ceremony in London on 14 July.