C&C Search - Rising Stars Awards

Rising Star Awards - And the winners are...

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Rising Star Awards - And the winners are...

This month I had the pleasure of being a judge and the presenter for the EA/PA category of We are the City’s Rising Star Awards for 2021, held entirely on Zoom.

At C&C Search, empowering and helping people to thrive in both their careers and personal development is part of our core values. Business support professionals such as Personal Assistants and Executive Assistants provide critical assistance to senior executives and leaders to help their companies grow and succeed. However, despite their wide skill set and incredible work, these hard working and incredible professionals can often be overlooked.

Recognising the industry

Partnering with We are the City’s Rising Star Awards to promote and champion the women who make up this incredible sector each year has always been a heartwarming experience, but this year it has been even more so. Not only have these women had to keep up with their day-to-day work, provide support to their teams and executives, but they’ve had to take on extra responsibilities completely remotely. Their nerves have been put to the test just as much as their internet has!

The Rising Star awards are the first to focus on the achievements of women below Senior Management and Director level, promoting the next generation of future leaders across different industries and professions. With over 20 categories, the program is open to awarding outstanding achievers in industries such as defence, insurance and charity/not-for-profit as well as for specific job roles including EA and PA (our favourite!), HR and Recruitment. 

Now in its seventh year, with the support of leading organisations, WeAreTheCity has been able to highlight the achievements of over 650 women (550 in the UK, 100 in India) through the Rising Star Award’s process. What an incredible achievement and commitment to helping create new leaders and recognising the work women contribute to industries across the globe.

Congratulations to Ann Hodson from PwC, Hilary Lambert at J.P. Morgan, Saadia Sharmin at Black Antelope Law, Stacey Kowalczyk at Oliver Wyman and Tegan Duffy at Baker McKenzie. We spoke with them after the ceremony to hear their thoughts on winning the award.

“I am utterly thrilled and inspired to win this award! Being a Rising Stars winner comes with great responsibility, particularly to be a role model who inspires confidence and motivation in others. This award was never just for me.  It is for every assistant, every administrative professional and every female under director level to give hope for a brighter future, one which I hope stirs people to say “I can do that...”

Hilary Lambert, J.P. Morgan


“Winning this award has given me a HUGE sense of pride. I am enormously proud of myself to have even been nominated by my firm for this award let alone be shortlisted and win. I feel this is still just the start of my PA career and winning something like this just gives me so much more motivation and ambition to keep thriving. Becoming a ‘Rising Stars’ winner does not get much better than that!”

Tegan Duffy, Baker McKenzie


“To win the EA/PA Award is not an individual recognition to me but also reflects the work that my team does daily. Too often organisations forget to remember or reward the nitty gritty work administrative professionals undertake on a daily basis, so to receive this award has certainly been refreshing and I encourage more organizations to nominate their unsung colleagues.”

Saadia Sharmin, Black Antelope Law


“I am incredibly proud to be one of the winners in the EA & PA category of the Rising Star awards. Hearing the reasons for my nomination reminded me just how passionate I am about this profession and why I've stayed in it for nearly 30 years. The exposure and support I have received has been phenomenal.”

Ann Hodson, PwC