WRA23 - What’s the #WRA23 winning formula?

Posted 2023

We know entrants to the Women’s Recognition Awards are keen to put their best foot forward when it comes to their application, giving our panel plenty to think about when it comes to judging.

But how do you do that?

We take a deep dive into what was said about winning applicants from years gone by to see what really caught our judges’ eye – and how you could do the same this year.

Get passionate

The main thing that has jumped out to our judges in past years is passion for what you do. Whether it was ‘passion around helping others to grow’, ‘passion for customers and colleagues alike’ or ‘passion and dedication to helping championing women in financial services’, our judges really took notice when an applicant’s love of their role shone through in their words.

Our advice? If you’re supremely dedicated to a particular project, are driven by your love of a particular cause in the industry (or out of it!), or are motivated by helping consumers or peers, make it very clear.

Practical tip: you can include PDFs and images as additional context for your entry (and to showcase your passions) using the upload form.

Doing it together

Another thing that has shown up in winning entries time and time again is a commitment to helping others – with these winners often dedicating time and effort to improve the industry for those around them.

For example, one winner’s ‘strong connection to her local community’ and charity donations earned her the top spot with our judges – while another was praised for her work mentoring other women. Great people managers are always going to stand out too – a number of previous winners have been chosen for their ‘dedication to developing [their] team’, ‘improving opportunities for new entrants to the industry’ and ‘supporting junior colleagues’.

So if you’ve got great examples (or testimonials) of you supporting the people or community around you – or you’re a people manager with a knack for developing the future movers and shakers of the mortgage market - make sure you fit them into your entry!

Practical tip: include the name of anyone who’s provided testimonials where possible, as well as how they know you – this helps give the judges context.

Support for an inclusive industry

It goes without saying that entrants who’ve shown a commitment to supporting other women in the industry score highly with our judges – but anyone who can show that they’re working towards a fairer, more inclusive industry all round will tick plenty of boxes, too.

Previous winners whose commitment to supporting a diverse, equitable industry included one ‘powerhouse’ whose work with women and LGBTQ+ people in the industry stood out in her entry; an industry-leading spokesperson who was ‘tirelessly focused’ on improving gender diversity in management; and a protection adviser who was committed to making protection accessible to those with complex health.

As the spirit of the Women’s Recognition Awards is about levelling the playing field for everyone, entrants who can show they’re working hard to do the same will go far in our judges’ eyes.

Practical tip: you can link to external websites in your entry – for example, to YouTube videos, pages on your own websites, local or national news publications… whatever helps showcase your achievements.

But the real secret? There is no formula

We know, we know. But it’s true – we’ve had an enormously broad range of winners.

From later-in-life career changers who joined the industry and had a huge impact in a brief period to life-long champions of gender equality, to those whose careers have taken surprising turns, to those who are simply working exceptionally hard to provide brilliant service to their clients – we’re proud to have handed awards to lots of very different winners.

We don’t want potential entrants to be daunted by the prospect of applying: what’s key when applying for #WRA23 is knowing what makes you stand out.

We look forward to reading your entries – as do our judges. Good luck!