The events, meetings and hospitality mentoring programme for women founded by Zibrant MD Fay Sharpe has received 139 applications to participate in the programme.
Applications for Fast Forward 15 closed on 27 February and now a selected panel of mentors will choose 15 candidates, who will be announced at a special launch lunch on 20 March at The Savoy Hotel, London.
“I am delighted by this number of applications,” said Sharpe. “It offers a great depth of talent for the inaugural year, and reflects the obvious need for programmes like Fast Forward 15.
“We were expecting a lot of graduates applying, but in actual fact we found that there were far more applications from corporate event professionals, middle management and under-26 year olds currently in employment from all sectors including: agency, corporate, venues. We’ve even received applications from some women who have been in the industry for more than 20 years, which is great.”
The shortlisting process for FF15 has already begun, with some common themes being noted. Many women cited a lack of confidence in both their skill set and speaking publicly, a lack of self-belief and personal perception alongside doubting their own abilities.
Dr Kate Dashper, at the UK Centre for Events Management at Leeds Beckett University, is conducting a formal evaluation of Fast Forward 15, to help produce best practice guidelines for future mentoring programmes. “It’s a really exciting programme and a great opportunity to produce robust evidence of the effectiveness of such a scheme,” she said.
A dedicated Fast Forward 15 Womens’ Network Forum is available to join on LinkedIn to foster discussion between mentors and mentees and establish relationships between interested parties.
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