The mentoring initiative, which encourages and inspires women in the events and hospitality sector, provides applicants with the opportunity to be mentored, encouraged and advised by an industry expert for a period of one year, as well as becoming part of a wider community of successful women supporters.
In its first year, Fast Forward 15 received 139 applications to participate in the programme with a significant number of the mentees going on to achieve a high-degree of success as a result.
Throughout the year the programme registered multiple achievements amongst the mentees from improved career prospects and role promotions, to increased levels of confidence and a clear vision of personal and professional goals. The commitment and dedication from both the mentors and mentees throughout the year has reflected their passion for the industry and determination to succeed.
Furthermore, the launch of the Fast Forward 15 Women’s Networking Forum has provided a unique platform for insightful discussion on a wide range of industry issues; as well as giving members the opportunity to participate in associated events, to ensure they benefit from related training workshops addressing the key skills and challenges highlighted during the application process. The forum membership current stands at 355 and continues to grow.
This year will see new mentors join the Fast Forward 15 programme including: Liz Young, head of events and commercial services at Historic Royal Palaces; Sandra Fontaine, events manager, Sanofi Pasteur MSD, Justine Kane, co-founder and course director at Ashdown Academy; and Andrew Mosley, general manager, the Grand Brighton.
They will be joined by returning mentors including Meenaz Lilani, executive director global sales EMEAI at FRHI Hotels and Resorts and Juliet Price HBAA consultant executive director.
Fay Sharpe, managing director of Zibrant and founder of Fast Forward 15 commented: “I am delighted to announce that applications for Fast Forward 15 are now open and fully expect us to surpass the number of applications we received in 2015.
“As we look to build on the success of our first year we will continue to focus on inspiring, encouraging and empowering women in the events and hospitality industry to be the best they can be. I’m really looking forward to meeting the new mentees and working closely with them in the coming year.”