The Fast Forward 15 scheme, which aims to help 15 women in the events industry develop their careers by sharing knowledge and experience, had attracted 139 applicants.
The 15 mentees and their associated mentors and categories are:
Aspirational Board Director
Mentor: Fay Sharpe, Zibrant / Mentee: Selina Donald, ITV
Mentor: Jo Austin, Lime Venue Portfolio / Mentee: Rachel Bartlett, Warwick Conferences
Middle Management Progression
Mentor: Hannah Rhodes, Hiver Beer / Mentee: Fleur Burrows-Jones, National Theatre
Mentor: Alex James, Zibrant / Mentee: Catriona Ross, Post Office Ltd
Corporate Events Professional
Mentor: Joanna Lawlor, AstraZeneca / Mentee: Laura Adams, cievents
Mentor: Karen Sumner, Allen & Overy LLP / Mentee: Michelle Kibble, Everywoman Ltd
Mentor: Jackie Mulligan, Leeds Beckett University / Mentee: Lauren Glynn, Harrow School Enterprises Ltd
Mentor: Jason Scott, Entrepreneurial consultant / Mentee: Kate Furness, Zibrant LIVE!
Mentor: Lex Butler, Wolf & White / Mentee: Emma North, Black Tomato Agency
Mentor: Paul Beavis, Champagne Lanson / Mentee: Amy Seton, The Food and Drink Events Company
Mentor: Sallie Coventry, IBTM Events / Mentee: Libby Willetts, EMA Events
Maternity Leave Returner
Mentor: Yasmin Arrigo, Haymarket Media Group / Mentee: Rebecca Goodman, Ageas UK Ltd
Mentor: Meenaz Lilani, Fairmont/Raffles Hotels & Resorts / Mentee: Tanya Dennis, MRO Network
Mentor: Louise Bang, Ritz Carlton / Mentee: Charlotte Warwick, Silverstone Circuit
University Final-Year Student
Mentor: Juliet Price, HBAA / Mentee: Hannah Coleman, Bournemouth University
The lunch offered mentors and mentees the chance to become acquainted and start building their relationship. Sharpe referred to the launch of the scheme as a "momentous occasion".
"There was real electricity in the air when we introduced mentors and mentees to each other for the first time in the flesh," she said. "This will be an exciting and productive year and I look forward to working with all parties to ensure that the scheme is a resounding success, serving as an example to the hospitality industry."
Mentee Burrows-Jones said: "I am so pleased to be part of Fast Forward 15 and looking forward to gaining knowledge and expertise from a leading woman within the industry. Being part of the programme will inspire me to progress in my career within the events world. I am very much looking forward to working with my mentor Hannah Rhodes over the coming year."
Rhodes, founder of Hiver Beer, said: "It's a wonderful opportunity for the mentees to gain insight into working cultures outside of their own role and gain perspective on their own professional challenges. I’d love to think that in a year's time the applicants will have clarity about their own ways of working and will be looking to lead the industry by example in the years ahead. Even as a mentor, you can't help but be impressed by the high standards set by Fay and think 'what's stopping me?"
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