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Report rates confidence among top benefits of mentor programme

Research on inaugural Fast Forward 15 programme finds renewed focus and larger networks also key benefits

Pictured: mentees in the Fast Forward 15 celebrate after scaling the O2 roof, just one of the activities during the 12-month programme

Confidence, renewed focus and broadening networks have been identified as the three key areas of impact following the inaugural Fast Forward 2015 (FF15) in a report by Dr Katherine Dashper at Leeds Beckett University.

The report, carried out to understand the personal and commercial impact the scheme had on mentors and the 15 mentees, found all participants rated the programme as successful.

Participants described the programme's main aim, to empower women in the events industry, as a "long term" goal, but said it was being carried out by promoting gender discussions within the industry and taking steps to rectify inequality.

Dr Dashper carried out 70 interviews at three stages of the 12-month programme, with 14 of the mentees and 12 mentors. FF15 finished with a graduation ceremony at the Langham Hotel in April, where the mentees shared their achievements such as company launches and promotions.

Founder Fay Sharpe, of Zibrant, said: "We’re delighted we introduced the scheme and these results show the positivity the programme had, surpassing our aims and objectives inspiring women within the events industry. The commitment and dedication from the mentors and mentees throughout the year reflected their passion for our industry and the external support we receive continuously reinforces the importance of this programme in our sector. It’s rewarding to give something back to those in an industry I feel passionately about and I wish everyone involved all the best with their careers."

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