Women in Exhibitions Network is welcoming applications from prospective mentees to join its new Mentoring programme. Successful applicants, looking to grow and develop their careers, will be matched with some of the biggest names in the UK’s events and exhibitions sector.
The dozen Mentors who have generously agreed to share their time, expertise and experiences include: Andrew Evans, managing director at Thorough Events; Alison Jackson, group managing director at Nineteen Group; Damion Angus, group managing director of Montgomery Group; Ed Tranter, founder and managing director of 73 Media; Emma Barrett, managing director of Broadway Events; Julie Driscoll, UK regional director at Hyve Group; Kate Chambers, gaming and event industry consultant; Meena Chander, founder of Events Together; Ruth Carter, director at Red Fox Advisory and guest editor of Exhibition News; Soraya Gadelrab, director of Reventalize; Simon Foster, international exhibition CEO and business leader; and Suzanne King, chief operating officer at CloserStill Media.
As a founding member of Women in Exhibitions Network, Ruth Carter has been instrumental in bringing together the Mentoring programme. She says: “Passing on experience, knowledge and championing talent is an important part of being a leader. But that is even more important given the challenges that 2020 has thrown at our industry. Providing mentees with the opportunity for honest conversations that will fast-track their thinking and their careers will be a real benefit to all on the programme.”
For Emma Barrett, also a founding partner and vice president of Women in Exhibitions Network UK, being a Mentor is her chance to ‘pay it forward’. In a recent article about Women in Exhibitions, for Exhibition News, she talks about why mentoring matters to her and the importance of collaboration and networking in building her career. She said: “Over the years, through AEO mentorship, working groups and a myriad of networking events, I have built and have been surrounded by a network of people who help me grow, who I share ideas with and who I can call up for a chat when I’ve had a tough day.
“Having hugely benefited from various opportunities I put myself forward for, the time is now to pay it forward. There are so many talented women in the industry who simply need mentorship to realise their potential.”
Montgomery Group’s Damion Angus says: “Women in Exhibitions Network have managed to initiate something of great meaning for our industry. Especially in these times, empowering professionals and investing in their personal development is something we can relate to very much as a company. Montgomery Group took an active role in supporting this community by enrolling our staff in the Layered Development Programme, we became a company member, and I will personally be one of the mentors in the Mentorship Programme. This is a great initiative and I am really pleased to be involved.”
To join the Women in Exhibition Network and enrol in its first ever Mentorship Programme (the scheme starts in January 2021 and places will be available on an ongoing basis), please visit: www.womeninexhibitions.co.uk/become-a-member.
A big year
2020 will be memorable for many reasons, not least the launch of the UK Chapter of Women in Exhibitions Network. It’s been a shining light for its members, who have seen their industry ravaged by the pandemic and ongoing government restrictions. Faced with postponements and cancellations, redundancy, loss of business, spiralling costs, and (still) continuing uncertainty around what 2021 will bring, they have worked together and supported each other through unprecedented challenges. All women working in exhibitions (including venues, organisers, suppliers, freelancers and the recently unemployed) are encouraged to get involved.
There are now Chapters in Germany, the UK and the Middle East. Benefits of membership are many, with the aim to facilitate professional networking, share valuable know-how and opportunities, and empower the next generation of women leaders. Over the summer of 2020, Women in Exhibitions Network launched training and development courses delivered by Shinesmith and partnered with Exhibition News to run a series of topical webinars. For 2021, the group will continue to build and expand its network, focusing on raising awareness, connecting its members, training and development and mentoring.