Fay Sharpe (pictured) of Zibrant has revealed the first mentors for the 2017 iteration of Fast Forward 15, the programme for women working in events and hospitality.

Sharpe, who founded the programme, said: “As we embark on our third year of the programme we are armed with significant understanding of what skills and coaching the mentees require and, equally important, what the mentors want to achieve.

“We’ve seen significant achievements by past mentees and all the mentors have said how they’ve benefited too. Everyone gives their time on a voluntary basis and I’m indebted to the mentors in helping me champion the future female leaders of this vibrant and evolving sector.”

Fast Forward 15, which was launched in 2015, is designed to empower and develop female talent in the events and hospitality sectors. New for 2017 is a ‘reverse mentor’, who will be someone under the age of 30 tasked with up-skilling in areas such as new technologies, marketing techniques, social media and online platforms.

New mentors for 2017:

· Hannah Walley, sales director and show manager at Squaremeal

· Joy Thomas, Senior Events Manager, Group Events at Lloyds;

· Lipika Mandal, Global Event Manager at Linklaters;

· Martin Jensen, head of int. congresses & events at Lundbeck

Returning mentors:

· Steve Brown, London 2012 Paralympic wheelchair rugby captain, public speaker and athlete mentor

· Andrew Mosley, general manager of The Grand Brighton

Applications for Fast Forward 15 are open and close on 28 February.