Following the success of Femme It Forward’s inaugural Next Gem Femme mentorship program, the organization has announced that applications are now open for the 2022 edition.
Next Gem Femme was designed to help improve equity in the workplace by accelerating career opportunities and trajectories of young women of color.
The program will pair over 100 female mentees of color – who are pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees or currently serving in entry-level positions – with mentors working in marketing, publicity, the live industry and touring, business development, talent management, artist relations and more. At least half of the mentee spots will once again go to students from historically Black colleges and universities. The mentors hail from companies such as Apple Music, iHeartMedia, Live Nation, Spotify, Twitter, WME, and YouTube.
“Joining this program has really changed my life,” says Tierra Gray, a 2021 Next Gem Femme mentee who was recently hired at Def Jam Recordings. Gray was paired with Natina Nimene, who was promoted in May to the role of Executive Vice President, Promotion & Artist Relations, at Def Jam Recordings.
Gray adds, “I have developed a genuine bond and friendship with my mentor Natina Nimene. She has been so supportive, encouraging and understanding towards my career path and my personal life. She gave me great interview tips, guided me through the process and put in a good word. This is my dream job so I am very thankful and appreciative for this program and my mentor.”
An announcement explains that the mentorship program is “focused on long-term development, with each mentorship beginning with a one-year partnership and the opportunity to build moving forward.” Mentees will receive professional coaching, industry insights, networking and relationship building opportunities, with select mentees also provided with scholarships, stipends, and professional headshots.
Potential mentees can apply to be a part of Next Gem Femme at femmeitforward.com. The application period is open now through June 3 at 11 p.m. PT. Mentees and mentors will be paired in August and the 2022 program begins in September.
“Just a year in, Next Gem Femme has already empowered many promising young women of color by pairing them with brilliant industry mentors who truly want to see them flourish,” Heather Lowery, President & CEO at Femme It Forward, says in a statement. “So many of the mentors and mentees have developed authentic lifelong bonds that will not only elevate their careers, but also enhance their lives. We’re thrilled to build off the incredible success of the program’s first year and grant even more opportunities to young women of color who will, in turn, create more equity in the workplace.”
Earlier this month Lowery was honored as part of Pollstar’s 2022 Impact 50 list, celebrating the executives in the live industry having the most impact in the business. She was also once again named to Pollstar + VenuesNow’s Women Of Live list.