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Speed mentoring to inspire women

The event is part of a brand new festival launch this weekend which celebrates women from all walks of life

Women taking part in a speed mentoring session

Speed mentoring is offered to women of all ages, from all backgrounds (Photo credit: WOW Festival)

Women of the World Festival (WOW) is launching for the first time in Cardiff this week, including a new spin on the mentoring system.

The festival was set up by Jude Kelly MBE at the Southbank Centre in London in 2011 to mark International Women’s Day. Festivals have since taken place across the world in Pakistan, New York and the Australian outback.

“We’re on a mission to bring women together to celebrate what it means to be a woman, who we are and where we’re going,” explains festival programmer, Rhiannon White.

Events at WOW Festival include a panel of the ‘badass women’ of Cardiff, talks on hidden suffering and homelessness, as well as an on-stage conversation between Jude Kelly MBE and Charlotte Church.

However, speed mentoring will be the highlight of the program for women interested in moving forward in business.

Jude Kelly MBE and Charlotte Church

The final day of the festival will be marked by a conversation between WOW founder Jude Kelly MBE and Charlotte Church (Credit: WOW Festival)

Mentoring will take place in the form of three 15-minute sessions in which a mentee can speak to anyone from a National Theatre Wales director, to a scientist or educational consultant.

“We’ve invited women from a range of fields to share challenges and exchange ideas through these free sessions,” says Lauren Aldridge, organiser of the mentoring event.

This year the government found that women are half as likely as men to start their own business. A Unilever survey found that in actual fact, only 17% of startup businesses are founded by women.

Speed mentoring looks to encourage women of all ages within the business sector, as well as to create new connections between Welsh businesses.

“It’s going to be a massive opportunity for women we don’t usually see on stage at these events. It’s about the women who aren’t Charlotte Church, but are just as bloody fantastic and inspiring,” exclaims Rhiannon.

Women of the World Cardiff takes place on 23-25 Nov at Chapter Arts Centre, with tickets available now.

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