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Arts & Culture

2 months ago, by Voir Editorial Team Next Gem Femme And Heather Lowery: The Mentor Program That Is ‘Curated By Women, For Women’

2 months ago, by Voir Editorial Team

Next Gem Femme And Heather Lowery: The Mentor Program That Is ‘Curated By Women, For Women’

Did you know that only 6% of Fortune 500 companies have a woman as their CEO? No? We didn’t either. 

This is where Femme It Forward step in. They are back for their fourth year of the Next Gem Femme mentorship programme, offering opportunities for nine months of one-to-one mentoring with their large list of over 150 industry mentors. Their expertise ranges from marketing, business development, talent management, to publicity – and have affiliations with an array of household names such as Apple Music, Netflix, Republic Records, and YouTube.

Only for US and Canadian based applicants, you must be over 18 years old and enrolled in school or employed in order to apply. Over the course of 8 months from August 2024 to March 2025, this programme offers professional coaching, industry insights, and networking opportunities with female industry leaders in their chosen field.


The programme’s access to a large list of industry experts – such as music, media, entertainment, or technology – allows applicants to engage with professionals with real hands-on experience and advice. The programme will support over one hundred applicants, including those from historically black universities and colleges, and will help provide mentees with the skills they will need for long-term development in the industries they choose. 


Femme It Forward’s founder and CEO, Heather Lowery, is no stranger to the lack of opportunities that exists within the media and music industry. Her education at Spelman College and employment at various record labels has left her with insight into obstacles that women of colour face when attempting to break into the entertainment industry. In an interview with Forbes in July 2023, she stated that “I initially created Femme It Forward as a series […] It was a series to give more women opportunities to perform on stage […]. I realised I wasn’t doing enough for women in live music. It irked my soul until I did something about it. Five months later I launched Femme It Forward with ten performance line-ups and three panels – all women!”   


Lowery makes it clear that the Next Gem Femme programme is a direct response to the increased need for black women in professional and entrepreneurial capacities, with 52% of women without mentors expressing a need for additional help with associating with other professionals.


Therefore, this programme aims to bolster women of colour and afford them with the opportunities she feels they are lacking. She says that the goal of Next Gem Femme is to “Give the next generation of leaders access and opportunities to help combat opportunity gaps and structural barriers that exist for young women of colour.”

Applications for this programme close at 9:00 PM on Friday 7th June 2024. 

Written By Bethan Gwynne



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