Cantu Beauty, an award-winning multicultural hair care brand, joins Women Empowering Nations (WEN), a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide exposure, development, and mentorship for girls of color in underserved communities to accelerate their path to executive leadership, in hosting a series of career-readiness workshops for minority women around the globe.
WEN and Cantu selected 50 young women ages 17-23 from Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States to participate in the Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) Global Fellowship, an immersive, high-impact leadership coaching experience which began March through May 2022. The virtual program featured female executives from diverse backgrounds in entrepreneurship and leadership, who lead workshops exploring career development, public speaking, professional branding, and executive leadership.
Cantu Beauty and WEN encouraged women of color who aspire to leadership and entrepreneurship to apply.
“Cantu Beauty has always been committed to supporting the next generation of female leaders by equipping them with the skills and resources to make a difference in their personal and professional lives,” said Dametria Kinsley, Cantu Beauty’s Global Vice President of Marketing. “Through our partnership with WEN, we’re able to take our commitment to the next level at a larger scale to reach women of color all over the world.”
Cantu Beauty has been a partner sponsor of WEN’s GLOW Virtual Summit, since 2020, providing scholarships to young women around the globe to continue their education.
“Women of color face disproportionate barriers in the workplace and are heavily impacted by discrimination, and Cantu is actively working to combat this through our community partnerships,”Dametria Kinsley.
The partnership programming continued in June 2022, with the GLOW Virtual Summit featuring women and girls of color who represent a spectrum of journeys in entrepreneurship and leadership. The event, with a global audience of over 1,000, hosted young women leaders for engaging workshops to explore social change, economic justice, women’s empowerment, and leadership.
The GLOW Global experience was the core feature of the 2022 Summit along with the girls in the program. At the Summit, 12 young women from the GLOW Global Cohort were announced to move forward to the Cantu GLOW Global Fellowship. Participants from each country interned at Cantu Beauty for four months gaining hands-on experience in the beauty industry, each fellow also received a $2,000 stipend and gain an opportunity to be brand ambassadors.
Kinsley explained that the 2022 Girls Leading Our World Global Fellowship demonstrates Cantu’s commitment to “supporting the next generation of female leaders by providing these 12 fellows with resources for professional advancement,”
This news accompanies Cantu’s additional investments to provide career opportunities to facilitate an upward trajectory for the next generation, particularly Black and brown women.
The winning fellows are Cynthia Akalpokbila, an undergraduate student at the Ashesi University of Ghana, Blessing Ahmodu, project manager at Enactus AAUA, from Nigeria; From South Africa, Nyasha Chivonivoni, an undergraduate student at the University of Cape Town and founder of Chii the Poemprenuer, and Lucinda Monique Abrahams, a law student at the University of South Africa.
In the United States, Kenyona Thomas, marketing and branding coordinator at Encounter Your Potential; Denia Smith, founder of She Shall Speakerpodcast; Fatimata Cham, founder of Muslims Matter; Amber Wynne, founder of The Period Project; and Jasmine Bacchus, an incoming Juris doctor candidate at Harvard Law School and winner of the inaugural Gucci Changemaker award.
From the United Kingdom are Rachel Appiah, founder of Amanthis Stationery, and Naomi Grant, founder of LAMBB film production company.
Cassandra Verdier, a master’s student of International Business at ESG Bordeaux, France will also participate.
“We are elated to team up with Cantu Beauty on this program investing in the future and talent development of young women of color,” said Carlisha Williams Bradley, Women Empowering Nation’s Founder and Executive Director. “Young women receiving training from a company that makes products that cater to them and has a fellowship that addresses our unique cultural needs is rare. This partnership can change the career trajectory of young women around the world.”
To conclude the fellowship, the women have embarked on an all-expense paid trip to Accra, Ghana, between the 11th and 15th of November. This trip will include a capstone presentation, leadership conference, community service projects, promotional brand experiences, and career workshops.
Speaking about how the Global Fellowship promotes growth in Black Entrepreneurship, Kinsley said “Through various touchpoints in the program, female executives from diverse backgrounds in entrepreneurship and leadership have lent their years of expertise to lead workshops exploring career development, public speaking, professional branding, and executive leadership for the participants.
The workshops also explore social change, economic justice, and women’s empowerment to equip the young women with the knowledge and resources needed to lead a multifaceted entrepreneurial journey”.