• WFTV UK 20020 mentoring scheme launches with heading women executives mentoring
  • 20 mentees handpicked from hundreds of applications
  • Mentoring lead: “The scheme empowers these talented women with the belief, confidence and skills to achieve their career goals”

Jay hunt

Jay Hunt: WFTV mentor

Women in Film and TV UK has launched its 10th annual mentoring scheme this year backed by executives from Apple, C4, BBC, Sky and Sony Pictures. 

The 2020 mentoring scheme has been launched in association with Screen Skills and supported by Avid, the BBC, Channel 4, EON Productions, Lionsgate, Panalux and Panavision, Twickenham Studios and UKTV.

This year, the scheme has attracted many of the country’s leading film and TV experts to mentor the candidates, with some 10 women were selected from hundreds of applicants.

The “intensely competitive process” has been designed to support professional women at the mid-point of their careers working across the industry from composing to directing, producing, script editing and development.

Heading up the scheme this year is WFTV’s mentoring producer Tracy Forsyth, who is also a creative mentor at Channel 4 Indie Growth Fund and an executive coach and ex- BBC executive.

Forsyth said: “The scheme empowers these talented women with the belief, confidence and skills to achieve their career goals and provides them with clarity of direction, focus and a life-long network of contacts. It is incredibly rewarding to guide these 20 women on that journey”.

The WFTV Mentoring Scheme was launched in 2011 in response to a 2009 Creative Skillset census that revealed that 4,950 women had lost their jobs in TV since the start of the recession, compared to just 650 men.

It found that not only were the numbers of women declining in the industry, but there was a steep drop in the number of women staying in the industry over the age of 35, and those who remained often struggled to progress to a more senior level.

WFTV chair Liz Tucker said: “We only have to look at the career paths of previous mentees to know our scheme really works. Over 108 women have now taken part in the scheme and previous mentees have landed jobs at Amazon, the BBC and Channel 4. Our scheme genuinely changes lives and careers”.

Today WFTV is a leading membership organisation for women working in creative media in the UK and part of an international network of over 13,000 women. Members of the organisation come from a broad range of professions spanning the entire creative media industry.

The Scheme runs for six months, during which time the 20 participants receive six hours of mentoring contact with an experienced industry figure alongside peer-to-peer training and seminars, WFTV member events and wider industry networking opportunities.

The full list of mentees is as follows:

Alice Ramsey, BBC Writers room Development Producer

Bruna Capozzoli, TV Online Media producer

Cat Marshall, Production Supervisor, WARP Films (Sheffield)

Claire Bachelor, Composer TV Kate Bennetts, Investment Director

Emma Yap, Scripted Development Executive TV

Gilberte Phanor, Graphics Editor/news producer Sky

Helen O Donnell, Head of Development BBC Studios Talentworks

Janice Okoh, Scriptwriter

Jemma Parish, Senior AP, TravelMan (Warwick)

Jenny Stimpson, TV Documentary Producer

Kate Bennetts, Investment Director

Mel Bezalel, Director of Development RDF

Rebecca Brown, Commercial Manager, Specialist Factual

Ruchika Tagore, Development Executive

Ruth Mayer, TV documentary Producer/Director

Samantha Fray, Programme Manager, Beyond Bronte

Serena Lloyd-Smith, Diversity & Inclusion – Networks Specialist

Sian Whomes, Head of Talent – Sony Pictures

(Suga) Vavthana Suganya Suppiah, Film Editor / Commercials Editor

Zoe McGivern, Head of Development / Series Producer

The full list of mentors is as follows:

Addie Orfila – Former Head of Production, Serial Drama & Founder Addie Orfila Training

Ade Rawcliffe – Head of Diversity for ITV Commissioning and WFTV Board Member

Catherine Catton – Head of Popular Factual and Factual Entertainment, BBC

Danny Cohen – President Access Entertainment

David Glover – Founder 72 Films

Harriet Pennington Legh – Agent, Troika Talent

Hilary Rosen – Deputy Head of Commissioning, UKTV

Jay Hunt – Chief Creative Officer, Apple

Jocelyn Jee Esien – Writer and actor

Laura Lankester – Creative Director, Lookout Point

Lindsay Bradbury – Commissioning Editor, Daytime, BBC

Loran Dunn – Film Producer, Delaval Films

Lorraine Heggessey – Chair, Grierson Trust

Norma Wisnevitz – Chief Operating Officer, True North

Rachel Job – SVP Unscripted Content, ALL3Media

Sam Doyle – Executive Producer, Netflix

Sam Jukes Adams – Executive Coach & TV Production Consultant

Sumi Connock – Creative Director of Formats, BBC Studios

Tamara Howe – Managing Director Vice TV EMEA

Zeb Achonu – Film Editor and WFTV Board Member