Black women globally are constantly underrepresented in the C-Suite. Only one out of every five C-level executives is a woman, and one out of every 20 is a woman of colour, according to a report from McKinsey
Although the number of women in top leadership roles continues to grow – gender disparity remains. What’s holding black women back from better C-Suite representation? Unfortunately, the main cause is inequitable opportunities, but Cantu Beauty and WEN are working to change that.
Cantu Beauty, an award-winning multicultural hair and skincare brand, teamed up with Women Empowering Nations (WEN), an international non-profit whose mission is to provide exposure, development, and mentorship for girls of colour in underserved communities and accelerate their path to executive leadership, to close the gap with their 2022 Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) Global Cohort. 1,590 young women from around the world applied for the 2022 GLOW Global Cohort.
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 unique coaching experience.
The GLOW Cohort was a 12-week immersive, high-impact leadership coaching experience featuring women executives from diverse backgrounds in entrepreneurship and leadership leading workshops exploring career development, public speaking, professional branding, and executive leadership.
The GLOW Global Experience was the core feature of the 2022 Summit. At the Summit 12 young women from the cohort were chosen 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 and received a $2,000 stipend each.
To conclude the fellowship, the women embarked on an all-expense paid trip to Accra, Ghana. This trip included a capstone presentation, a leadership conference, community service projects, promotional brand experiences, and career workshops.
The winning fellows are Cynthia Akalpokbila, an Undergraduate student at Ashesi University, from Ghana. Nigeria- Blessing Ahmodu, Project Manager at Enactus AAUA. , from The United States Denia Smith, Youth activist, and founder of “She Shall Speaker” podcast. Fatimata Cham, Truman Scholar, founder of “Muslims Matter”. Amber Wynne, Hampton Alum, founder of “The Period Project”. Jasmine Bacchus, Inaugural Gucci Changemaker Scholarship recipient.
From South Africa Phindile Sithole, Bachelor of Art Student at the University of Mpumalanga. Lucinda Abrahams, is a second-year law student at the University of South Africa. Nyasha Chivonivoni, Undergraduate student at the University of Cape Town. From France Cassandra Verdier, a Graduate student at ESG School Bordeaux, and from The United Kingdom– Rachel Appiah, Founder of “Amanthis Stationery”.
WINNERS of the 2022 capstone presentation and Cantu Beauty’s new brand ambassadors are Cynthia Akalpokbila (Ghana), Fatimata Cham (USA), and Rachel Appiah (UK).
“We are thrilled to be collaborating with Cantu Beauty on this program that invests in the future and talent development of young women of colour. It’s unusual for young women to receive training from a company that makes products for them and has a fellowship that caters to our specific cultural needs. This partnership has the potential to change the career paths of young women around the world.” commented Carlisha Williams Bradley, Women Empowering Nation’s Founder and Executive Director.
“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 colour globally.”
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. 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 colour face disproportionate barriers in the workplace and are heavily impacted by discrimination. Cantu is actively working to combat this through our community partnerships,” said Dametria Kinsley.
Women of colour who aspire to leadership and entrepreneurship are encouraged to apply to the ‘2023 GLOW Cohort’, which focuses on leadership and entrepreneurship. The program will help elevate 50 young women of colour ages 17-23 by providing them with an immersive, high-impact leadership coaching experience, which begins in March 2023 and runs until May 2023. Applications open January 2023.
Be sure to follow Women Empowering Nations by searching for ‘Wennations’ on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for updates on next year’s applications.
To support the Women Empowering Nations Global programs, you can donate through their website