Fay Sharpe, founder of Fast Forward 15 proudly presents Shero Caroline Jackson: “It was my pleasure to meet the wonderful Caroline Jackson when she was at Bournemouth University. As a previous graduate I had been asked to go and talk to some of that years Events Students about careers in Events. Caroline immediately struck me as a woman that would be a wonderful Mentor on my FF15 programme. Her pairing with Priya ( who edits our magazine and is now a mentor!) I am so happy and proud to share her story…”

Caroline Jackson: “I wondered why, when Fay asked me to consider being a mentor on Fast Forward 15, that I said yes. At the time I was trying to be strong and say no to more well-meaning initiatives. I realised it was because I have always tried to make a difference, especially in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion and could not avoid this great opportunity.”

Who is Caroline?

“I am an event educator and consultant.
Having established some of the first degrees in Events Management at Bournemouth University I am now lecturing part time at other Universities. This gives me space for my voluntary activities as Vice Chair of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) and Executive Member of the Association for Events Management Education (AEME).

BVEP is the umbrella organisation that represents the UK leading trade and professional organisations, government agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector. I am Chair of the Skills, Talent & Diversity Working Group. Our current focus is on identifying and strengthening pathways into events, safeguarding, and developing talent and improving diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Formative years

“From being brought up on the hard graft of a farm I went on to beat the rugby faction to create a Ladies President of the Athletic Union at University. Through various roles, I helped establish both women’s football and rugby at national University level. When working I organised the first women in sport conference, and a women only multi-ethnic weekend. Working for Leicester City Council made me very aware of the different ethnic cultures that made the city so vibrant but also so challenging.

I did not set out to champion gender, and I am not aware of any specific injustice that I experienced that motivated me to do this. I know that I wanted to encourage others to do and achieve whatever they wanted to and not be forced to accept that some things were not for women and girls.

Having personally experienced the negative effects of how power and privilege can be exploited and abused I am conscious of the need for fairness and transparency. I am also conscious of bias and privilege. Although I was the first in my family to go to University, and then later in life, to get a PhD. I am aware that I need to use my privileged positions for the greater good.”

Fast Forward 15 journey

“I am honoured to have been a mentor on Fast Forward 15 and immensely proud of my mentees, Priya and Angela who achieved their goals and strive to thrive. The Fast Forward 15 community, inspires, encourages, and empowers all of those involved, in different ways. As a mentor, Fay, Ishreen and the other mentors and mentees become your supportive family.

To me, Fast Forward 15 offered:
H – hope
O – opportunity
P – perspective
E – experiences

We all need purpose in our lives. It takes us time to know what that is so keep searching. I strive to be the best that I can and to make a difference, whilst being true to who I am.”


(on the photo: Caroline Jackson in the middle with her former mentees Priya (left) and Angela (right).