Starting in April of this year and running through July, award-winning textured hair care brand Cantu Beauty has joined non-profit organization Women Empowering Nations (WEN) to host the 2023 2023 Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) cohort in their fourth year of partnership.
This year’s cohort, which includes 50 women from across the globe selected out of 2,500 applicants, will run for a total of ten weeks, and provides young women of color with the opportunity to be supported through immersion in topics including mental health and wellness, executive leadership, and public speaking.
With over one million dollars invested in the partnership, Cantu Beauty has been a sponsor of the GLOW Virtual Summit since 2020 and remains committed to the educational investment in its participants through grants, partnerships, and a fellowship opportunity that provides recipients with a four-month paid experience in the beauty industry.
To learn more about this year’s GLOW cohort, the philanthropic partnership between Cantu Beauty and WEN, and goals for next year’s program, CosmeticsDesign interviewed Dametria Kinsley, Cantu’ Beauty’s Global VP of Marketing, and Carlisha Bradley, WEN Founder and Executive Director for their experiences and insights.
CDU: Why is this mission essential for Cantu Beauty, and why partner with Women Empowering Nations to support these goals?
Dametria Kinslet (DK): By serving as Global VP of Marketing at Cantu Beauty, it brings me joy to champion a brand that knows its presence in the community is more than selling products; it’s about the individuals we serve in the community. It’s easy to write a check which is definitely needed and recognized, but we are going beyond that by physically showing up, getting involved, and ultimately giving our time.
Our partnership with WEN is part of Cantu’s commitment to elevating and uplifting Black and Brown communities worldwide on their path to leadership. That’s why last year, we launched the first-ever 2022 GLOW (Girls Leading Our World) Global Cohort and joined forces again this year to continue supporting the next generation of female leaders by giving them access to the resources they need to accelerate their personal path to potential and ultimately profit.
Giveback is close to my heart, and Carlisha (Founder and Director of WEN) is dedicated to cultivating purpose in young women. Cantu is a global brand, and we wanted to partner with an organization with a global footprint that understands the importance of community impact and the platforms we have before us.
Carlisha Bradley (CB): WEN was created for young women to have mentors and people like Dametria, who can be a mirror for their potential. We know that one in five C-suite leaders is a woman and one in twenty-five is a woman of color, so we have work to do to build that pipeline for women in leadership. WEN was created to stand in the gap, so our partnership with Cantu is essential in helping us achieve those goals. It is extremely rare to get this kind of support – the funds and resources -- and we are so thankful for our partnership with Cantu.
CDU: Can you share some success stories from previous cohorts?
CB: One of the most inspiring moments from our previous cohorts was during the kickoff for the 2023 cohort when we had the privilege of having 2022 cohort members join us as speakers, coaches, and mentors for the incoming cohort. During the first session, I listened in awe as they shared their experiences, highlighting the power of the community they had established and the incredible opportunities they had gained through WEN's networking events.
As they spoke, it became clear that our three-month cohort is much more than just a program; it's a catalyst for lifelong relationships and opportunities. Our previous cohort members shared how they had secured new roles, gained mentors, built a global sisterhood, and found their confidence and authentic voice. It was a beautiful reminder of WEN's impact on their lives and how they now give back by pouring into others.
I am incredibly proud to be a part of an organization that fosters such a strong sense of community and support, and I am excited to see the connections that will be forged in the upcoming cohort. Through WEN, we are not only empowering women to reach their full potential but also creating a network of strong, empowered, and connected women who will continue to make a difference in their lives and communities.
DK: Last year, the Cantu GLOW Global Fellows concluded their experience with a capstone and group travel seminar to Accra, Ghana, and during our time there, the girls shared their personal stories, which was emotional yet empowering at the same time. Sometimes we don’t realize how powerful our stories are; these stories – the sisterhood and the togetherness lifting each other up through the journey truly have a life-changing impact.
CDU: What was this year’s application process like, and how did it differ from previous years?
CB: Last year’s application process was a short form with essay questions. However, this year we expanded the process to three phases – a short form with essay questions, a video interview, and a live interview. This year, we had over 2,500 applications worldwide, and the WEN team went through each application to select our 50 finalists.
CDU: How has the program evolved and expanded over the course of the life of the program and partnership?
CB: Since 2020, we’ve joined forces with Cantu on the GLOW Virtual Summit. Through this partnership, Cantu supported by providing over $50,000 in scholarships and business grants for young women around the globe. In 2022, we partnered again for the GLOW Global Cohort, and we evolved our programming by announcing 11 young women who moved forward to the Cantu GLOW Global Fellowship, including a paid, four-month hands-on internship experience at Cantu Beauty.
Service leadership is at the forefront of WEN, and this year, we introduced a Global Day of Service that will take place at the conclusion of the 2023 cohort in July. Members will have planned and organized the day, where they will complete their service initiatives on the same day in partnership with each other worldwide.
CDU: What are some of the goals of this year’s cohort?
CB: The Girls Leading Our World (GLOW) Global Cohort program aims to provide young women of color across the globe with a high-impact leadership coaching experience that will equip them with the skills, knowledge, and confidence they need to thrive personally and professionally.
Through the GLOW Global Cohort, WEN aims to empower young women to become leaders in their communities, industries, and the world at large. The program seeks to create a safe and supportive environment where young women can explore topics such as culture and identity, public speaking, personal and professional branding, executive leadership, and mental health.
By selecting participants from diverse countries and backgrounds, the GLOW Global Cohort aims to foster cross-cultural connections and understanding, promoting a global sisterhood of young women dedicated to positively impacting the world.
Thanks to the generous sponsorship from Cantu Beauty, the program is accessible to young women who might not otherwise have had the opportunity to participate in such a high-value coaching experience. Ultimately, the goal of the GLOW Global Cohort is to provide young women with the tools and resources they need to achieve their full potential and become the leaders of tomorrow.
CDU: Are there any plans to expand the program or grow the partnership in the next few years?
CB: Through our multi-year partnership with Cantu, we’re continuously looking for opportunities to develop the program at a larger scale and increase our impact on young women’s personal and professional lives. There is so much in store for the young women we serve around the globe.