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Global gender initiatives to support, empower and champion women and girls

Alice, a member of Association of World Citizens Hong Kong China who received a grant from HER Fund. Alice was also mentored by Linklaters staff in Hong Kong as part of HER Fund’s support.

Image: HER Fund

Our social impact work is about empowering people around the world and helping them to transform their lives. We do this by drawing on the passion and skills of our people and our programmes supporting women are no exception. Here we look at three examples of the impact our volunteers have across our global gender initiatives.

"With the advice and encouragement of the trainer and mentor, I have more confidence. I am happy to know I can do it!"
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Participant, HER Fund training programme

HER Fund is Hong Kong’s only community women’s fund, empowering gender rights organisations through grant giving and tailored training courses. Volunteers from Linklaters’ Hong Kong office act as one-to-one mentors for women taking part in HER Fund’s programmes.

The project includes training sessions designed to develop the leadership and communication skills of mentees. “When the training began, I got a new job opportunity that needed presentation skills”, commented a mentee from the 2019 cohort. “With the advice and encouragement of the trainer and mentor, I have more confidence. I am happy to know I can do it!”

The programme also offers mentors the opportunity to work closely with inspirational leaders and changemakers from many different backgrounds. “What I did as a mentor is to share my experiences and encourage them,” said a Linklaters volunteer. “I don’t think I contributed a lot really, but I certainly learnt a lot from their sharing of a new immigrant women’s situation. I started to think, what is the reason behind discrimination?”

Common thread

Forming holistic partnerships with dedicated organisations is a common thread across our gender programmes. Linklaters’ Paris office is a key partner of Force Juridique, or The Legal Force, the first independent body of French lawyers committed to challenging inequality by providing free legal advice to a wide range of projects. The initiative was founded in 2016 by Fondation des Femmes, a leading women’s rights charity and a long-standing pro bono client of the firm.

Linklaters Managing Associate Eléonore Hannezo believes that through Force Juridique, volunteers are channeling their expertise to a cause where the impact can be felt straightaway. "This initiative was created based on the acknowledgement that women's rights associations are solely lacking in resources. We at Linklaters cover so many specialties that we have an incredible capacity to offer a helping hand to those who fight for the feminist cause but are in need of legal assistance."

“Throughout the duration of the sessions one message that was very clear was: know yourself, back yourself”

- Participant, Aspiring Professonals Young Women's Series

Building confidence

The firm’s London office offers a similar story of impact. Volunteers have partnered with The Social Mobility Foundation since 2017, using their day-to-day skills to inspire and develop talented young women from lower socio-economic backgrounds through the Aspiring Professionals Young Women’s Series.

The series was created to improve confidence and self-belief, empowering young women to build on academic achievements to reach their goals. One of the participants summed up her key takeaway from the 2018 programme, “throughout the duration of the sessions one message that was very clear was: know yourself, back yourself. I think that I’m now knowing myself and I look forward to what’s to come.”

Hear from young women

Hear the 2018 series graduates discuss how the programme has helped them to overcome personal challenges and to build their confidence: