The Executive Centre has been in a long-standing partnership with Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide. In this article, we speak to Ines Gafsi, Co-Founder of FEW and City Head of Inspiring Girls Hong Kong.
Together we are supporting this incredible initiative that aims to bridge the gap between gender equality and inspire young girls through mentorship from successful women who have volunteered.
Inspiring Girls Hong Kong is looking for role models like you to join their program and inspire girls to dream big and aim high. You don’t have to be a CEO or a corporate manager; you just have to be YOU. With your unique story, career path and experience, you can help shape the mindsets of girls in schools and change gender and cultural stereotypes in the workforce.
What is this initiative?
This programme allows young girls in Hong Kong and the world the opportunity to speak to an influential and successful woman like yourself in order to understand more about life in the workplace and gain insightful advice to succeed.
Inspiring Girls is an international charity that inspires girls to believe in their dreams by connecting them with female role models. It is a program that aims to show girls the limitless possibilities in their future careers.
The charity aims to create meaningful social capital in the local community by investing in youth education and promoting valuable reciprocity between corporations and schools. This program encourages social cooperation and cohesion between students, families and organisations and in doing so, builds a sustainable and impactful society.
How can you get involved?
The following is a six-month program that connects schoolgirls to a female ‘role model’. As a role model volunteer, you will help girls aged between 10 and 18 identify core values and spark their interest in developing the skills they need to succeed. The program consists of only a monthly 1hr workshop either face to face in schools or online via a ‘speed-networking format to talk to a group of girls about their lives, career choices and experiences.
The following interview transcript is with Ines Gafsi, the City Head of Inspiring Girls as she shares insightful information, her vision for this global initiative and how you can participate in a monumental cause.
What lead you to start Inspiring Girls?
I run a women empowerment platform called Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide (FEW), and because of this and my background in empowering females, Inspiring Girls invited me to lead their chapter in HK. The charity is originally from the UK and currently operates in 20 different countries. Given the resources and connections that I have, it made a lot of sense to develop the charity in HK. In addition, I have an extensive network of female role models who can contribute their time and effort to promoting Inspiring Girls. We’ve been able to leverage this to kick start and as we grow, we are in need of more role models to inspiring thousands of girls over the next few years.
What do you define a role model as?
A role model is any woman who has gone through her own journey in life, such as school or embarking on her career and going through all the ups and downs of learning about herself and her passions. She is someone that wants to give back to help inspire girls who may not have had the exposure to different career types and backgrounds and may be limited in inherent bias and stereotypes.
What is the outcome you wish for you and the girls to get most out of this project?
We want the girls to be inspired and motivated to take action by learning about themselves, finding out more about different industries and jobs, and taking the next step to continue their learning through our after-program partners. Through us, these girls will have the opportunity to learn a new skill, go onsite for potential field trips, job shadow or intern to gain valuable experience to help shape their future career goals.
How did you select the schools to work with for this project? Is there a specific criteria you are looking for?
We have a committee of educators and a network of schools that have piloted the program with us. We are open to working with any and all schools that believe in our cause and would like to give their students an opportunity to learn outside the classroom. We don’t discriminate against any schools but will prioritise schools that are either from socially disadvantaged locations or have differently abled students that may not have access to the same resources as some other schools might.