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An Alternative Approach to the G20 Summit

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Norton Rose Group is one of the founding partners of the G(irls) 20 Summit, and is the only legal practice to be involved with the initiative. In addition to our role as a founding partner, we're also going to be drawing on our experience in running leadership training to run a pre-conference leadership session for the delegates. Carolann Edwards, our Director of Learning and Organisational Development, has developed and tailored the session specifically for the occasion.

I have personally been involved in the Summit since the preparation of its second edition in Paris in October 2011.

As a lawyer based in Paris, I have spent my whole career in the same legal practice -- unheard of in this day and age, I know, but what can I say, I enjoy my job and truly share the values of my employer -- and have been active in our charitable foundation and in our women's initiatives, both internal and client facing. The latest example of this was the launch of our first Women in Red business network in Paris which was soon mirrored in several of our other offices. Women in Red provides coaching and networking opportunities to professional women, both from within our organization and from our clients and professional contacts. The overarching aim of these networks and other women's initiatives at Norton Rose Group is to increase the percentage of women in the partnership and to better reflect the diversity that surrounds us.

I attended the second G(irls) 20 Summit in Paris, during which Norton Rose Group hosted a session entitled: "If I knew then what I know now..." Various high-profile women (including one of our Women in Red members) gave honest feedback to the delegates about life, love and mostly careers.

During the course of the Summit, I got to speak personally to many of the delegates. I listened with interest as each of them presented herself, her achievements and aspirations. I was amazed by the depth of collective experience a group of 22 18- to 20-year-olds could have. Their poise and ambition was inspirational and they truly stood out as the leaders of tomorrow.

I am also the mother of two girls and want the best for them: We should get to the point where being a woman or a girl is a non-issue as regards rights and access to health, education and jobs. This is still not the case in too many countries. My girls attended part of the G(irls) 20 Summit in Paris and they were empowered by the idea that girls can have their voice heard through such an amazing platform. They returned home with all sorts of questions and although being exposed to knowledge of issues such as child brides may be disturbing to them, I am proud that they were able to listen to and empathize with girls speaking up on this topic.

I will be in Mexico for the G(irls) 20 Summit in May and am delighted to be taking part once again in this adventure. I encourage others interested in how we can better economically empower women to tune in as well, as the Summit is live streamed via the G(irls)20 Summit website.

My number is 15210: What's yours?