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Global Sponsorship Programme

Realising career aspirations

The Freshfields Global Sponsorship Programme, a tailored learning and development opportunity for women lawyers, is specially designed to support the careers of talented women associates as they progress at Freshfields.

Each practice group nominates associates from across the world to join the programme, while also selecting a dedicated partner sponsor to work with them during the year. After the success of the pilot in 2015 we have run a programme in each subsequent year; Over 150 Freshfields lawyers have now taken part in this programme.

In addition to support from sponsors, participants have access to an executive coach, and a personalised learning and development programme, which give them the tools they need to reach their full potential.

As part of the programme, participants are provided with practical ways to take charge of their career, an opportunity to reflect on their strengths, advice on how to make the most of networking opportunities and deepen relationships with our clients, and colleagues.

Of our 2023 promotions, 9 of the 16 (56%) women promoted to partnership are GSP graduates, and 6 of the 13 (46%) women promoted to counsel are GSP graduates.

Helen Ouseley, Global Head of Diversity and inclusion said: “The Global Sponsorship Programme is a great opportunity to shine a light on, and invest in, our talented women lawyers careers. It is always a delight to bring this group together with diverse insights, experiences and skills from around the world.”

Partner Alison Kirby-Harris said: “There were so many positive aspects to attending the Global Sponsorship Programme.  At the time, participating in the programme served as a real boost to my confidence and helped me map out carefully the direction of travel I wanted for my career, and how I might achieve that. But equally important were the practical aspects, much of which came from my sponsor, in helping to identify concrete opportunities to boost my profile, practice and experience.”

Senior Associate Lucy Clark said the programme “is more than a training course – it’s a more holistic way of providing tools and impetus. The demystification of the partnership process, both in terms of the steps needed and also what it takes to be a partner – what the ‘intangible quality’ is – is also really helpful.”