Four years ago, Miriam González Durántez founded Inspiring Girls International with the founding belief that every young woman should feel free to choose whatever she wants to do in life - free from the stereotypes and perceptions that can affect her education and career choices. Miriam explains, ‘I want girls to aim high and work hard to achieve their dreams, whatever they might be. Because that is their right’. Their mission is simple; to connect girls with a diverse range of women role models and since 2016 the charity has gone from strength to strength. They are now represented across 16 countries in 5 continents and in 2019 they worked with over 26,000 girls around the world.
To mark International Day of the Girl, Miriam, an international trade lawyer and vice chairman Vice Chair of UBS Europe, and Inspiring Girls have appointed their first Global Young Ambassadors Network, made up of 11 girls aged 11-16. In a video recorded for the occasion, these girls send out their messages of hope for their peers. There’s Quincy, from Hong Kong, who says, ‘My message to other girls is to take initiative. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, even if you might risk facing failure. Actually embrace failure, because that is what allows you to grow the most. Don’t be fixated on the idea of perfection and treat failure as a learning opportunity.’ Catalina from Colombia, says, ‘My message to other girls is that they are very important, that their ideas and dreams are very valuable. Remember that we are all destined to be happy.’
With young girls’ futures feeling ever uncertain due to the COVID 19 pandemic, Miriam believes that it is more important than ever before to amplify their voices and support and raise up girls all over the world. She believes there are issues which affect girls that transcend borders: the fear of failure, a drop in confidence during teenage years, the lack of girls studying STEM subjects and careers, and the struggles around the perceptions of their career choices. She adds, in the video, ‘My message is to choose freely, whatever you want to do in life. Aim high and make an effort. There are a lot of things which determine our lives, how we recover from failure, a little bit of luck as well. But by far what determines our lives is the extent of our own efforts.’