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Top female lawyer to develop next generation of BME leaders

LEADING THE WAY: Lawyer Funke Abimbola

ONE OF the UK'S most senior black lawyer has committed herself to developing the next generation of Black, Asian and ethnic minority (BAME) female lawyers by becoming a senior advisory board member of Aspiring Solicitors.

Funke Abimbola, a multi-award winning lawyer, diversity campaigner and the most senior black lawyer working in the UK’s pharmaceutical industry got in touch with The Voice newspaper this morning (Feb 29) to announce the news.

Founded in 2014, Aspiring Solicitors is an organisation dedicated to breaking down entry barriers to the UK legal profession across multiple diversity strands.

Abimbola joined the organisation in 2014, becoming a professional ambassador and providing advice and guidance to future lawyers from a BAME background.

Now as a senior advisory board member, she will form part of a formal mentoring scheme, providing mentoring to a BAME female future lawyer for one full academic year.

Commenting on her appointment, Funke said: “I feel passionately about diversity issues, the BAME community and developing the next generation of BAME female lawyer/leaders.

"The legal profession is becoming more diverse in some ways but the pace of change remains painfully slow."

She continued: "Having supported Aspiring Solicitors since it was established and been a part of the positive impact the organisation has made within the legal profession, I welcome the opportunity to provide mentoring to future BAME female lawyers and leaders.

"This fantastic mentoring opportunity - as with everything Aspiring Solicitors offers its members - is 100 per cent free. It is an incredible opportunity and we are confident it will produce incredible results," she added.

Mentees will be provided with bespoke assistance by Aspiring Solicitors throughout the legal application process to ensure that they have the best possible chance to secure their dream job.

Commenting further, Funke said: “Diversity is important to me because of some of the obstacles I have faced as a black woman and mother within law.

"I am now a senior leader working for the world’s largest biotech company and devote much of my spare time to ‘letting down ladders’ and helping others to overcome their obstacles and to maximize their potential. I am determined to level the playing field so that only talent and merit determine your success within the legal profession. I look forward to developing the next generation of BAME female lawyers and leaders."

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