Miriam Gonzalez Durantez

Emily Hayman

So far in the inspiring series of Breaking the Glass webinars, we have heard from inspiring journalists, entrepreneurs, and campaigners but this week, we heard from international trade lawyer and founder of Inspiring Girls, Miriam González Durántez. Miriam has pursued an incredible career in international trade law which has taken her all over the world and founded Inspiring Girls, a charity aiming to inspire and empower girls all over the world. Here are just a few of Miriam’s amazing achievements.

  • Leading the trade practice of international law at US firm Cohen and Gresser
  • Founder and Chair of Inspiring Girls International, an organisation dedicated to raising the aspirations of girls around the world
  • Member of the European Council on Foreign Affairs

If you weren’t able to make it to the webinar, here are some of Miriam’s most important pieces of advice for younger girls!

“Your teenage years either make or break you, use them wisely”

Miriam grew up in rural Spain at a crossroads in the country’s history. At the time, she was expected to stay in her village rather than moving away but Miriam knew that this time in her life would be either the make or break of her and she certainly chose to make the most of these years. Miriam worked hard at school and got into a local university to study law. At university, she tried her hardest to apply for any scholarships or opportunities to get international law experience. Her determination and perseverance scored her a job at an international law firm in Bruges where she gained amazing experience working on international cases with lawyers from around the world. Miriam’s advice for teenage girls was to work hard and seize every opportunity you get when you are a teenager as this will open so many doors for your future.

“You have the power to turn something negative into something positive”

As well as being an international trade lawyer and founder of Inspiring Girls, Miriam was also thrusted into the spotlight when her husband Nick Clegg became Deputy Prime Minister in 2010. During this time, Miriam found herself under the limelight of the press and paparazzi and was photographed every time she left her house. As time went on and she became frustrated with this attention, she thought about this negative aspect of her position and decided to do something about it. From then on, Miriam would always be seen in public wearing something that was connected to her charitable work with Inspiring Girls and when the press would ask her what she was wearing, she would take that opportunity to create media attention around Inspiring Girls. In this way, Miriam was able to transform a problem she was facing into a great opportunity to raise awareness for her charity. 

“In today’s world, it’s simply not enough to be a good person and be good at your job, you owe a big contribute to your surroundings and wider society.”

Speaking about events of the past few months in the world including the global Black Lives Matter movement, the coronavirus pandemic and the current crisis in the Middle East, Miriam advised girls that simply to be a good person who is good at their job and is content in their immediate circle in this era is simply not enough. Miriam explained that the world needed young girls to stand up for human rights, to try to make a positive change to wider society and to take your part in making a difference in the wider world. Miriam’s work in founding Inspiring Girls has certainly made a huge difference to the lives and aspirations of girls across 16 countries.

Hearing about Miriam’s career as a trade lawyer and then founding Inspiring Girls was a truly inspiring experience. Miriam is another inspiring example of a woman who truly embodies the spirit of Rising Girl and her motivating talk along with her charity work in aspiring girls makes her a great role model for girls across the world.

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