Today’s working life requires the ability to understand different cultures and languages. We operate in an increasingly global environment, so in order to stay competitive in future, we need to have an even more diverse work community. For this, we need employees who see the world from different angles and who can together think innovatively in our business. At Borenius, we are committed to promote diversity and social inclusion in all aspects of work life.
Respecting others is an important value for us, and it guides both our daily work and our pro bono work. A couple of years ago, we established a work experience programme called Young Office. The purpose of the programme is to provide young people with immigrant backgrounds with the opportunity to explore academic professions. At the same time, we hope to spark interest in studying among these young people who visit us for a week. We know that we have succeeded when we see these future talents leave our office full of confidence and motivation after their internship period.
To further support this idea, we have partnered with Oikismentorointiohjelma Ry, a mentoring programme that will expand the work we have started with Young Office.
Expanding the selection of pro bono partners
When Oikismentorointiohjelma Ry approached our Managing Partner Casper Herler, we didn’t hesitate and jumped at the chance to be part of helping such a fantastic initiative. This mentoring programme is a great chance to share our expertise and introduce the world of legal business to secondary school students.
As education is strongly heritable, Annika Koljonen, Viktor Seppälä and Juha Hovintalo established Oikismentorointiohjelma Ry to encourage secondary school students with non-academic parents to apply to law school. We also believe that increasing diversity among lawyers starts from establishing equal opportunities for education, which is why we are very pleased with this initiative.
During the mentoring programme, mentors and mentees meet eight times in a virtual environment to discuss around themes, such as, applying to law school, life during law studies, and working as a lawyer after graduation. The participants will also have a chance to get to know peers with similar backgrounds and cheer on each other in pursuing the shared dream. We round off the programme with a joint closing session where all the mentors and mentees will get together to share their experiences.
Providing mentors with new insights
The mentoring programme does not only benefit the mentee – it can also provide mentors with a highly valuable experience. It is completely voluntary to participate in the programme, and it is safe to assume that our mentors see this programme as an opportunity to add extra meaningfulness to their work lives. Besides the honour of sharing information and experiences and providing support to those in need, the mentors can learn about coaching and leadership. They also get to take a walk down a memory lane and reflect on their career paths, what took them there where they now are, and how much they have learned and developed during these years.
The best means to foster equality is to make education accessible to everyone, and this initiative is exactly what brings us closer to this goal.