The Asian University for Women (AUW), located in Chittagong, Bangladesh, exists to educate and empower a rising network of women leaders, particularly for women who are the first in their family to receive a university education. 85 percent of AUW students receive scholarships, ensuring that a lack of financial resources is not a barrier for intelligent and ambitious young women to enter higher education.

An ERM Foundation team in Hong Kong is working with AUW to provide workshops for selected AUW students. The workshops explore some of the sustainability challenges and opportunities facing the private sector - such as climate change, and sustainable growth – so that the students are equipped to translate this understanding into their future careers after graduation.

One of the workshop participants - Archana Somasekharan - came to AUW from a small village in Kerala in Southern India. She was the first person in her village to travel abroad to pursue education. As a result of this workshop, Archana was hired by ERM, and now works as a Consultant in our Bangalore office.

Archana was subsequently invited to deliver a speech at a Global Women’s Summit in Singapore, where she gave her life story “Girls with dreams become women in mission”. She spoke of the dream that made her strive to do her best and not accept any limitations on what she could achieve.

According to Archana, “Now I hope that I can enable and empower more girls and young women to follow a similar path”.

We are currently exploring ways to strengthen our partnership with AUW in the year ahead, with Archana’s involvement and input, including the opportunity to hire more AUW graduates in our Asia Pacific region.