Latham Collaborates with Leading Organizations to Co-Host Mentoring Forum in Dubai


Latham & Watkins LLP, 85 Broads, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and REACH co-hosted a seminar in Dubai which explored mentoring programs for women executives. Attended by more than 100 executives from start-ups to multinationals, the forum provided an opportunity for knowledge sharing and discussion on establishing productive formal and informal mentoring relationships and how to foster strong mentoring programs. The seminar brought together an illustrious roster of speakers from the worlds of finance, business and professional services.

 The event was organized under the auspices of Latham’s Women Enriching Business (WEB) initiative which is designed to support women in business by creating broader networks and productive business relationships and by attracting and investing in the long-term success of women. Lucy Chow, Co-Chair of 85 Broads, opened the forum sharing her experience on the importance of mentoring in the workplace and her insights on the differences between mentoring, sponsoring and coaching.

Victoria Honey Kachel, an associate in Latham & Watkins’ Dubai office, moderated a panel discussion which included: Roberta Calarese, Chief Legal Officer of DIFC; Margaret Cole, partner at White & Case LLP; Farah Foustok, CEO of ING Investment Management Middle East and Founding Partner of REACH; Noor Sweid, former Managing Director of Depa Ltd.; and Craig Nethercott, partner at Latham & Watkins LLP. 

The panellists shared their experience and advice on a range of topics including:

  • The merits of structured versus informal mentoring relationships
  • How to identify and approach mentors
  • How to sustain valuable long-distance mentor relationships
  • Developing mentoring relationships outside an organisation with mentors in other industries
  • How multiple mentors can enrich learning
  • Making male-female mentoring relationships effective

Honey Kachel said: “The panellists offered insightful and inspirational tips for young and seasoned professionals alike. Nurturing the leaders of tomorrow is critically important for the growth, advancement and management of a successful organisation. Hearing the personal anecdotes and advice of our accomplished panellists further illustrates the value of a strong mentoring program to an organization.”

The seminar coincided with the launch of REACH, the first non-profit organization to be registered at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), aimed at supporting and developing the skills of female graduates and professionals in the area of financial services and its related sectors. Farah Foustok, CEO of ING Investment Management Middle East and Founding Partner of REACH said: “The discussion brought awareness to the importance of mentoring and how one identifies a potential mentor. REACH was established to guide female graduates and professionals through a structured framework for personal and professional development. The program is designed to formalize mentoring relationships and strategically match mentors with mentees in a year-long programme, with professional coaching and continuous consultation and review.”