Global Companies Act Locally: How MUFG and Estée Lauder Companies Are Giving Back

We’re often told to “think globally; act locally,” but aphorisms aren’t big on the details. If your New Year’s resolution involves giving back to the community but you’re wondering how you and your company can do so, we know of two companies with two great ways to get started. MUFG and The Estée Lauder Companies (ELC), along with the ELC Charitable Foundation, partnered with Girls Leadership and with local schools in ways that made sense to their unique skill sets, resulting in two distinct ways of making a lasting difference. 


Supporting Youth 

Women may be closing the gender gap in finance, but there is still deep inequity in leadership roles. To connect trailblazing women with the next generation of leaders, MUFG Bank hosted an in-depth career event for students at one of our partner schools, the all-girls Brooklyn Emerging Leaders Academy, offering personal reflections, career guidance, and more. 

Beginning with a delicious breakfast to get the day started right, MUFG representatives opened the half-day event conference with representatives from different departments presenting on their roles, as well as the unique paths they took to reach their current careers. “MUFG was a very welcoming and warm environment, you could tell the staff presenting their work cared deeply about their jobs,” enthused senior Moalene. 

Over the course of the day, MUFG encouraged girls to dream big about opportunities they hadn’t previously considered – and then gave them the tools to get started on making those possibilities into realities. MUFG provided specific guides for how to approach education and internships, while also reminding girls to remain open and curious. Kaylah, a junior, was happy to hear the message that there was no single path to success. “I really liked how everyone stressed that you can discover yourself on the path and that it’s not necessary to know exactly what you want to achieve. It was a comforting thing to hear being that I am almost done with my high school journey and since I am always wondering what’s next!” 

The day culminated in a “Women in Finance” luncheon, during which the women from MUFG took the time to share a meal with the girls and connect with them about school, careers, and everything in between. “I had an extensive conversation with a MUFG staff person during which I asked a lot of questions, and she provided me with a wealth of practical information,” Kaylah went on to say. 

Other participants were similarly inspired. “This experience was such an eye opener and made me think about going down the finance pathway in the future. Thank you so much for this opportunity that I was given to meet everyone and learn new ideas,” said Jahnea, a senior who is now more prepared to tackle college internships and career options thanks to MUFG.

Supporting Educators 

Students thrive with support – and so do teachers. K-12 educators have the highest rate of burnout in the U.S., and that rate continues to increase. We can’t support girls without supporting some of the most important people in their lives, which was why we were so thrilled to partner with The Estée Lauder Companies to tackle this problem for an entire school network. 

In addition to spotlighting incredible students at The Young Women’s Leadership Schools (TYWLS) for International Day of the Girl, celebrated globally on October 11, employees at ELC carefully crafted 85 care packages for each of the teachers at Girls Leadership’s Power Lab Partner Schools at TYWLS in Manhattan, Astoria, and Staten Island. These gifts contained self-care products for teachers of all genders, essential school supplies with fun flair, and a personalized note of encouragement for each teacher to make sure to start their year in well-being.

Teachers were thrilled to receive the care packages. “I love International Day of the Girl and use it as an opportunity to really celebrate my students. But it was wonderful to feel celebrated that day, too. Thanks for the love, ELC!” exclaimed a teacher from TYWLS Astoria. By giving back to teachers, Estée Lauder Companies created a ripple effect of support and well-being that also reached staff, parents, and students. The effect lasts much longer than a single day: teachers felt excited and were already looking forward to the rest of the year. As another Astoria teacher put it, “Thank you to the ELC team for thinking of us and giving us a boost of positivity as we tackle this new school year.”

Students and teachers can always benefit from the support and connection of professionals in other fields. If your company is interested in volunteer opportunities, Girls Leadership would be happy to facilitate connections with youth and youth-serving professionals. Please contact Dillan Arrick at for more information.

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