Over the coming weeks we will be speaking to many of the 14 women participating in the programme which is in association with ‘Women in Football’.
They come from Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Guatemala, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Senegal, Sweden, Switzerland and Uruguay.
Among them is Khadija Timera, who runs a London-based consultancy advising footballers and basketball players about business and legal affairs.
Timera, who is French-Senegalese, was brought up in a working-class Paris district and won a scholarship to study a master’s in business law in California. She is also an amateur boxer, narrowly missing out on qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics.
How did you become interested in law?
I was born in the 18th arrondisement of Paris; the part I grew up in was a difficult area. When my parents divorced I lived in the suburb of Gennevilliers. It was tough but that’s where I got my spirit to strive for social justice. I trained to become a nurse because I wanted to help people. I got involved with the trade union of nurses and we worked together to ask for a salary increase. That was my first contact with law, then I went to the library and bought law books and I couldn’t understand. So I also registered for law school.
What was law school like?
I had self-confidence but I didn’t have the confidence like some of the others at law school who came from a different background. They did not have the same start as me. There was the son of a judge or a powerful lawyer, for example. I applied for a business law prize at the firm White and Case. There were 12 successful people on the jury. They all agreed I should set myself higher goals, that I had the talent to reach the top. They awarded me a prize - and I was admitted to do a master’s at Berkeley University in California - but the most important thing was hearing those powerful people say that you are impressive. I was like: wow!