Making a Pact to Pay it Forward: Ella Robertson’s Mission to Help Young Women One Pinky Promise at a Time.

ella robertson managing director one young world wearing shiffon pinky ring

Ella Robertson, managing director of One Young World, is #lifegoals.

If you try to tell Ella Robertson something can’t be done, her first reaction is to laugh. Her next response is to go out and prove you wrong. Robertson joined One Young World as a managing director in 2011 and has grown the global forum focusing on young leadership to include delegates from 196 countries discussing positive change. Ella is a graduate of Oxford, is kind, elegant, brilliant, so funny and basically everything we want to be. She tells us in her own words why it’s so important to help young women. Check it out below!


I work for One Young World – the premier forum for young leaders. We want to encourage young people in every single country (we’re in 196 countries so global presence isn’t too far off) to lead the change they want to see in the world.

Working across the development and events sectors means I have the privilege of mentoring fierce, kind, hardworking women from around the world. This is what I’ve learned: whilst different countries and cultures present different issues, women for the most part face similar challenges. It’s our duty to work together to create better opportunities for our daughters, their daughters and future generations to come.

My work takes me around the globe – I have stamps from every single continent in my current passport (with the exception of Antarctica – there aren’t many penguin world leaders!) I love travelling and am currently working with women from the USA, the UK and India to ensure we lift as we climb. Every woman I know got to where she is today because someone gave her a helping hand.

My side project and passion is debating current affairs. I’ve started an initiative called W1 Debates. Its mission is to promote civilized discourse over thoughtless tweeting among young people in London. I debated for my country (Scotland) and also at Oxford – my mom was a debating champion too. Coaching people on how to be excellent public speakers has been a great way to give back. Women specifically tend to have different public speaking anxieties from men. I like to give bespoke workshops on these issues to help instill confidence and poise.

I’m so thrilled to be part of the Shiffon Co. #GirlGang – I pride myself on never having broken a pinky promise. Making a pact to pay it forward perfectly embodies my attitude to female empowerment.


Who are your “Women We Admire and Aspire to be Like?” Send us photos so we can feature you and them on our insta-stories and Facebook page!


  • I loved this! I recently went to the One Young World summit and recommend it to anyone interested in it. Life changing!

  • You’re always lifting others up and you believe in people from the very beginning. I’m so lucky and proud to have you as a mentor Ella! Because you believe in me, our mission we’ve been able to bring the Duet Pinky Ring to life to support other female entrepreneurs and startups empowering women. Excited to see you at the next summit xx

    Shilpa Yarlagadda
  • Have you been to Dubai? I guess not in Saudi although the latest is women can now drive. Love what you are doing. Mum n Dad are obviously proud and Gramps would be too. He entertained wartime troops and made the youngsters laugh you would have laughed too it’s the best medicine in the world

    Clive Robertson

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