Ms Ashkenazi is passionate believer in the importance of equality of opportunity and recently founded the ERKIN Charitable Foundation in her home country of Kazakhstan by contributing seed capital of $1 million. The purpose of the foundation is to provide financial, medical and other support to help children in need from Kazakhstan, to enable the less privileged to realise their potential and change their lives.

'I am very grateful for the opportunities that have been available to me as a result of my Western education and Central Asian upbringing. My family and I were privileged enough to receive good educations and the opportunity to pursue our ambitions and I would like to give other children from Kazakhstan a similar opportunity to develop and grow.'

Gaukhar Ashkenazi

In addition, Ms Ashkenazi is a perennial supporter of the arts world and is currently a Member of the Council of the Serpentine Gallery and founding patron of the Isabella Blow Gallery.