As we come to the end of 2023, it’s important to reflect on the many areas in which we have been able to make impact together to improve the lives of women and girls in Hong Kong.
Here are five highlights:
Building a Thriving Pipeline for Female STEM Talent: Impacting nearly 2,000 participants, the Girls Go Tech (GGT) Programme continues to grow from strength to strength. This year, GGT has expanded its participant pool, from Form 3-6 students to also now include Form 1 and 2 students. This enables us to engage with girls from a younger age and support them in STEM throughout their entire secondary school journey. To further our efforts to address the paucity of women pursuing STEM degrees and careers, particularly those from underserved backgrounds, we are pleased to welcome our first cohort of scholarship recipients, who will all be pursuing an array of exciting STEM degrees at the university level.
Enhancing Future Opportunities for Underprivileged Students through English Language Training: In May, we launched our English for Good Initiative to support students from underprivileged backgrounds to learn English and enhance their employability skills. A group of senior secondary school girls were paired with corporate partners and TWF volunteers who serve as both their tutors and mentors. They meet on a regular basis and have all built meaningful connections with each other.
Accelerating Board Gender Diversity: We hosted our 10th Anniversary 30% Club Boardroom Forum, bringing together accomplished Women to Watch with Board Directors and C-suite members from leading local and international companies to engage and connect on topical issues facing boards today. As part of our work to break down closed circle networks that limit female board appointments, we are expanding our Women to Watch platform, comprised of senior women board candidates, to increase the visibility of talented women and help companies identify and recruit diverse board members.
Connecting the Dots Between Programmes: We are increasingly focused on facilitating closer interactions between our pipeline programmes to amplify change. As part of these efforts, we were proud to host a cross-programme debate on whether policy is a prerequisite to creating an equitable workplace. We also surveyed our corporate partners and launched TWF’s first-ever Caregiving Policies Benchmarking Report to gain insights into Hong Kong norms on caregiving policies.
Breaking Zero Sum mindsets and Cultivating the Next Generation of Allies: A key barrier to gender equality is zero sum thinking, which is why we launched our #BreakZeroSum campaign aimed at changing this “you win, I lose” mindset and were pleased it garnered over 340,000 views on social media. Promoting inclusive thinking is a core focus of TWF’s work and integrated into the curricula of our programmes and advocacy. This is why we were particularly thrilled to launch our Young Allies Programme, which empowers university-educated young men to address harmful masculinity constructs and become proactive champions of gender equality. Participants are mentored by our Male Allies, and engage in experiential workshops, including dialogues with women and DEI-focused work-shadowing experiences.
This is just a small snapshot of the wide range of work we have been able to accomplish in 2023 which would not have been possible without the commitment, talent and generosity of our diverse community of partners, donors, and supporters. We’re deeply grateful for your support, and are confident that together we can create the gender equal society we all deserve.
Next year is TWF’s 20th anniversary, and our mission to improve the lives of women and girls is as relevant and timely now as it was at our founding. We have an exciting, impactful agenda that we look forward to sharing and collaborating with you on in 2024.
Get in touch at Fiona.Nott@twfhk.org.
PS: Connect will be going on winter break and will return on January 10, 2024. Warmest wishes from all of us at TWF for a restful and happy holiday season!
Here are two ways to continue the momentum:
- Over the holidays, keep gender equality and inclusion top of mind – share the holiday responsibilities equitably, consider buying gender neutral gifts and ensuring inclusive practices at gatherings.
- Consider supporting a group or organisation working to end gender inequality (TWF would welcome your support in fundraising for us or becoming a monthly donor).