"So how do we change the status quo? It’s like riding a bike – in order to achieve balance we have got to keep moving. That philosophy drives TWF to innovate. It drives us to keep working." – Fiona Nott, CEO, The Women’s Foundation
To those of you who joined our International Women's Day Lunch last Friday and to those of you who supported from afar, thank you!
A huge thanks goes out to our Title Sponsor BitMEX; our panellists Suhanya Raffel, Whitney Ferrare and Annysa Ng; our moderator, Desiree Au; and our amazing GGT students from Kit Sam Lam Bing Yim Secondary School. It couldn’t have been done without support from our emcee Angie Lau, and our pledge masters Angelina Kwan and Leonie Valentine. We would also like to thank our Board members, media partner Vogue Hong Kong, the Li Po Chun United World College Dragon Dance Team, supporting partners, table sponsors, prize sponsors, supporters and more than 600 guests who took the time to join our Lunch.
This year's official IWD theme – #BalanceForBetter – encourages us to think differently to drive greater gender balance. That’s why we chose to highlight women in the arts at our Lunch because the arts serve as an important incubator for new ideas and perspectives, and take the lead on progressing our norms and conventions.
It’s that intersection between innovation, creativity and active participation that we need to drive greater gender equality, achieve better balance and disrupt the status quo.
As a city, we’re not very good at balance. Hong Kong has some of the longest working hours in the world and working mothers and fathers struggle between their professional goals and the need to spend time with their children and families. The persistent culture of presenteeism and face-time means that the majority of companies lack the flexible working structures that would enable parents to thrive.
And this imbalance disproportionately affects women – in the workplace and at home.
In Hong Kong, women are vastly under-represented in leadership positions and over-represented in part-time, casual work. Young women comprise the majority of university students, but are still the minority in STEM-related degrees that are defining our current and future jobs. Women experience negative bias from employers for being working mothers, and face familial pressure to take up the majority of childcare, eldercare and household duties.
So how do we change the status quo? It’s like riding a bike – in order to achieve balance we have got to keep moving. That philosophy drives TWF to innovate. It drives us to keep working.
We look forward to continue working together so that we can collectively challenge the status quo and offer creative solutions for all of us – women and men, boys and girls – to equally thrive.
How will you #BalanceForBetter? Join the conversation.