Shared values and social change

“A clear purpose will unite you as you move forward, values will guide your behaviour, and goals will focus your energy.” – Kenneth Blanchard, author

This past Saturday, throngs of citizens from 200 cities around the globe united in women-led demonstrations to mark the fourth annual Women’s March, focusing on three themes: climate change, reproductive rights, and immigration.

The Women’s March began in 2017 in the United States in reaction to certain remarks and policies of President, Donald Trump and his administration. It was strengthened by 600 sister marches around the world, collectively recognising and believing in their agency to change systemic gender inequality.

The form and content may have evolved over the past four years, but those foundational elements that unite the movement – “dismantling systems of oppression and building inclusive structures guided by self-determination, dignity and respect” –remain unchanged.

Last week, TWF held an offsite to reaffirm and recommit to our values while setting our 2020 agenda. And while the discussion started out around working principles, strategy and tasks, we found these were inseparable from people and our values. 

Our team, like the individuals taking to the street to make their voices heard in women’s marches across the globe, is driven by a common purpose. Similarly, we strive to continue to bring together people from different sectors and communities in Hong Kong to stand together to support gender equality.

Values are important because they cement teams, communities and movements. When everyone buys into a set of shared values, we see social change and progress. 

We found that our values relate to having meaningful purpose and connections. As a team, we resolved to make the time and effort to prioritise our values and ensure that our work continues to be aligned with them. The TWF team returned to the office reinvigorated, inspired and excited to be working towards our common purpose in the year ahead. 

In this period of transition between the start of 2020 and the Lunar New Year, it’s helpful to pause and focus on personal and organisational values while re-fitting them for purpose with a forward looking set of goals.

What are your values and how will they shape your actions for gender equality in 2020?

Get in touch


Written by

The Women's Foundation