|Message from WiFA Management - Bonnie Ohri|
As news articles flourish on gender diversity and anti-discrimination, a recent CFA Institute study stands out in its research covering over 3,000 investment professionals in Asia Pacific. Interestingly, although a majority of investment professionals in Hong Kong believe that gender diversity teams lead to improved company performance, almost 50% are reluctant to bring up gender inequality in the workplace. The good news is that Hong Kong respondents feel that in the next decade, the movement towards gender diversity is positive and achievable. And they generally feel that gender balance is necessary for a positive, productive work environment.
To reduce gender bias against women in finance, the study suggested several strategies, including promoting equal pay for equivalent positions, establishing a safe environment to report discriminatory behaviour, employee trainings on gender diversity issues, and hiring policies that focus on diversity. Female representation on organizations’ board of directors was also considered an important step leading to improved gender balance.
There are continued discussions across the WiFA committees, sponsors, supporting organizations, and charity partners to show how we can improve gender balance within the financial industry across Asia. As WiFA members we all play a part in supporting a culture that promotes diversity and inclusion to create a more dynamic, integrated society, both in and out of the workplace. We continue to create opportunities to have thoughtful dialogues about gender diversity and anti-discrimination. Please mark your calendars for an upcoming event on September 25 (Black in Hong Kong: A discussion about race, dsicrimination, and solidarity ) which will provide an insightful dialogue with several dynamic speakers. Events such as this will motivate us to share our stories, provide constructive lessons, and strengthen our resolve to foster diversity and inclusion towards Creating the Workforce for the Future.
Join us for a new Fitness Challenge in September: Fun Run, Outdoor Yoga and Social Drinks!
October 8 (Thu) 7pm onwards at Tamar Park followed by Drinks at Cafe 8
3 options to participate:
- Outdoor Yoga
- 3.5km Run (Tamar Park <-> Convention Centre)
- 6km Run (Tamar Park <-> Shek Tong Tsui)
Join us to de-stress and relax in this after work run or yoga class near the Central Harbourfront. Led by the WiFA team and volunteers from Women in Sports Empowered Hong Kong (WISE HK)
, you can choose to run in pods for either 3.5km or 6km, or simply a full session of stretch yoga. Coaches for this event include Emma Newman, Johanna Chan, Cindy Reid
, Cardeux Nel
, Anik Tremblay
, and Tanya Bennett.
After running or yoga, we can relax and re-energize at Cafe 8 where drinks and light bites will be available at a nominal cost.
For more information, please refer to this link
Mirjana, founder of the global styling platform, has a passion for both fashion and travel. While traveling, she discovered an innovative market opportunity for luxury travellers who are fashion lovers and enjoy shopping. Mirjana started her business for other travellers like herself to have a more personalized and targeted way to shop while they are abroad. She will share with WiFA a variety of tips to become a successful entrepreneur as well as her views on future travel trends post-COVID-19.
Date: 22 Sep (Tue)
Time: 13:00 -14:00
Format: Zoom Webinar
Please register here on or before 21 Sep (Mon).
A custom link will be sent through email once successfully registered.
In recognition of the global Black Lives Matter movement and Hong Kong's own challenge with racial discrimination, WiFA is hosting a panel featuring distinguished Black female professionals to unpack what being Black in Asia and elsewhere in the world means. The session will also encourage participants to become more aware of their own biases and will provide resources on anti-racism.
The panelists include:
Harmony 'Anne-Marie' Ilunga -
Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Harmony established her own culture and fashion collective to support her community and to amplify people of color in the HK fashion world. She is the Founder and CEO of refugee-curated social enterprise: http://harmonyhk.co/.
Liana Johnson - Originally from New York, Liana isDirector at Mizuho Securities with over a decade of experience in the financial services industry spanning London, Singapore, New York, and Hong Kong. She is also the founder of a Sweet Potato chips company called Yes I Yam.
Jayne Jeje - An American entrepreneur (owner of former SoHo establishment Orange Peel) and activist, Jayne champions causes such as: Black Lives Matter (BLM), Special Education Needs (SEN), LGBTQ, Foreign Domestic Worker (FDW), and refugee/asylum seeker support programs.
Marie-Louisa Awolaja -
Originally from Nigeria and the U.K., Louisa is a project manager at Linklaters. She is also the co-host of HomeGrown, a podcast created to inform, inspire and entertain through personal stories of black expats: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1137473
Archana joined Thought Leadership Committee member Oonagh van den Berg to tell us about her inspiring journey towards her current role as Head of Legal at Liberty Asia. However, while the power of her work will surely resonate with anyone looking for a rewarding pursuit career-wise, Archana related how her experiences to date have shaped her practice of authenticity. Ultimately, she notes that happiness is internal, success is external and while it’s important to find space for both, you do not need to equate the two.
Over the years as Archana
settled into this role and her personal life expanded with children and a move to Hong Kong, she found herself affronted with a personal struggle that many women resonate with. As a successful career woman, she realized she wasn’t carving out space for herself. She embarked on a journey of change to incorporate more self-care and self-awareness into her routine. This included the practice of being truly present in the moment, with her children and in allowing quiet moments of reflection away from pressures of daily life. She shared that discipline is an important virtue to cultivate and that to change, one must practice these behaviours daily.
In the words of Archana “Being brave comes with fear and you cannot show courage without being comfortable with your vulnerabilities. We are human, we are imperfect. Let’s accept this and learn that we are each enough. Be seen and be heard, whoever you are and wherever you are”
Thank you Archana for reminding us the importance of facing our fears and moving forward, and the power of being vulnerable and finding that human connection.
A recent study from Hong Kong University found that almost three-quarters of Hong Kong adults have experienced moderate-to-high degrees of depression while 40% showed PTSD symptoms during the prolonged civil unrest, followed by the pandemic. In view of the situation, WiFA hosted 2 sessions on 21st and 28th August respectively, discussing how to build mental resilience while facing enormous stress at work and home.
Moderated by co-founder of HeartChatVincent Li
, the event engaged the audience to join the conversation with metal health experts Raindy Yu
from Holistic Wellness Hong Kong
, and Odile Thiang
from Mind Hong Kong
. Several practical tips, including creating a healthy routine while you are working from home, were provided, and having quality Me Time was also deemed a priority. Raindy and Odile also led a mindfulness practice and meditation to help us focus and redirect our thoughts. Building mental resilience is a life-long process, but you are never alone on this journey. Let’s keep it up so we come out of the pandemic stronger and more resilient. If you are looking for guidance or support, please reach out to the experts. WiFA thanks the Emerging Talent Committee for providing us with these inspiring sessions and to Bonnie Ohri and Boni Liu for facilitating.
Are you keeping fit and healthy during these challenging times? Are you finding daily activities stressful? The extended COVID-19 social distancing restrictions, uncertainty of events, and working from home (WFH) can take its toll on your physical and mental health.
Our speakers -- health fitness and nutrition experts Beth Wright
, Trish Yap
, Mairi Mclnnes
, and Emma Newman
(moderator) gave us some excellent answers to our questions to help us keep fit, de-stress, and relax mentally and physically. The dialogue regarding fitness and nutrition was insightful and provided us with helpful tips to manage our stressful days. The simple WFH home stretches / basic nutrition advice/ meditation exercises gave us the needed boost to re-energize ourselves to face the challenges ahead, both at home and at work.
Thanks to the Thought Leadership Committee for hosting this fabulous event, especially during this time of social distancing restrictions!
Our 2019 WiFA supported charity, Resolve
, provides fellowships to future community leaders who are working towards a more inclusive Hong Kong. We were excited to hear that two of Resolve’s fellows, Hemyar (a 2018 fellow) and Rodelia (a 2020 fellow) have been nominated for Spirit of Hong Kong Awards
, an annual campaign organised by Sino Group and SCMP to celebrate the remarkable achievements of ordinary people. Public voting has recently opened and will close on 30 September, so take a look
if you’re interested in finding out more and voting.