Next Wednesday (April 17th) is our next event, and one that I requested. That’s right my friends in media, a social media 101.

Why? Well since I started at WMN as the community manager, I found that while we have a lot of points to cover in our events, we have much less chatter online. But aren’t we all working in media? Don’t we know how to use these modern modes of communication? Aren’t we all tech savvy?

I’m hoping, in part, to find out the answer to that during the session. While it’s easy to think that those in the media industry might be on top of such modern phenomena, there’s no reason to assume so. In fact, often those higher up in their departments are often behind on these things, because they simply don’t have time to find out how, or, forget their password from the one hour during which, with gusto, they had decided to learn something new.

Jay Oatway will lead us in our session, in which I have asked him to literally teach us how to post and how to tweet. That shouldn’t take long, so we hope for an interactive session with some useful dos and donts as well as general brand advice for those also representing a brand online, as well as themselves.

I did notice that during our last session we saw a few more tweeters online. Perhaps it was because we were at Bloomberg – and afforded the luxury of two screens showing our event hashtag and the flow of Twitter conversations going on. I definitely picked up a few followers from the event then as well. So I hope that after this, we’ll have even more of our WMN members online, chatting and tweeting away with us.

Please join us for our debate and share your ideas and thoughts with us before hand, on our social media platforms (#wmnsocial101)

@wmnasiapacific

www.facebook.com/WMNAPAC

LinkedIn group

 

To sign up for the event, click here.

 

 


 

JayOatway, JayOatway.com

Jay has more than 100,000 social media followers worldwide and has been dubbed “Hong Kong’s answer to Twitter royalty” by Marketing magazine. He is also a co-founder of the popular MeetUp group #HKSocial andSocial Media Week Hong Kong.

Bring: your social tool of choice and your questions.

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PRESS RELEASE from TEDx Happy Valley (interview opportunities)

 

Dr Elaine Dundon – Shares with Hong Kong how to turn rejection into a positive event.

 

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.”

 

So wrote Viktor Frankl, late Holocaust survivor, author of bestselling book, Man’s Search for Meaning, and the inspiration for Radical Resilience Week which will take place in Hong Kong, April 7-13, 2013.

 

Kicking off on Sunday, April 7 in conjunction with World Health Day, Radical Resilience Week is a series of community events designed to inspire, inform and motivate all who participate.

 

The organisers of TedxHappyValley are incredibly excited to announce that Dr Elaine Dundon will be a contributing speaker, and will be talking about facing rejection positively and with resilience. She’ll be sharing her wisdom and expertise on Innovation Management and finding meaning in life and work, throughout the week at the RRWHK events.

 

 

 

Elaine spent 13 years in the corporate world before founding The Innovation Group, a Global consulting firm based in the US which has advised hundreds of leaders and organisations on innovation strategy over the last 16 years.

 

Her bestselling book, ‘Seeds of Innovation’, sets out the nine step process by which companies can truly embrace innovation and explains that to find meaning and success, innovation needs to cover all aspects of a business. Critically, organisations need to learn how to be resilient, how to bounce back from external and internal set backs, to be prepared and ready to withstand the challenges that come their way. This is even more vital as company structures become ever more complex, supply chains more global and the economic situation more  challenging. When you consider that all this is set against the backdrop of a world where natural disasters, war, and political unrest are prevalent, it becomes clear what a vital tool resilience is in the modern world.

 

 

The skills companies need to embrace are as valid for individuals when facing the

challenges that are thrown at them. The hot topic in schools and at government level in many countries, is how to better incorporate basic skills of resilience into education, in order to better prepare children to face their challenges positively and to ensure we are developing robust and successful leaders of the future.

 

Understanding how pivotal personal resilience is, Elaine has focused on the “Human Side of Innovation” and specifically meaning, which she believes is the key focus for determining success in both life and work. When one has meaning, they have purpose and are more equipped to face life’s challenges head on and with resilience. Wishing to share these beliefs with others, Elaine co-founded The Opa! Way in 2010. She and her co founder, Dr Alex Pattakos have written a forthcoming book entitled The Opa! Way and are leading the Meaning Movement.

 

Elaine’s talk ‘It’s time to reject rejection’ will focus on how rejection challenges the powers of resilience and how in reframing events, and looking at them more positively, you better equip yourself for life.

 

INTERVIEWS FOR THE PRESS

Dr Dundon will be available for interviews on Monday 8th April at Ovolo and will be talking at the below times:

 

Tuesday 9th April 8-10am HKFC about her work at the Radical Resilience Active

 

Communications Speaker Showcase

Wednesday 10th April 7.30-9.30pm about Anthrocapitalism at Biscous as part of Green Drinks

 

For more information, to organise an interview or to attend any of the above events, please

contact bess@bonzapie.com
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I came across Women Media Networks when doing research for my own site, The Modern Bitch, in August 2012. At that point I thought it would be a dream to be part of WMN and eight months later I was given the opportunity to attend an event in celebration of International Women’s Day.
One thing that inspired me to create a site for young women in Hong Kong was a TED Talk by Tavi Gevinson, a teen blogger who discussed feminism and how she was still figuring things out. Feminism has always been something close to my heart and since I was a child, I’ve always looked up to women and had female role models whether it be lead singers in bands or successful women in the corporate world.
In the UK, where I grew up, teen pregnancy is high and many of my friends weren’t aiming high or thinking about their future. When I entered my early teens I started to become very ambitious and knew that a career was something I wanted and family would come later. By the time I graduated and an opportunity came along in the form of Hong Kong, I knew it was a calling and I had to push past my worries and fears. Two years on I have a stable job that I enjoy and continue to think about my future in terms of career first and family later.
The discussion started straight at the root, as the panel asked each other if women could really have it all? I personally believe that women can, but not everything will be in balance all the time. It also depends on the definition of  ’having it all’ as this differs for everyone. Most of the room agreed.
My version of having it all from a basic definition would be having a successful career while having a family at the same time. One thing I took away is that the definition is difficult to simplify because all kinds of complexities come into family and career such as, whether you have your own business – and how big it is – how big your family is, whether you’re a single parent… the list goes on.
Bobbi Campbell touched on the point that you have to be really good at what you do in order to have the right to tell people you’re leaving at 5.30pm and will be unavailable for certain hours. I completely agree. It involves years of hard work and staying late to work your way up to the top, which in turn makes you really good at what you do. This isn’t always easy for women who aren’t necessarily at the top and after doing a little research on Marissa Mayer and Yahoo!, it’s clear that having understandable employers who support your choice of working and raising a family is something that is vital in having balance.
Doubt is one of the biggest problems that I face while trying to succeed in work and managing my side projects. It was a relief when Mia Saini mentioned this and an even bigger relief when other women agreed. Confidence is something that I have struggled with from time to time and I had a lot of doubts when creating my website, especially over the name. I overcame this by using my instincts and asking myself, what’s the worst that can happen?
It was great to hear advice from Bobbi regarding checking a company’s culture before working there and she stressed the importance of being comfortable asking co-workers for help. It was reassuring to learn that some women have key influencers to aspire to, which helps them overcome the fear of asking.
Letting go of some control over your work and allowing others to step in was also a big talking point and Chris Bowers mentioned having to allow her staff to handle things for her after having twins. I thought about this and considered it a challenge in the future for me personally as I like to be in control of every little detail and think that other ambitious women might feel the same way. Bowers also mentioned that she met with personal development coaches to better herself in order to better her business. That is definitely something to take on board. Other people help you grow.
Towards the end of the discussion, Shea Stanley and others panel members talked about the future and what can be done now, to help change the stereotypical view of mothers. It’s important to educate children on equality and leading by example by sharing chores between the parents, so the mother isn’t doing it all and they don’t see just mum doing it all. There is also some advice for younger women in that they shouldn’t worry about the future or planning family. Just focus on pursuing something you love and figure out how family will fit in later on. Not only that, but do not doubt yourself. Just own it!
One of the main things that I can relate to and take away from the discussion is that women are still trying to figure it out. None of the women in the room that day had all the answers or a 101 on how to have a career and family at the same time. What I felt inspired by is that strong and successful women have come together to discuss this. I may have a long way to go in building a career for myself, but I learnt a lot during that discussion and I think it’s very important to expose younger women to these discussions to ensure the lives and roles of women continue to progress healthily.

Read more from Beth’s blog, The Modern Bitch.
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All too often we hear the words “you can have it all”, particularly when we see high-powered women, such as Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo) claiming success in juggling both work and family (while building her own nursery at the office). Can we really have it all, or are we really kidding ourselves?
Before the event, WMN Founder and panelist Bobbi Campbell said, “I think we’ve come a long way towards equal rights, but there’s a very long way to go with regards to providing the infrastructure to support women who want successful careers and quality time with family.”
Our panelists included:
  • Bobbi Campbell, Founder of WMN, COO of The Red Flag Group and mother of two
  • Chris Bowers, event organizer, Founder of The Underground, rock goddess and mother of twins
  • Shea Stanley, co-founder & Chief Executive Insider of LittleStepsAsia.com and mother of two.
Moderating them was Bloomberg News Presenter Mia Saini, currently pregnant with her first child.
The event hastag was #wmndecon
“What does having it all mean?” asks Siani at the beginning of the event.
“What are your priorities?” questions Shea. If you have your priorities perhaps you can have it all – just not at the same time, she says. But yes, family, children etc do make it harder to take care of all the things that matter to you. Campbell admits that after getting married, her Blackberry become an annoying distraction. And now, she has two kids. When she founded WMN, she didn’t have such responsibilities.
When entrepreneur Bowers had children, she learned that she had to let people help her and let go of some of the control.
Campbell hated relenting control. Being 34 weeks pregnant and told she couldn’t fly was something that annoyed her. At the airport, fighting for her right to fly, she was shown a piece of paper showing that the airport authorities considered her to be ‘disabled’.
Stanley started her own business before she had children, because she thought it would be a better way for her to manage ‘having it all’. But as she points out, there are times, running your business, that you need to work til 4am and suddenly it seems better to pay someone else to outsource for you.
It’s true that you work harder and longer hours when you run your own business – I do, and I’m happier. But I don’t have children (or a dog, yet). On top, you do things that you wouldn’t have to do if you worked for the man. And when you take time off, you do end up having to make up for it later or lose jobs, clients and income.
But most people do work for the man, as Siani points out. So what can corporations do to help women with children? Or what do they do that doesn’t help?
The women all throw out experiences here. They always give you a look if you walk in late because the kids are sick. Recruiters don’t think you are presentable when you walk into an interview pregnant. So there are clear challenges here, despite supposed ‘understanding’ from the man.
Sometimes people think that going part time or working from home will be a good compromise and be better, but is it? Campbell admits to questioning whether she could do it all. And as Stanley points out, some jobs don’t allow for work-life balance. Bowers says that she had to question the same thing of herself. With her own business she recently discovered that she had to find her own advice about how to manage her course at work. Loving what she does, she is happy to be daring.
What is the culture you have as a corporate company? Campbell is responsible for building that culture at her own company. She believes that Google got it right for a long time. “Breed a culture of connections, and people will voice their thoughts. Managers should help staff; individuals succeed and you get productivity,” she advises.
Do you have to take on male roles in order to get things done? One audience member says that it’s important to think about these things when you pick a partner. Her husband is the one who takes their kids to the doctor. There’s a lot of letting go too, let dad do it his way and don’t nag.
If you work in a highly male-dominated industry, it is really difficult to slip back into work after having children. Siani admits that she left the banking industry because there were no women higher up the chain whose lives and work she wanted to replicate. Ex CFO of Lehman Bothers, Erin Callan, admitted in her book that she probably couldn’t have done that job, if she’d had kids.
Siani reminds us not to compare ourselves to others, because having it all has no set parameters. Apply your own meaning to it. Think ahead and consider where you’re heading because most corporations don’t care about your family. And if it’s a start-up, then you might also find that you can’t put family first.
Having it all is something you have to own. What does that mean to you? If you require a strong personal network of support, create it. If you need a great husband who can help with kids, look for that in a partner.
Campbell’s husband travels a lot. Her company understand that from 5.30-7.30 she is unavailable because she has to spend time with the kids. After that, she’s back online doing work. Her boss seems to be ok with that, but being good at what you do makes it easier for the boss to allow you to be human.
Of course, there are lots of single mothers out there too. So how can they be helped? Things like having a friend offer a play date or coming over to visit and talk with you can help.
With so many discussion points, ideas and thoughts, there just isn’t enough time at breakfast to cover this fascinating topic. But what was great, was that there were  a handful of men in the room. And that the conversation did turn to discuss partners and sharing responsibilities. After all, Having it All shouldn’t mean Having it All, All by Yourself, All on Your Own – should it?
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Among the WMN camp, we’ve been reading up in advance of our next event on Tuesday March  26th, Deconstructing the “Having It All” Myth.

So we thought we’d share this interesting story from a Hong Kong blogger, about the women who tried to make a change and disrupt the way things worked on the Newsroom Team, back in the 1970s.

This is a story that could almost have been buried, since the first settlement was out of court. Now, there’s even a book available, telling the story.

We’re feeling optimistic here, while we think things can still improve, let’s look at how far we’ve come!

Before Women Could “Lean In” The “Good Girls” Had to Revolt: Newsweek Researchers Rebelled 43 Years Ago This Week

 

 

On March 16, 1970 Newsweek ran a cover story “Women in Revolt” about the nascent women’s movement. That same day 46  female Newsweek researchers  and their lawyer Eleanor Holmes Norton held a press conference announcing that they were filing an EEOC lawsuit against Newsweek.  This was the first female class action lawsuit. It charged Newsweek with discrimination in hiring and promotions. Newsweek had effectively constructed a female ghetto: the Research Department, full of female graduates of prestigious schools who could clip, fact check and research, but never analyse and report, and never ever rise to editor. Newsweek had developed a segregated system of journalism that divided research, reporting, writing, and editing roles solely on the basis of gender.

 

Read the rest here.

Original blog Copyright Jean P. O’Grady, J.D., M.L.S

 

#wmndecon

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Community Business has recently shared a research paper carried out by Standard and Chartered in Hong Kong, about the number of women serving on boards in Hong Kong.

Funnily, I feel as though I have seen a number of strong women in Hong Kong – and I mean in politics. I always thought that Anson Chan was a solid politician and now we see people like Emily Lau and  Carrie Lau holding some awkward positions.

Aren’t Chinese women strong and determined? The aunties in my family are definitely not to be messed with and I always felt that some of the big local families are somewhat led by the matriarch – even (the rise and dip of) Sun Hung Kai includes the mother.

But apparently, Hong Kong scores shockingly low compared with other countries, when it comes to the number of women on boards.

In case you missed it, Community Business’s newsletter about the report went like this:

Yesterday we released our latest research, Standard Chartered Bank Women on Boards: Hang Seng Index 2013.

Whilst the needle is moving in the right direction, progress to increase the number of women on boards in Hong Kong remains very slow. In the last 12 months, the number of women has increased by just three and the number of female directorships by four, resulting in a total of 9.4% of all board directorships being held by women.
 


Our figures are consistent with statistics recently made available by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Ltd (HKEx), which looked at female representation on the boards of all 1,551 companies listed in Hong Kong. The overall figure as at January 31, 2013 is 10.7% compared with 10.3% as at May 31, 2012. 40% of boards listed in Hong Kong are all male.
 


We congratulate the companies with the highest percentage of women on their boards.  They are leading the way and we hope that more companies will follow.

Read the full report, here.

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Media, Marketing & Dream Heels – an evening with Shoes of Prey founder Jodie Fox
28 February, The Playden at the Arts House
Jodie Fox, award-winning entrepreneur and founder of Sydney-based Shoes of Prey, spoke about media, marketing, dream heels and making her custom-made shoe design business pop globally online and off. Jodie, in Singapore as a guest of Women Media Networks Singapore, also shared her opinion on the assets, attributes and mindset that enabled her to change her career in advertising and law to life as an entrepreneur and the lessons that served her along the way.
Jodie Fox, former lawyer turned advertising executive turned entrepreneur, has seen her company Shoes of Prey, through enormous success since its creation in 2009.
Boasting clients such as Oprah, Rihanna and the Duchess of Cambridge, the clever ‘design your perfect shoe’ vendor broke-even two months into launching.
The online retail platform claims a whopping 50,000,000 minutes spent by customers designing shoes on their site – that’s almost a 100 years of women around the world shifting through fabrics and styles to create their custom designs.
Jodie confessed that Shoes of Prey’s ‘one product at a time’ concept was initially shot down by suppliers as a viable business idea. She was told it would never happen – that they would be broke in three months.
“Sometimes when you’re an expert in something it can blind you to good ideas and opportunities. [...] Don’t let your expertise get in the way of a good idea, because if I did, this may not have happened”
Reflecting on the publicity and press received, Jodie simply said that at the heart of it, they believe that every woman should have that perfect shoe – she alluded to Seth Goden’s Purple Cow premise, “if you pass a paddock and saw a black, brown or white cow, you’d drive right past it. But if you saw a purple cow, you’d stop the car, take a photo of it, tweet it, share it. And that’s what your business should be like – delivering something unique.”
Shoes of Prey is just as much about the experience as it is about the product; it’s about making every concerted effort to take retail into something experiential.
Recently opening a physical store, complete with luxurious furnishings made from the same fabrics used to craft the shoes, a sound track, fragrant mists, shoe bouquets and plump cushions to perch on as the customer’s inner designer gets creative with the store iPad, the whole setting is irrefutably a purple cow experience.
“We didn’t draw a map, we had a passion,” she said, referring to the how she and her co-founders came up with the business. Jodie claimed passion as “highly defensible” and a way to have the competitive edge because it gives way to insights that cannot be learned or planned.
The chemistry of the co-founders was obvious; Jodie and two gents, also former lawyers and Google alumni, teamed with one covering operations and the other technical infrastructure.
Jodie seems entirely fueled by passion; transparently energetic, the articulate fashionista talked about developing a company culture where people do what they love. Shoes of Prey, she said, actively recruit people who feed into the creative and “good vibes” atmosphere.
Most impressive was their use of social media to propel themselves in the global limelight. They sent a sample of shoes to a 16-year-old YouTube star with a following of half million viewers, which led to her releasing a ‘design your own shoe’ competition on behalf of Shoes of Prey on behalf of Shoes of Prey. The video went viral, creating a massive 200,000 website hits in a single day and 90,000 comments. The video places in the top three most commented videos in the lifestyle and how-to section in YouTube history,
The downside, Jodie admitted, was that despite the popularity, the audience was mainly teenage girls without the income to purchase. But in a second wave of luck the Wall Street Journal published a story covering their social media success. The story gave them immediate exposure to their target audience – mature women with the ability to buy their products. Shoes of Prey gleaned an award for their social media efforts we well as tripled their business.
Social media works, Jodie enthused. The main things to remember is that the power has completely shifted – it’s now all about providing value and soliciting participation from audiences – now customers want to interact with brands, so brands need to be seen as real people. It’s not about logos or standard responses anymore.
Jodie closed with her three top tips: make a decision and see what happens; do everything before you’re ready; believe passionately in what you’re doing.  Work should be life enhancing was the overarching message of the evening; think about passions, and just go for it.
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The Modern Bitch is a small but noteable blog run by a young English woman based in Hong Kong. Her posts vary quite widely, with women in mind. I tweeted this link out, but I think it’s good to have some insight here for our younger audiences as well.

 

TMB says:

 

This can be one of the most stressful and confusing decisions to make because everyone’s different. If you’re one of those people who have always known that a career in medicine or law was the path you wanted to take (and you have a passion for it), then great, you’re sorted!

For those of you who have never thought about what you want to do or where you want to be until it’s come to choosing classes in school, or having the careers talk, or have even ended up in an industry that you don’t enjoy working in, then don’t worry, TMB might be able to help in a small way! This can also apply to those of you who may want to study an evening course while working full-time, or even choose a different career path completely (it’s not against the law to do that).

Read the rest here.

 

Please discuss your thoughts with us:

@wmnasiapacific

www.facebook.com/WMNAPAC

LinkedIn group

 

@modernbitchblog

 

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We don’t usually promote other people’s events on WMN, because we take care and precision over how we curate our calendar for the year. But there’s one debate which is really worth the attention and AmCham HK are running a breakfast event before our next, which should nicely inform and ripen our ideas before the day.

In our Careers Blog (members only access) I recently posted some background and interview with Anne Marie Slaughter, who says that we can’t have it all and that women are not supported to have a career and children, while continuing to support and raise their children throughout their childhoods.

The AmCham event is titled Male Female Differences at Work:

 

The ‘fit’ between gender and the different stages in an organisation’s ‘lifecycle’ will be used to illustrate that it’s very unlikely that the same individual will be successful leading an organisation throughout its entire ‘life’.

 

 

The implications of this research for corporate careers and corporate success will be presented, as well as some development implications.

 

 

 

 

 

On March 26th, we will host our next eventDeconstructing the myth – having it all.

 

In celebration of International Women’s Day, WMN HK are having a very special event. To those of you who went to last year’s exciting CASBAA event it will be a similar format and in the same fabulous Bloomberg auditorium.The panel discussion will feature WMN’s founder (and mother of two and the COO of The Red Flag Group) Bobbi Campbell, as well as guest speakers. It will be moderated by Mia Saini, a reporter for Bloomberg.

 

All too often we hear the words  ”you can have it all”, particularly when we see high-powered women, such as Marissa Mayer (CEO of Yahoo) claiming success in juggling both work and family. Is it true – can we really have it all, or are we really kidding ourselves? This controversial issue will be the focus of the panel’s discussions.

 

Please join us for our debate and share your ideas and thoughts with us before hand, on our social media platforms (#wmndecon)

 

@wmnasiapacific

www.facebook.com/WMNAPAC

LinkedIn group

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A topic which is always close to our hearts at WMN is ‘Can women have it all?’.

It’s a topic that has been high in debate of late, from looking at how Marissa Mayer’s career and move to Yahoo! and then announcing she was pregnant, to our events surrounding disruption and of course, the discourse created by Anne Marie Slaughter in the US. (Check that link, there are reams of articles that are relevant to you).

Our Hong Kong Chapter President, Christina Pantin is someone who’s very intrigued and dedicated to this debate, she regularly shares articles that she’s read about the debate and looking at how we can use this to advise and inspire our WMN members.

AmCham HK is hosting an event in March, around this issue. To warm us up, here’s an extract of an interview with Anne Marie Slaughter, with some background to the discussion.

Anne-Marie Slaughter on women, work and Washington

by Shelley DuBois, writer-reporter November 7, 2012

 

The Princeton professor and former State Department official discusses her take on leadership and work-life balance.

 

FORTUNE — In what felt like a knockdown, drag out election season, we heard plenty about the problems in Washington and improving the lives of American women. As a foreign policy professor and a woman who has worked in Washington, Anne-Marie Slaughter knows these issues all too well.

 

Slaughter currently teaches at Princeton, but last year, she ended a two-year term as the director of policy planning for the U.S. State Department. She was previously dean of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

 

Slaughter also, suddenly, reignited the perennial debate among working women this past summer after she wrote an article in The Atlantic called “Why Women Still Can’t Have it All.” She spoke with Fortune about leadership in Washington and why women should not blame themselves if they are struggling to balance work and family.

 

An edited transcript is below.

 

Fortune: You’ve been a dean and you’ve worked in the State Department. How do you lead differently in academia versus in the government?

 

Anne-Marie Slaughter: Well, my one-liner is that in academia, you’re rewarded for coming up with a really big idea that has only your name on it, but in Washington, you’re rewarded for cutting big ideas into little ideas and getting other people to think they thought of them. It’s an old adage in Washington that you can get anything done if you don’t want to take credit for it, and it is true.

 

But the real difference is Washington is the politics. I don’t know if the politics are fiercer but they’re different. I had to watch my back a lot more.

 

People were out to get you?

 

They certainly are very happy to cut you out. It’s just the way the town tends to work. It’s not a place that rewards team collaboration very often.

 

But I had to send very different signals, and I did. I would actually tell my people, “look, success is not having defended our turf, success is having gotten our ideas adopted.”

 

Were you rewarded for achieving your definition of success?

 

There are a number of projects that I am just enormously proud of having been part of, but my fingerprints are often not on them. It’s just the way it has to be. You know and your team knows, and inside, the Secretary will give you credit if she can, but by and large, it’s about a larger goal.

 

So how do you convince yourself to do major projects when your name isn’t on the work?

 

That is where I think being an academic really helped. I knew at some point I was coming back here. I have an outside life and an outside identity that many people inside don’t have.

 

I also made a choice early on that I wanted to be able to look back and have achieved one big thing. So I volunteered for this Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review which was a real bear because it had never been done before it involves putting state and aid agencies together and it was a huge process headache and a lot of people didn’t want to get anywhere near it.

 

Did that work? Does it hold up?

 

Yeah, it does. In fact, I often get students who say they want to get a job with some initiative or office that the QDDR was part of and I feel just enormously proud. I feel like, “yeah we did that, and it’s going to have a real impact.”

 

How should people think about leadership if they truly want to work across agencies and cultures, like you did for that project?

 

I would say it’s the difference between being at the top of the ladder or the center of the web. Power is whom you bring together and how you bring them together and what you enable. You are still exercising power, but it is a much more empowering kind of power.

 

And how, if at all, has your role as a female leader change after you wrote the article in the Atlantic?

 

Ah. Well, it certainly added an agenda to a life that was pretty full. Hanna Rosin has said I’m the woman who left the State Department to spend more time with my children and then I wrote an article about it, so it means I’ll never see my children again. I did not, of course, expect it to take over my life.

 

But I felt a sense of responsibility that is just part of being a teacher, a mentor, a mother — just somebody who looks after other people. And people tell me every single day how much they’ve talked about it, what a difference it made.

 

When I read it, I just thought, “thank God I’m not crazy.”

 

That’s one of the things that makes it worth it for me — so many women were out there thinking it was their fault. Many have had to make compromises they didn’t expect to make and they feel like failures and they’re not failures, it’s the system.

 

We have not enabled people to have children and be with those children and still stay on the career track in ways that allow them to rise over the course of a lifetime.

 

Somewhere along the line, we got to a place where saying, “I’m choosing not to accept the promotion because I want to spend more time with my children” is regarded as some kind of weakness or unprofessionalism, and that’s very bad for society as a whole.

 

When I sort of ripped it open, everybody was like, “Whoa, I’m not alone.”

 

 


 

AmCham HK is hosting Male-Female Differences at Work on March 12th at 8am which we think will be an interesting debate in the lead up to our next event on March 26th, Deconstructing the having it all myth (#wmndeconstructing)

The ‘fit’ between gender and the different stages in an organisation’s ‘lifecycle’ will be used to illustrate that it’s very unlikely that the same individual will be successful leading an organisation throughout its entire ‘life’.

The implications of this research for corporate careers and corporate success will be presented, as well as some development implications.
All attendees will be encouraged to complete a questionnaire beforehand to compare results with Selby & Mills research findings at the event.
Dr. Colin Selby is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist with a PhD in Business Management. He has extensive consulting experience in Europe, America, Africa and Asia. He has taught at Manchester University, London Business School and the Open University. He has been an executive member of the Division of Occupational Psychology of the British Psychological Society with special responsibility for public & international relations for the profession. Dr. Selby is responsible for Client service and relations, product development and consulting. In 2010 he was shortlisted for Occupational Psychologist of the year in the UK.

 

 

As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic. Please contact us if you’d like to write a blog, or join the conversations on social media:

@wmnasiapacific

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