HONG KONG – More than 80 female executives raised HK$190,000 (US$24,497) at a ‘Ladies of Media’ charity luncheon in support of Mother’s Choice last week. This was the fourth time the event has taken place, and the attendance numbers have almost doubled since the beginning.
Mother’s Choice is a grassroots non-profit organisation that provides care for children needing permanent homes and for single girls facing crisis pregnancies.
At the luncheon, Angelia Teo, Head of Content Labs at Haymarket (publisher of Campaign Asia-Pacific) hosted a panel discussion with Rachelle Berges, regional head of media and communications from Johnson & Johnson; Emma Loisel, global COO from The Exchange Lab; and Melanie Lo, chief executive officer of GroupM Hong Kong.
The discussion revolved around how women have to empower themselves and take things in their own hands instead of putting the onus on corporations to “help” them. “When I had my daughter I realised I had another job,” shared Loisel. “My husband decided to be the primary caregiver of our daughter. When you look at a lot of senior women’s marriages, most of them have a husband who does not have a lead career. Most marriages with both people in lead careers end up breaking up.”
Among all these hard choices, women can take control by not just being a passenger in life, stressed Berges. Also, it’s very much about setting a company culture so women don’t have to do the “walk of shame” when, for example, leaving a meeting early due to a family commitment.
“We have to think about how we run our companies,” Loisel added. “Otherwise we are putting our fellow women into risk of missing their fertility windows and living their lives.”