“Challenges vs Chances”
to Celebrate International Women’s Day
As a university that strives to groom students’ individuality and holistic development through gender parity and diversity, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) launched a series of events under the theme #itsME in celebration of the International Women’s Day, leveraging the opportunity to reinforce the message that gender should not be a hindrance factor for one’s development.
A highlight of the events held today was the Women in Innovation Forum. Entitled “Challenges vs Chances”, entrepreneurs, leaders from business, technology and education as well as students discussed topics spanning gender stereotypes in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the qualities required of women to thrive in a male-dominated environment, and challenges women face in STEM and business fields.
The forum started with a keynote speech by Christina Zhang, Treasurer, Director of Corporate Strategy from DJI and an alumnus of HKUST. It was then followed by a panel discussion covering Ms Zhang; Theodore Ma, Co-founder of co-working space and entrepreneurial network builder CoCoon; Angie Lau, CEO of intimate apparel company Clover Group International; Dr Sabrina Lin, HKUST’s Vice-President for Institutional Advancement; Division Head of Social Science, also the panel’s moderator Prof Kellee Tsai and two engineering students at HKUST.
The local public and viewers from mainland China were also invited to join the forum through livestreaming. Dozens of students from eight secondary schools – including some who cannot arrive in person, were engaged in the real-time broadcast and actively interacted with the speakers through livestreaming at their own schools.
“Our discussion today has brought some very interesting insights on breaking stereotypes to achieve greater innovation and success,” said Dr Sabrina Lin. “I hope it will inspire all of us to be more aware of our unconscious biases, and work together to create a more inclusive, creative, and innovative society.”
HKUST has strived to improve female’s representation in both students and faculty through close collaboration with the University’s Women Faculty Association. Gender diversity of the HKUST community was gradually enhanced at all levels over the years, thanks to measures including incentives on female faculty recruitment and different female and family friendly policies.
Launched since February, IWD@HKUST also featured a series of activities including movie showing, drone workshops, a fun online campaign for image sharing on girls in math, engineering, science and technology, a gender quiz and designed profile picture frames for social media users to show their support.
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