"Female Pioneers of Taipei City Panel Discussion" - hosted by the Taipei City Government
By Elizabeth Lindley from Anemone Ventures Ltd.
In accordance with the 2021 International Women’s Day's 'Choose to Challenge Theme’, The Taipei City Government hosted a ‘Female Pioneers of Taipei City Panel Discussion’ at Bailing High School on March 31st. The main aims of the event were to inspire the next generation of female leaders in Taipei, to guide students in challenging gender based discrimination, and, through celebrating the successes of the panellists, to empower them in moving confidently forth in their professional lives.
Panellists included Vivian Huang, Deputy Mayor of the Taipei City Government, Debra Lai, Chairman of the Taiwanese Chain Stores and Franchise Association (TCFA), Ambassador Jasmine Elise Huggins, Ambassador of Saint Christopher and Nevis to the Republic of China (Taiwan), Arati Shroff, Deputy Economic Chief of the American Institute in Taiwan and Stephanie Lee, Acting Director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office and Revital Shpangental, Founder and CEO of Anemone Ventures Ltd.
Speakers used anecdotes from their professional lives to discuss the importance of mental health in determining ones success, how they have personally dealt with discrimination in the professional world and how to successfully navigate a career as a female leader.Whilst each panellist has experienced different challenges on the path to their current positions, common messages underlying their professional successes were to foster self confidence, to cultivate supportive networks, and to ignore negative external influences when establishing a career.
Here are some messages from each of the speakers for you to choose from:
Vivian Huang, Deputy Mayor of the Taipei City Government, highlighted the importance of developing self confidence and trust in one’s ability, and learning to ignoring pressure from external influences when moving forth in one’s career.
Debra Lai, Chairman of the Taiwanese Chain Stores and Franchise Association (TCFA) commented on the additional societal pressure of traditional gender stereotypes, urging students to transcend these barriers to professional growth.
Jasmine Elise Huggins, Ambassador of Saint Christopher and Nevis to the Republic of China (Taiwan) urged the students to be confident and speak up against if they are treated differently on the basis of their gender. She further explained the crucial role of mental health in contributing to one’s professional success. She recommended that students engage in communal activities to foster their confidence and sense of self-worth.
Arati Shroff, Deputy Economic Chief of the American Institute in Taiwan acknowledged the importance of building communities, and seeking allies with whom to face hardships.
Stephanie Lee, Acting Director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office further emphasised the importance of overcoming self-doubt. She explained that building a supportive network around her has personally helped her throughout her career, and encouraged students to foster their own. She encouraged students to begin with celebrating the achievements of those around them. She added that gender equality is not about women against men; men are our allies in achieving true equality.
Revital Shpangental, founder and CEO of Anemone Ventures Ltd. advised students to dare to fail. She explained that failure is an opportunity to improve yourself and the beginning of a learning process that is critical for self growth. Revital also encouraged students to push themselves beyond their mental and physical limits and strive to be the best at what they do. That way, no one will pay attention to gender, race or religion.