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June 06, 2018

Would you like to introduce a bit on yourself, your background, and where do you come from? What motivated you to start your own passion project?

Hi, I’m Linda. I’m now partially retired but I had been a social worker for the past 30+ years focusing on women’s well-being and promoting gender equality. My journey as a women’s rights social worker started from my divorce where outsiders would put the blame on me for the failure of my marriage even though they may not know or understand the reasons behind.

“Why is the blame all on women?” I questioned. “Is it the gender stereotype or traditional Chinese cultural and social norms that see it as a failure of women when the marriage does not work?”

After my divorce, I studied and worked in the U.K. with a focus on women social issues. During my stay, I provided support services to women in the Chinese community, many of whom had difficulty getting by, or asking for help when needed, due to language barrier and social isolation. My experience in the U.K. has widened my perspective on the gender issue, and I wanted to help. I realized that there was a lack of resource, especially financial resources, to support projects in women’s rights advocacy. Upon my return to Hong Kong, I decided to start a project with a group of like-minded friends to raise fund and awareness to support women, and HER Fund was born.

“HER HUB :: HER Fund
WE SUPPORT AND EMPOWER WOMEN.”


What were some challenges you faced, especially as a female entrepreneur, when launching your own business?

It was especially difficult to raise funds in 2007 due to the economic crisis. The staff team of 2 left the fund as they were ambivalent towards the direction and ways to operate a unique women’s fund like us. It was then I decided to work on HER Fund on a full time basis. Operating a fund with limited fund raising or business/finance background was tough and I had to learn everything from trial and error. However, I overcome these challenges by believing in what I did and was daring enough to make new attempts.

During my tenure at HER Fund, I felt the lack of support and respect for women in business, and fund raising for women related causes was challenging and often seen as the weak begging for help - which was the last impression we wanted to give to others.

Due to gender stereotypes, women’s roles are mostly very submissive, dependent and secondary. We wanted to raise fund to help women to raise their status and voices in the society and empowerment is the first step. Women’s reassurance for themselves was key as women have to be sure of themselves, recognizing their own abilities whilst being aware and taking control of what is happening around them.


How to achieve a work life balance?

When I was still working at HER Fund, it was hard to find a work life balance. I devoted all my time and efforts in what I was trying to build. However, I learned that it is always important to create space for ourselves and do things we like to create happiness.

“... CREATE SPACE FOR OURSELVES”


What is your favourite activity and why?

Recently, I have been volunteering at a farm to grow plants and veggies. It gives me a sense of achievement when I see them grow, feeling much relax and being with nature.


To you, how will you define a beautiful woman?

A woman with kindness is beautiful. It is not about the beauty in appearance but the inner self; a woman who is selfless and has empathy for others.

“ 真  善  美 ”


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