The 30% Club Hong Kong (30% Club HK) and The Women’s Foundation (TWF) have released a video featuring some of Hong Kong’s most prominent women business leaders to highlight the lack of gender diversity on Hong Kong boards. The video echoes Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s annual policy address in October that included a strong call for all Hong Kong listed companies to appoint more women on their boards. In Hong Kong, women represent only 13% of directors for Hang Seng Index companies and around one in three listed companies have all-male boards.
With the title “Flipping the Script”, the video addresses the unconscious bias women candidates face before they even have a chance to enter the boardroom, in an effort to raise public awareness around gender diversity on boards. It features some of Hong Kong’s most prominent female business leaders such as Susanna Hui, Executive Director and Group Managing Director of HKT; Teresa Ko, China Chairman and Partner of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer; and Irene Lee, Chairman of Hysan Development Company Limited and Chair of 30% Club Hong Kong.
Influenced by a similar film under the same title by the Australian Institute of Company Directors and 30% Club in Australia, the Hong Kong version includes both an English and Cantonese release and covers some of the key obstacles that many women business leaders still face in Hong Kong as they try to get on to corporate boards. The video stages biased interviewers who intentionally pose stereotypical, discriminatory and irrelevant questions that women frequently get asked when interviewing for board positions in Hong Kong.
The video was first screened during the 30% Club HK’s sixth annual Boardroom Lunch in September 2018, a gathering that brought together accomplished, board-ready women and Board Directors and senior executives from leading companies in order to introduce more women to corporate boards in Hong Kong. During the Boardroom Lunch, Irene Lee, Chair of 30% Club HK, said: “Hong Kong has a deep talent pool of women. Let’s stop the bias and focus on achieving greater gender diversity on Hong Kong boards. Because what is good for business, is also good for Hong Kong.”
Fiona Nott, CEO of The Women’s Foundation, said: “We must keep advocating for change and progress. Hong Kong still lags far behind other global financial centres with female directors comprising 29% in UK and 30% In Australia. Hong Kong’s progress has stalled with only 13% female directors of HSI companies despite the strong business case that shows that gender diverse Boards and management teams are good for business. We have produced this video to highlight the barriers women often face in accessing the Boardroom and hope it will inspire debate that will lead to sustainable change in Hong Kong.”
Videos are available here:
English Version: https://youtu.be/vWHDeNno2bI
Cantonese Version: https://youtu.be/yOnew4iXKUI