There’s something powerful when like-minded women come together to talk about issues that affect them. And, the crowded room at Grand Hyatt Singapore’s Mezza9 restaurant on June 22 was abuzz with excitement and anticipation.
They were present for a very special occasion – the inaugural Her World Rally – presented by Japanese electronics conglomerate Casio and Her World, which embodies a powerful legacy of empowering women through inspiring stories – as Singapore’s number one women’s magazine.
All dressed in their stylish brunch ensembles, guests stepped inside Mezza9’s elegant space, and into a convivial atmosphere.
Yi Lian and the guests exchanging their views on female empowerment
From tech and media executives to entrepreneurs and celebrities, they are a representation of today’s modern women who have been making strides in their careers and personal lives, and some of whom are also in the limelight.
Her World Rally, a new initiative of Her World, is set to lead and ignite meaningful, open conversations and discussions, covering a myriad of topics that matter to us, from career, health, relationship to gender equality, and more.
A hearty brunch by the kitchen staff of Grand Hyatt’s Mezza9
The lively two-hour event – also a networking platform where 50 invited guests mingled over champagne and canapes – comprised two parts: An engaging discussion – moderated by Her World’s editor Ng Yi Lian – by a panel of specially selected guests, and then followed by questions from the audience for the panelists.
Stepping into the spotlight was a powerhouse line-up – social media personality Andrea Chong, actress Constance Lau of the Crazy Rich Asians blockbuster, co-founder of Love, Bonito Rachel Lim, and Casio’s senior marketing manager Yvonne Ng.
The panel posing for a group picture: (from left) Rachel, Andrea, Constance, Yi Lian and Yvonne
“We’re encouraged by the warm reception of Her World Rally, which sparked so many meaningful discussions as well as forming new friendships,” said Yi Lian. “The panelists each provided their perspectives and shared insightful opinions as well as their experiences on a range of women-centric topics, and of their personal lives, achievements and challenges.”
Her World Rally, she added, is a safe space where women can express their opinions and thoughts, without inhibition.
And adding on to that, Yvonne said: “Casio is an equal opportunity employer. The brand’s practices is a reflection of how it advocates giving equal rights, empowerment and recognition to individuals, regardless of gender.”
The engaging, open conversation
Yi Lian opened the conversation to the panel on what female empowerment meant to each of them.
Actress Constance articulated: “For me, it means that everyone should get to be equal participants. Women can take charge too. Truth is, in a competitive city like ours, tenacity is what gets you far.”
“While we shouldn’t trivialise gender discrimination, don’t pigeonhole yourself with dated gender expectations because it’s about time we move away from these contrived thoughts.”
Being empowered is also being comfortable in your own skin when assuming leadership positions. Asserting your femininity doesn’t make you weak, added Rachel thoughtfully, who wanted to be the perfect boss when she first launched her retail brand, BonitoChico (now Love, Bonito), in 2006.
Then, she looked to male role models like the much-written figures, such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
“It didn’t feel right for me after a while,” the entrepreneur told the attentive audience. “I realised that I can fill the gaps as a female leader, bringing something different and dynamic to the table.”
Rachel learned that her desire to empathise and build relationships with those around her was a strength, and worked to adapt her leadership style in the process.
And, one should never let gender discrimination at the workplace get the better of you. Female empowerment embodies a certain level of confidence and maturity, asserted Yvonne of Casio.
Her way of tackling such challenges is a straightforward, albeit classy approach: Be professional.
She elaborated: “If your male counterparts drop a snarky comment or two, maintaining your professionalism will help build relationships, and get you the respect you deserve. If the person disrespects you, don’t get flustered and never engage further.
“Focus on the objective, and get your point across clearly.”
Being empowered for Andrea is prioritising what’s truly important to her.
“What people see on my Instagram account is only five per cent of my life,” she said, matter-of-factly. “If you keep chasing that five per cent, you will not be able to focus on the other 95 per cent, which can be expanding your business or brand, or other important aspects of your life that really matter.”
Her World Rally ended on a high note, with the panelists taking questions from the audience. Each guest was given a pledge card where they penned down an immediate action they would do to get closer to their goals.
An eye-opening experience for the attendees, Her World Rally reinforced the need for women to believe and love themselves, said Miao Chan, Gucci’s communications associate manager.
Image & beauty consultant Kanako Mori summed it up: “Her World Rally speaks for itself. Gathering here, together with other like-minded women has been a very positive experience.”