Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited’s (HKEX) Women’s Exchange celebrated its fourth anniversary at its annual reception last night.
More than 200 men and women, primarily from the financial services, legal and accounting sectors, attended the event.
The programme included a brief introduction of Women’s Exchange by Angelina Kwan, Managing Director, Head of Regulatory Compliance, HKEX; welcome remarks by HKEX Chairman C K Chow; a speech by HKEX Director Tim Freshwater, who is also Chairman of the 30% Club of Hong Kong, an organisation that campaigns for greater representation of women on the boards of listed companies; and a dialogue with Laura Cha, a member of Hong Kong’s Executive Council.
All women must be allowed to choose a path they wish to follow, and to achieve their maximum potential,” said Mr Chow. “No one has the right to stop them, or set up barriers to slow them down. It is to the advantage of all that we work together towards equal opportunity and diversity.”
Mr Freshwater said Hong Kong has reached “a very important juncture in the promotion of gender diversity in corporate life,” adding progress has been made, but is in danger of stalling.
While great progress has been made, much remains to be done,” Mr Freshwater said. “We need to take collective ownership of the issue. Better gender diversity would be better for everybody. Stereotypes, like all prejudices, hold organisations back.”
Mr Freshwater said talented women are more likely to join a company if it is known as a leader in gender diversity.
Women’s Exchange was initiated by HKEX staff in 2013 to promote the development of policies and programmes within the company that support women in leadership roles. It also encourages the creation of community outreach programmes which connect HKEX staff with the company’s female clients and raises awareness of women’s issues through the company’s charitable work.