In conjunction with the HSBC Women’s World Championship held at Sentosa Golf Club on 02 March, the HSBC Women Leaders’ Forum (WLF) brought together a group of women who are turning heads in their respective fields.
Leanne Cutts, HSBC’s group head of marketing opened the session. She spoke about how the tournament not only brings together the best women golfers in the world, but also embraces diversity. “Our role as leaders is to challenge the status quo and accelerate change. I hope the forum will provoke new thoughts today,” said Ms Cutts.
World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Nancy Lopez, LGPA golfer Danielle Kang, and Mike Whan, the Commissioner of the LPGA then took to the stage and shared their stories and experiences about the evolution of women’s golf. Ms Kang articulated it best when she said – “We have a long way to go before we’re treated as equals to the men’s tour. It’s a work in progress but we’re getting there. The tour has improved so much since Nancy’s time.” Indeed, this validates the work of those involved in HSBC Women’s World Championship – who can be proud of making the tournament a major global showpiece event for women’s golf.
While talent is universal, opportunities aren’t and women in some parts of the world are still being challenged to be seen and heard. At this year’s forum, the speakers shared their inspiring stories in using their abilities to transform the lives of others for the better, despite the lack of opportunity afforded to them.
The featured keynote speaker was Christina Noble, founder of The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. The foundation serves vulnerable children in Vietnam and Mongolia who are in need of medical care, nutritional rehabilitation, educational opportunities, vocational training and job placement, who would otherwise be at high risk of sexual and commercial exploitation.
Ms Noble’s daughter Helenita Pistolas introduced her mother and the foundation saying, “Our ethos is about helping the family, so the family can help the child. It’s about giving them (the children) back their childhood. If there’s one chance of breaking the poverty cycle for many generations to come it’s through education.”
The WLF closed out the session with a panel on making a difference in the future. Documentary filmmaker Thomas Morgan shared why his films are usually focussed on women. “Women are at the heart of community issues, especially when it comes to children,” he said. “They are the ones who will see something through right to the end. That’s why the films are about them.”
Jacqueline Loh of the NGO Aidha, Felicia Gan of the Ghim Li Group and Shinta Kamdani of the Sintesa Group also shared their life/work experiences and addressing the balance of opportunity and support for women to succeed.
The HSBC Women Leaders’ Forum was launched three years ago as a platform to acknowledge a growing portfolio of female clients across treasury functions, corporate boardrooms as well as business owners. The forum has since evolved to become a platform for prominent industry leaders to come together, share experiences and discuss issues and challenges in order to inspire women to realise their ambitions in every capacity, whether it be in the workplace, the community or at home. This year’s WLF was attended by over 130 people.
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