The Power of Global Networks - Blog Series

Click on the location markers below to read posts from women's funds around the world.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Sum is Bigger than its Parts

At The Women’s Foundation, our approach is to utilize existing expertise and resources within the community and to bring different partners together so that the sum is bigger than its parts.  Towards this end, TWF’s work greatly emphasises collaboration and inclusion.

An example of this approach is in our recent collaboration on a project called the T.E.E.N. (Talent Empowerment, Equality and Networking) Programme - a youth leadership program for girls and boys aged 13-16 from challenged backgrounds.  Partnered with two local NGOs, a government bureau, a corporate as well as a dedicated group of individual experts in community, youth, gender and leadership training, TWF serves as the intersecting point for these commercial and non-profit sectors.  

Click below to hear from some of the participants in their own words:

The Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders is also a good example where the ten corporate partners are all leading proponents of diversity and inclusion. The programme gives them an opportunity for sharing best practices in terms of recruiting, training, motivating and promoting female talent. TWF also leverages the expertise of supporting partners, like the Equal Opportunities Commission, Kellogg-Hong Kong University of Science Technology and Edelman, for help in understanding the local context, developing locally relevant content, and articulating the programme's scope and aspirations to the public. 

Hear from Desiree Au and Esther Tsang, mentors for the Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders.

Our collaboration with the media allows us to bring critical issues to a wider audience. In addition to participating in speaking engagements and media interviews, TWF has also launched two monthly columns on women and gender issues with leading dailies, the South China Morning Post and the Hong Kong Economic Journal website. The Women’s Foundation secures high caliber contributors for these columns from individuals with leading positions within the academic, corporate and government communities and assists with editing the pieces. It is gratifying to now be seen as a go-to point for comment by international titles like the International Herald Tribune and Newsweek, among others.

We are also about to embark on an ambitious research project to examine the status of women and girls in Hong Kong across 12 key areas including women’s political participation, women in the workplace, women and health, women and education, elderly women and girls.  The project will be a partnership between Goldman Sachs, the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and the Chinese University of Hong Kong to all work together for the common good. 

Here from Reginald Chua, Sophia Kao and Christine Fang, Women's Foundation stakeholders and supporters.

Integrating such a diverse array of organizations is an effective mode of executing programs because the involvement of the community from so many different sectors increases the chances of it being a long term project with a wider range of impact.  This collaboration is also a way for each organization to work outside of its own goals towards a larger ideal—building trust between corporate partners and non-profits, strengthening ties between citizens and its government, and more effectively being able to grapple a complex social problem by utilizing more resources.  It reminds our community that all sectors of society have a stake in the futures of our children.

The risk this interdependence poses is to balance the overlapping and sometimes contradictory interests of corporate, academic, government and non-profit organisations. However, what makes these collaborations successful is the firm conviction that we are all working towards the same goals. TWF has taken on the role of being a rallying voice for the different women's groups in Hong Kong, and the exciting thing is that we are now receiving multiple invitations to collaborate with other institutions on key initiatives. This is a real opportunity (and challenge!) to drive change in public opinion in the short run and public policy in the longer term, through collaborative efforts which ensure we truly capitalize on the opportunities we are creating.

Pui Yuk Ching, Associate Director
The Women's Foundation
Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Women's Funding Network member since 2004

No comments:

Post a Comment