We build them, we cross them, and sometimes, we even burn them...
On Friday, 3rd Nov 2017, join us in Hong Kong at TEDxTinHauWomen as we learn from amazing presenters & attendees from all walks of life - listen to inspiring women like Tricia Yap as they share with the audience their own interpretation of the event theme Bridges – Two Become One.
We speak with Jennifer Flowers, organizer of this year's event and Director at PwC on what she hopes to bring to the community.
How does this year’s theme “Bridges: Two Become One” tie in with the concept behind TEDxTinHauWomen?
Bridges is the global theme. When hosting a local event, we can adapt and build on that theme to make it our own. In one of our first committee meetings, we did a great big brainstorm around what Bridges meant to us, to HK, to what we want to accomplish. Two Become One was the winner! Each speaker will bring that element to them.
What drives you to take on this additional project whilst already managing demanding careers?
TEDx is a unique forum as it brings all people together willingly. The committee all volunteer their time, the speakers go above and beyond, etc. Also, they are so unique and different – only TEDx and this platform would connect me to so many amazing people and it is worth the time and sacrifice. It's a feel good commitment.
What is your typical day like?
A typical day starts with me getting kicked in the face by my 4 year old son. He tends to crawl in our bed between 1-3am. Shortly after, he starts to toss and turn. My two year old then can be heard screaming, “Mommy, I want out.”
That is on good nights when they both sleep. Once I get them up and at the breakfast table, I do one of two things – 1) run to the shower as I want to hide and am in a hurry 2) run back to bed under the covers as I want to hide and have 10 minutes. I am fortunate that I have help at home.
I put my son on the bus at 815 and walk to Central to take the tram to Wan Chai. On a good day, I try to get to the gym at lunch. I race home before 7pm to put the kids to sleep, have dinner, a glass of wine and on most nights, start working again. If the work load is light, I’ll watch aTV show and cuddle on the couch with my hubby.
What are some productivity and/or wellbeing tips you practice?
I love yoga, hiking – but I don't always have the time. Right now, I make sure to at least walk to work. It's the 20 minutes of the day I am not connected to my phone. I also try to always take my kids to a new area of HK. This September, we did a new beach a week and jumped on ferries all around. It is easy to get tied to TV and the same park across the street from my house – but I like them to be adventurous and want to walk and explore places.
Who or what continues to inspire you to grow & push boundaries?
I am most inspired by my children. The way they see the world and discover things. It makes me appreciate everything a bit more. My sister as well. She is a single mom living in the US, without any help. She does everything on her own and when I start getting overwhelmed and frustrated, I think of her and tell myself to suck it up and get it done. She does not let anything get in her way and the thought of someone doing her dishes never even crossed her mind. She is just amazing.
Have you ever experienced gender-related challenges in the corporate world?
Interesting and tough questions. Only about one year ago did I really feel a gender pay gap in Hong Kong. I love my company so I don't want to go into details – but it is really here and something that I don't see getting better. The Financial Services industry that is dominated by men is here to stay.
What are you excited about the event?
I am excited for the start of this ongoing journey. We have had just such an amazing committee and response – cant wait to see it all come together. I already have teams, sponsors and venues asking: what about next year?
What do you hope for the participants to take back with them from the event?
The key here is each person needs to walk away with something different that touches and inspires them. That is why the speakers are so varied. No one should walk away feeling the same thing – but we do want everyone to walk away with one new idea that will impact and change the way they normally do things. I always have that one speaker who touches me deeply and makes me see things a bit differently.
What is a key life lesson you would like to pass on to the community?
From this experience, we have to learn to accept and appreciate what each person can give and not measure one another like we would in a job. This is an opportunity to inspire people and each idea, speaker, sponsor, team member is contributing to that. Don't worry about the hours put in, the amount of emails sent – just remember the integrity and willingness.