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The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau 香港及澳門澳洲商會

AustCham and the Women in Business Network’s Great Debate proves a winner for International Women’s Day 2017 P.10

Special Feature Changing Lives and Gender Equality Through Education


Hong Kong Focus Progress in Representation of Women on Hong Kong Boards Remains Slow

Australia Focus Commentary from Kerry-Anne Walsh



austcham news issue 190 03 Chamber Chatter 06 Cover Story AustCham and the Women in Business Network’s Great Debate Proves a Winner for International Women’s Day 2017

10 Special Feature Changing Lives and Gender Equality through Education

11 Australia Focus 12 Hong Kong Focus

13 Membership eCard Benefit


15 Events Update

16 May - The 14th InterCham Connecting People Cocktail

16 Committees in Action

17 Corporate Profile

18 On The Scene

Editorial Committee: Drew Waters Karen Wu Advertising: Karen Wu Email:

14 AustCham Mentor Programme

Published By: The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau Room 301-302, 3/F, Lucky Building 39 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong Tel: +852 2522 5054 Email:

International Alumni Job Network (IAJN)

19 Book Review

The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau has more than 1,500 members from some 500 companies doing business here. It’s the largest Australian business grouping outside the country and the second largest of 28 International Chambers of Commerce in Hong Kong. The AustCham mission is: To promote & represent Australian business & values while enabling members to connect, engage & grow bilateral relationships. Disclaimer:

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The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau, its members or officers. The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau takes no responsibility for the contents of any article or advertisement, makes no representation as to its accuracy or completeness, and expressly disclaims and liability for any loss however arising from or in reliance upon the whole or any part of this publication. Copyright © 2017 The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau

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Chamber Chatter

Chairman's Column Diversity is an overarching theme in this month’s AustCham News. During the Chamber’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) on March 30, I noted that the Women in Business Network (WIBN), launched in 2015, has been a standout success for the Chamber in part because of its inclusiveness and the part that it plays in promoting diversity. The WIBN has been enthusiastically embraced by members and has recently launched an innovative women in business technology programme. The Network is a shining example of what the Chamber does best and is a credit to its Chair, Fiona Nott (also Deputy Chair of the Chamber), and committee members Maaike Steinebach, Simone Wheeler, Gautam Dev, Nicole Denholder, Pru Bennett, and Geoff Wilson. The Network has also attracted two sponsors, Ambition and Telstra, and will continue with a full programme for 2017. The Chamber plans to continue supporting and encouraging diversity. .......................... I also was pleased to advise during the AGM that the proposed new Articles of Association for AustCham were approved by the Registrar of Companies in March. These now will be put to members at an EGM for approval. Relevant notices will be distributed in the near future and, subject to the EGM result, I hope and expect that the new articles will soon be in effect. Updating and reviewing the Chamber’s Articles has consumed an enormous amount of time and has involved a great deal of work. King & Wood Mallesons has throughout our journey in this matter advised the Chamber on a pro bono basis. Again, on behalf of all members, I thank them very much for their valued assistance. Thanks also to Don Hess for his help and support in working through the Articles at various stages. .......................... The AGM also resulted in four new appointments to the Board of Directors. I am pleased to welcome Jacinta Reddan, Martin Darveniza, Gautam Dev, and Robert Quinlivan as Directors of AustCham. They join around the board table, Andrew Macintosh, Clement Chan, Sam Guthrie, Maaike Steinebach, Deborah Leung, and C.Q. Lu who were reappointed, and Darren Bowdern, Fiona Nott, Paul Scroggie, George Lam, Bina Gupta, and myself, all not being due for re-election and thus being automatically reinstated. Long serving former Chair of the Chamber, Alan Johnson, former Deputy Chair, Tom Corkhill, and board member Clayton Hebbard decided to retire from the board at the AGM. I offer sincere thanks to all of them. Alan led the Chamber exceedingly well for many years. Tom also has been a great leader for the Chamber over a lengthy period. Their wisdom and counsel as board members will be missed. .......................... I hope that you will connect with the Chamber this month in some way, and that you will continue to share your views on how best the Chamber can serve you. Richard Petty

issue 190 | austcham news


Chamber Chatter

Across My Desk


t appears we have a formula for our International Women’s Day event, as the Great Debate was a resounding success again this year. The Chamber’s Women in Business Network presented the topic “Trumped! Women’s Progress Has Reached its Peak”, argued by two highly engaging and learned teams; for the motion were Gautam Dev and Kerry-Anne Walsh, against were Karen See and John Wood, and all was moderated by the very capable Angelina Kwan. It was an engaging and entertaining evening, looking at a very serious topic in a light-hearted and slightly irreverent manner. Thank you to the Network sponsors Ambition and Telstra, and venue and refreshments sponsor KPMG. Welcome to our new directors Gautam Dev, Martin Darveniza, Rod Quinlivan, and Jacinta Reddan. I look forward to working with them all in the future and with all of the diverse and highly engaged Board. A warm welcome, also, to our new Consulate-General Michaela Browning, who will take up her post soon, as I look forward to maintaining the strong and supportive relationship between the Chamber and the Consulate-General. Farewell, then, to our acting Consul, Janaline Oh, who has made the journey back to Canberra after her extended term here in Hong Kong. Thanks for your support of the Chamber, Janaline, and I wish you, Felix, and the girls

the very best for the next stage of your service to the Australian public. So, Seven’s week is upon us, with all the delights and exciting events Hong Kong has to offer over this weekend. Another highly successful long lunch, with speaker David Campese was enjoyed by members and guests, stretching into an afternoon of networking before the serious competition began the following day. Thanks to David for his insights, to Commonwealth Bank for their ongoing support for this event, and to Michael Page for returning to support the pre-match cocktails. The Chamber’s Mentor Programme has completed the 2016-17 cycle with a record number of Mentors and Protoges participating throughout the year. Feedback remains very encouraging for this highly recognised programme, and the next cycle will begin shortly, as soon as a naming sponsor has been confirmed. Already, the enquiries have been pouring in, and I anticipate another highly successful year. Thank you to Tanya and Liz of Speak, who have enthusiastically partnered with the Chamber, and managed the agenda throughout the term. Happy Easter to you all, and safe travels should you be making the most of the two short weeks to explore new locations or to revisit old. Drew Waters, Chief Executive

Join Hong Kong first ever Community Service Marathon!


erve-a-thon Hong Kong — the city’s first ever ‘Community Service Marathon’. Many of us have read the concerning figures about Hong Kong’s poverty levels, with more than one-third of the elderly and one-fourth of all children living below the poverty line. Hong Kong has a vibrant non-profit sector working every day to support those in greatest need, but they can’t do it alone. Serve-a-thon Hong Kong is an opportunity for each of us to give back to the community in a meaningful way. From 6th May until 14th May, Serve-a-thon will unite the city in service, through more than 150 volunteer activities taking place across Hong Kong. The initiative will bring together NGOs, corporates, government, media and civil society to raise public awareness about the importance of community engagement in helping address social issues.

Community Corner

We encourage you to visit the Serve-a-thon volunteer activity calendar (https://www. and start giving thought to the types of events you might like to take part in. The activities serve a range of groups most in need of our support, from underprivileged

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children and the elderly; to refugees, migrant workers and animals in shelters — there are also some wonderful environmental conservation activities you can support. Sign up today as an individual, group or corporate volunteer, “Happy Volunteering”!​​​​

A Letter from Canberra “There is no such thing as being non-political. Just by making a decision to stay out of politics you are making the decision to allow others to shape politics and exert power over you. And if you are alienated from the current political system, then just by staying out of it you do nothing to change it, you simply entrench it.”

Boldness means developing a view and, most importantly, asserting that view. It is a state of mind.

- Former Premier of Victoria, the late Joan Kirner AC

So being bold means being prepared to lose some skin in the call for change.

On this year’s International Women’s Day, women and girls around the world were encouraged to channel those words of a great Australian feminist and be bold for change. It’s a call to action I admire and applaud, but it is more than just taking to the streets rallying for change. It’s a call to get the building blocks in place to empower women around the world - ensuring universal access to education, fertility control, financial independence, a life free from domestic violence - so that our disadvantaged, uneducated and disempowered sisters can take the steps to boldness. Because without those fundamentals, a woman's life is limited, timid, controlled by their bodies, controlled by others. That said, boldness can be a challenge even for women who have had every opportunity. Because boldness is hard, particularly in a world that feels free to talk over women, that feel free to interrupt women, that keep walking in a straight line down the street, forcing women to move out of the way.

It means acknowledging that asserting that view will garner supporters and gather detractors. And with that difference of opinion will come the haters. Those haters who are gonna hate.

It means asserting yourself, even if you are shaking, even when you are up against aggressive thrusters. It means asserting your right to have a space and to claim your space. But once gained, being bold is liberating. To help women be bold for change, each week I’m featuring words of wisdom from strong and courageous Canberra women on my Facebook page. It’s a way of encouraging women to exert power over their own lives and to change and improve the lives of others. Gai Brodtmann MP, Federal Member for Canberra and Co-Convenor of Parliamentary Hong Kong Friendship Group

Meet your Directors


elcome on board! The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau (AustCham) 2016 - 2017 Annual General Meeting was held on 30 March 2017 and below is the list of AustCham Board of Directors:

Professor Richard Petty (Chairman) Executive Director International, Macquarie Graduate School of Management Andrew Macintosh (Deputy-Chair) Chairman, Acorus Asset Management Fiona Nott (Deputy-Chair) Director, Aesop Hong Kong Limited Darren Bowdern (Treasurer) Partner, KPMG China Clement Chan (Past Chairman) Managing Director – Assurance, BDO Limited Gautam Dev Regional Director of Human Resources (Organisational Development), Prudential Corporate Asia

Martin Darveniza Chief Operating Officer - Hengqin, Galaxy Entertainment Group

Ciqiang Lu General Manager, Greater China, National Australia Bank

Bina Gupta Founder and Managing Director, BG Business Communications Limited

Robert Quinlivan CFO, Macquarie Group Hong Kong

Sam Guthrie Senior Trade Commissioner – Hong Kong and Macau, Austrade Dr George Lam Chairman – ASEAN Region, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (Hong Kong) Limited Deborah Leung Country Head – Greater China, CPA Australia

Jacinta Reddan Managing Director, Head of Marketing and Communications for Asia, PineBridge Investments Asia Limited Paul Scroggie Director, Hong Kong, Macau and PRC, Merx Group Maaike Steinebach Chief Executive, Hong Kong, Commonwealth Bank of Australia

issue 190 | austcham news


Cover Story

AustCham and the Women in Business Network’s Great Debate Proves a Winner for International Women’s Day 2017 - Ingrid Piper


t a time when global politics is increasingly focused on gender equality, AustCham Hong

Kong and Macau’s Great Debate 2017 ‘Trumped! Women’s Progress Has Reached Its Peak’ could not have been more timely or controversial.

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This signature Women in Business Network (WIBN) event celebrates International Women’s Day. Now in its second year, the debate is one of the hottest tickets in town and the March 2 event at KPMG was a sell-out. ‘Trumped! Women’s Progress Has Reached Its Peak’ was enthusiastically received by an audience who were reminded that the views being expressed were not necessarily the personal opinion of the four guest speakers. By the debate’s end, persuasive arguments by author and political commentator Kerry-Anne Walsh, Director, KA Communications and WIBN member Gautam Dev, Regional Director of Organisational Capability, Prudential Corporation Asia, managed to sway the votes over runners-up Karen See, co-founder of {embrace} worldwide and John Wood, Founder, Room to Read, who both argued against the motion. WIBN Chair Fiona Nott says the event’s outstanding success lies in handling such a serious subject with a degree of levity. “Raising the issues in an open and humorous way just engages people and takes away fears about what might be on the agenda in terms of gender. “Both WIBN and the Chamber are committed to progressing discussions around gender diversity within the AustCham community and we are also focused on bringing men to the table as part of these discussions. We love to do that in a fun setting where we have lively debate with both genders involved. And of course, we want to keep the debate alive in a slightly irreverent manner which is so typically Australian,” she says. “This year, we’re delighted Kerry-Anne Walsh could join us, as she’s one of Australia’s pre-eminent political journalists with a phenomenal knowledge of the issues,” Nott said.

“We are committed to progressing the discussions around gender diversity within the AustCham community…” Fiona Nott, Chair of AustCham Women in Business Network

For Walsh, U.S. President Donald Trump policies have become a call to action for women. “The challenge is to use this as a springboard to re-energise the women’s movement and if we don’t, we really are in deep trouble. “We had two million women march against President Trump, and you have democracies that are trying to thwart the types of things he is doing to retard women’s progress, so I do have hope he’s not going to get his way,” Walsh said. Slow but steady progress Despite its slow pace, gender diversity is slowly gaining ground in Hong Kong. Statistics released by Community Business in March 2017, suggested efforts by Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing together with the 30% Club and leading executive firms have lifted the number of women directors in boardrooms from 8.9 per cent in 2009, to 12.4 per cent, a 3.5 per cent gain in eight years. In reality, this increase only translates to an additional seven women board members, giving women just 78 places in a total of 628 directorships. While average weekly earnings for Australian women are 16.2 per cent less than male salaries, recent Australian government gender workplace statistics1 show women comprise 23.4 per cent of directors in the ASX 200. As of January 2016, 40 per cent of new appointments to ASX boards are women. Despite this, 10 per cent of ASX 200 companies still do not have a woman on their board.2 Rather than introducing quota systems to increase the number of women in boardrooms, Walsh would prefer to see women recognised for the unique perspective they bring to boardrooms. “It’s about recognising us for our talents and our brilliance. Quotas and percentages aren’t necessary. Companies and those in control need to recognise that we are smart, we have an expansive view and we are an asset,” she says. Speaking after the event, John Wood says Room to Read had also chosen a different path.

issue 190 | austcham news


For the first time – one-fifth of companies have at least 20% women on their boards

Cover Story

For the first time since our campaign started in 2009, 10 companies, or one-fifth of the HSI companies, have reached 20% or more female representation on their boards. This is an important milestone in light of the recent target set by the 30% Club Hong Kong to increase the percentage of women directors on all HSI company boards to 20% by 2020 and the long-term goal of 30%.

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9.0% 57/634 8.9% Further reduction in all-male boards 52/585

This year, the number of HSI boards with zero women has dropped 2013 2014 downward 2015 2016since 2012. 2017 from2009 16 to 11,2012 continuing the general trend However this drop has been helped by the fact that two companies with all-male boards are no longer constituents of the HSI. 4

Figure 2: Trend of All-Male HSI Boards (2009 – 2017)

ng SI 0%.


38.0% (19)

32.0% (16)

32.0% 28.0%





“According to KPMG, when you have more than 30 per cent of women in senior management, there’s essentially a 15 per cent jump in growth. Organisations need to understand it’s not just politically correct, it makes sense. Why wouldn’t you have a woman on board?” says Karen See.

25.0% (12)

20.0% (10)

18.0% (9)

14.0% (7)

14.0% (7)

8.0% (4)





% and (number) of companies with all-male boards




% and (number) of companies which have never had female directors

Decline in number of boards which have never had female directors Each year, we also report on the number of HSI companies which have never appointed women to their boards. It is positive to note that in 2017, the number has reduced from seven to four, continuing the positive downward trend since 2012 which had as many as 12 companies that have never had women on their boards. Both of these sets of findings are in line with the 30% Club Hong Kong target of zero all-male HSI boards by the end of 2018. However, there is still some way to go to achieve this target within the next two years and it will require a significant step up in appointments of women to these boards.


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“At {embrace}, we’re not fighting for equality, we’re fighting for the best person for the job.”





“A lot of companies have women in leadership initiatives. At Room to Read we have done something radically different, we simply have women in leadership.”




different, we simply have women in leadership…”





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Both of these sets of“A findings in line with the 30% women Club Hong lot ofarecompanies have Kong target of zero all-male HSI boards by the end of 2018. insome leadership R2R However, there is still way to goinitiatives. to achieve thisAt target within the next two years and it will require a significant step up in we have done something radically appointments of women to these boards.

John Wood, Founder, Room to Read

Figure 1: Percentage of Women on HSI Boards (2009 - 2017)


continuing the positive downward trend since 2012 which had as many as 12 companies that have never had women on their boards.

See believes that women also need to be encouraged to look to the future and invest in the right type of education; in science, maths and technology. One way to make significant changes to gender equality in Hong Kong, Gautam Dev believes, is though investors. “We need the likes of Hong Kong Stock Exchange and institutional investors to actually start saying we won’t be supporting you unless there is more diversity. The links

Moderator Angelina Kwan Deputy Chair of The Women's Foundation


between diversity and financial performance are well established. We need to identify sympathetic individuals who are key people in their companies and engage with them. We also need to work with senior women in Hong Kong companies, as well as seeking to influence the next generation,” he says. If the pace of change is too slow, Dev warns that Hong Kong could end up with entrepreneurial women voting with their feet and actively side tracking local companies to build their own. “The next Li Ka-Shing may be a woman,” Dev says.


The Trumped! Women’s Progress Has Reached Its Peak’ debate was once again magnificently Gautam Dev moderated by Angelina Kwan, Managing Director Regional Director of and Head of Regulatory Compliance, Hong Kong Human Resources (Organisational Exchanges and Clearing Ltd, and Deputy Chair of Development) of The Women’s Foundation. Kwan demonstrated Prudential outstanding restraint, wit and skill to keep guest Corporate Asia speakers and the audience in check, using a few well-chosen props. Adding to the evening’s outstanding success were sponsors Ambition, Telstra, KPMG and supporting partner The Women’s Foundation.


Kerry-Anne Walsh Director of KA Communications


“This debate is a particularly important event for us as KPMG is very committed to diversity. It’s clearly the right thing to do, and it’s important for a business like ours that is genuinely global. We draw on people from diverse backgrounds and we’ve Karen See created an inclusive culture. We think that makes Co-Founder of us richer and more innovative,” Geoff Wilson said. {embrace} worldwide

John Wood Founder of Room to Read


Celebrating International Women’s Day is just one of a series of events and initiatives the dynamic Women in Business Network holds throughout the year. Other new initiatives include the Women’s Technology and Business Program that aims to close the gender technology gap through a number of educational workshops.

Graphics: Community Business HK report publications/2017/WOB2017Digital_ENG.pdf

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Source: Source: issue 190 | austcham news


Special Feature

Changing Lives and Gender Equality through Education - Ingrid Piper John Wood Founder of Room to Read


hile boardrooms, companies and governments worldwide grapple with gender equality issues with quotas, percentages and policies, one non-profit educational organisation, Room to Read has quietly bypassed this contentious area. Founder John Wood says Room to Read simply has women in leadership. “The company is run by women, our CEO is a woman, five of her seven direct reports are women, 53 per cent of our employees are women and 51 per cent of our managers are women,” he says. “The secret of Room to Read is local empowerment, 88 per cent of our 1,300 employees are local hires. We’re not white American guys driving around Cambodia telling people what to do.” Wood says education is the great equalizer in gender equality. In developed countries like Hong Kong, statistics are quite promising with more young women now studying law then male students. Locally, 60 per cent of those entering medical and dental professions are women. “The concern I have, and the concern Room to Read has, is the situation in the poorest parts of the world like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Tanzania. Of the 770 million people in the world today who are illiterate, two thirds are girls and women. Of the 200 million young people who don’t go to school every day, two thirds are girls and women and that’s a problem that if you don’t solve, has ramifications for generations. If you do solve it, it also has ramifications for generations. “If you educate young women and girls everything changes. We have over 40,000 young women in our long-term goals educational programs. We’ve given them everything they need to succeed, from support for school fees, books and bags and bicycles, to more complicated things,” he says. “Room to Read staff act as mentors, teach life skills, family planning, how to save for university and how to find scholarships,

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all for around U.S.$300 per girl, per year. Around 90 per cent of our graduates don’t stop at secondary school even though they are usually the first in their family to finish secondary school, they’re moving on to university, tertiary or full time employment. “It makes me an optimist – because the problem is so inexpensive to solve, it is proven to work, it is literally the silver bullet.” UK Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Boris Johnson said that recently. “I’m proud to say Room to Read reached that conclusion 15 years ago.” Later this year the organisation will begin education programs in Rwanda, its fourth African country, and Jordon, where the focus will be on educating Syrian refugee children as well as those now living in Lebanon and Turkey. Since giving up his executive career at Microsoft to found Room to Read, Wood has gained numerous international accolades. “I realised I’d won the lottery of life, right place at right time with right parents. I therefore had a great public education. I wanted to give back and realised education isn’t a hand out, it’s a hand up. I personally don’t give money to beggars because I don’t believe that’s a sustainable solution. “We opened our first library in 1999 and our goal is to beat Andrew Carnegie who created 2,500 libraries in his lifetime. Room to Read will be at 20,000 libraries by the end of 2017 and that’s just 15 years in. God willing I get another 15-20 years to keep ramping it up. I don’t ever have to look back and wonder - what if?” Wood says.

“The solution is so inexpensive, it is proven to work, it is literally the silver bullet …” John Wood Founder, Room to Read

Australia Focus

Commentary from Kerry-Anne Walsh


NE OF federal Labor’s rising female stars in the Australian parliament quit her job in March in the name of motherhood.

Labor frontbencher, mother of one, soon-to-be mother of two Kate Ellis highlighted the depressing reality that women in politics still struggle for equality of opportunity; still battle for the all-important voices of women and mothers to be heard in national policy decisions. Australia’s spacious new federal parliament was opened in 1988 with marble halls and ministerial suites the size of three-bedroom homes. Oh, and every possible facility mostly frequented by a certain sex – a snooker room, gym, pool, and exclusive dining areas. The bleeding obvious that would help neuter the boys’ club was missing: a childcare centre. A long decade later, Labor MP Anthony Albanese (yes! A bloke!) moved a motion urging the establishment of a childcare centre, noting that the battle had been waged since the days of the old parliament. Staggeringly, it took another ten years of forelock tugging and tut-tutting before Albanese, in 2008, was finally able to move another motion applauding the start of construction of a centre. Fast forward nearly another decade to now, and where are we with the female voice in federal parliament? The word ‘rapid’ may be laughable given the agonisingly slow crawl to a childcare facility, but what is needed in Australian political life is a much more rapid feminisation of the political workplace. Politics is often nasty, aggressive, and out of step with the realities of everyday Australian households. It can’t be blamed on the women, who are still sitting in the bleachers watching the main game. It took a thirty-year, hard-fought affirmative action battle for Labor women to achieve the current 45% representation in the party’s federal ranks. But Labor women are rarely given safe seats, and still under-represented on the front bench.

The MBA-qualified former MP for the sprawling western Sydney seat of Lindsay told the - Kerry-Anne Walsh Australian Financial Australian political and media analyst Review her election hopes in 2013 were nearly derailed when then-Prime Ministerial aspirant Tony Abbott lauded her election chances because she had “a little sex appeal”. This is the bloke who once declared it would be “folly” to think women could ever be equally represented in any field because our aptitudes and abilities were just, you know, different; and who illustrated the dangers of Labor’s carbon emissions scheme with a folksy tale about Australian housewives worrying about their power bills going up while doing the ironing. Kate Ellis was blunt when she pulled the pin on her promising political career. The former South Australianbased Minister for early childhood said she could no longer bear being away at least twenty weeks a year from her five-year old son, and soon her newborn. Here’s a thought. Politicians are constantly up to theirs necks in strife about travel allowances, for all the wrong reasons. Why don’t the smart policy brains advising federal parliament and politicians devise clever ways to change the parliamentary entitlements system to enhance the workplace for mothers of young children? To allow for families to relocate for some months of the year, to adjust the hours in a sitting day – or…? Surely it can’t be that hard to come up with world-beating, innovative solutions to ensure mothers’ voices are heard in our federal parliament. It’s time to be brave and bold about the imperative of an inclusive federal parliament.

The Greens, laudably, have five apiece in parliament; but the conservatives, currently in Government, are woeful. Only 21.7% of Liberal Party representatives and 14.3% of Nationals are women. And of all the women in parliament, only a minority are mums; as Ellis discovered, it’s just too hard. One-term Liberal MP Fiona Scott recently bemoaned the continuing blokey culture in conservative ranks. issue 190 | austcham news

• 11

Hong Kong Focus

Progress in Representation of Women on Hong Kong Boards Remains Slow Top public companies increase women on boards by a disappointing 1.3 percentage points.


he representation of women on the boards of Hong Kong’s leading companies made a nominal 1.3 percentage point increase in the past year, according to the latest Women on Boards Hong Kong Report released by Community Business, a leading not-for-profit organisation promoting responsible and inclusive business practices and a thought leader on diversity and inclusion in Asia. The latest study of its industry-leading annual research, created in partnership with Heidrick & Struggles (Nasdaq: HSII), a premier provider of executive search, leadership consulting and culture shaping worldwide, reviewed Hong Kong’s leading companies on the Hang Seng Index (HSI) and found that women represented on boards increased to 12.4% from last year’s 11.1%, with the addition of seven female directors in the past year. These new directorships were mainly driven by two companies which were added to the HSI list this year. For the first time, one-fifth of the HSI companies have reached 20% or more female directorships while the number of all-male boards has dropped from 16 to 11. The number of all-male boards which have never had any female directors has now reduced from seven to four. Despite these improvements, progress remains very slow from the initial finding of 8.9% in 2009, an increase of only 3.5% in eight years. Hong Kong lags behind global counterparts, which are continuing to gain momentum. “Despite the importance of gender diversity at board level, progress has been slow in Hong Kong and Asia Pacific compared to other regions. Two ongoing issues are whether capable female leaders are being promoted to board positions, and whether there is a big enough pool of senior female leaders who are truly boardready, especially in certain industries where pipelines for women in leadership are still thin,” said Steve Mullinjer, Regional Leader of Heidrick & Struggles, Asia Pacific. “We recognise that boards with a good mix of nationalities, age groups, gender and cultural backgrounds, as well as skills and experience, can lead to better decision making and improve a company’s bottom line. Our observations show that capable Asian women are in fact taking up directorships on international boards, providing unique Asian perspectives to support organisations’ global strategies.”

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Analysis of the latest findings of women on the HSI boards as at 2 January 2017 provides a mixed picture. The rate of new appointments to women is failing to accelerate – only nine or 11.3% of 80 new board appointments were made to women in the past year. The rate of female Executive Directors continues to stall yet the number of women holding multiple directorships has risen to an all-time high. While the data has shown signs of improvement, progress is driven primarily by the actions of a few companies. “Board diversity may still struggle to make it onto the agenda for much of the business community in Hong Kong. However, it is a very important business case that leaders simply cannot ignore,” said Fern Ngai, CEO of Community Business. “We urge all companies in Hong Kong to develop a strategy for increasing gender diversity on their boards, including setting a voluntary target, measuring progress, and ensuring that female candidates are being considered for every board vacancy. In addition, it is important for companies to develop a sustainable pipeline of female talent who could advance to senior executive and board roles.” This is the first time the research was expanded to include an analysis of the performance of individual companies over a fiveyear span to ascertain whether they have truly been making a concerted effort to increase the gender diversity of their boards. Among the HSI companies, excluding the new entrants in the last year, four have visibly shown consistency in the representation of women on their boards, as well as demonstrating commitment in creating an enabling workplace environment to support the advancement of women.


Hong Kong’s slow progress does not compare favorably with global counterparts such as the United Kingdom, which has tripled its female representation on FTSE100 boards since 2009 to 26.8%, and is now voluntarily targeting 33% by 2020. Within the Asia region, Hong Kong has been overtaken by Malaysia which has increased its representation of female directors from 9.7% to 14.6% in just four years, although this is still short of Malaysia’s mandated quota of 30% by end 2016. In October 2016, the 30% Club Hong Kong launched a campaign to bring the number of all-male HSI company boards to zero by 2018 and to increase the percentage of women directors on HSI company boards to 20% by 2020, working toward a long-term goal of 30%. “We applaud the collective efforts of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing, the 30% Club Hong Kong, leading executive search firms and the media in continuing to work with us in promoting greater gender diversity in the boardroom. We hope that our continued joint efforts will lead to a positive change in mindsets, attitudes and ultimately behaviors and actions”, said Fern Ngai.

In AustCham members can enjoy a 20% AustCham off venue hire when you book at Cliftons*. Located in Hutchison House in Central, Cliftons Hong Kong ard delivers events from 10 to 300 guests in 7,000 square Membership eC feet of flexible event space, including seminars, conferences, computer training and press conferences etc. For more information or to reserve your booking, please contact *Terms and conditions apply. Offer valid for bookings held before 31 December 2017.

k Than ! You

Key Findings of the Report: • Improvement in the representation of women on HSI boards has been painstakingly slow - from 8.9% in 2009 to 12.4% in 2017, a difference of only 3.5% in 8 years. • Over two-thirds of HSI companies have shown no improvement in the last year. • There has been no change in the number of female directors on the boards of the top 10 performing companies since last year. • One-fifth of HSI companies have achieved 20% or higher female representation on their boards. • There has been a decline in the number of all-male HSI boards from 16 to 11, as well as the number of HSI boards which have never had female directors from seven to four. • In reviewing individual company performance on a five-year horizon, only four HSI companies have visibly shown ongoing commitment to increasing the gender diversity of their boards and to supporting the advancement of women within their organisations.

Source: Community Business. For the complete Women on Boards Hong Kong 2017 report , please visit publications.htm. issue 190 | austcham news

• 13

AustCham Mentor Programme

Milestone to Leadership Success The forth run of the AustCham Mentor Programme is coming to a close. Thank you to everyone that made the 2016 programme possible, especially to our programme partner Speak Ltd, speakers, mentors, and the support from AustCham Young Executives Committee. Message from our Programme Partner


anya Menzel and Liz West of Speak Ltd feel very honoured to have had the opportunity to partner with AustCham and run the 2016 Mentor Programme. With 62 participants in total we have enjoyed seeing each match florish, with many of the mentor/mentee partnerships agreeing to continue well beyond this process.   March being our final month, we were able to slot in 2 events.  In early March, Andrew Macintosh - Managing Partner - Delta Capita and Board Member - AustCham, facilitated a workshop on 'Managing Multicultural Teams'.  Participants were able to hear of Andrew’s work history in Asia and problem solve in groups, using 3 thought provoking case studies.  A big thank you to Andrew for his involvement, Cliftons for the use of their facilities and Wine Brothers for their wine, at this event and throughout the 2016 Mentor Programme.  'Celebration of Successes’, the final event was held on March 29 at Fu Lu Shou Rooftop Bar in Central.  Drew Waters, Chief Executive of AustCham congratulated and presented certificates to all participants and congratulated the cohort on their success. Recognised on the evening were key Mentors or Mentees that showed an outstanding commitment to the programme  With the closing of one year, opens up the opportunity for a newer and more refined 2017 AustCham Mentor Programme and applications are open now.  Are you new to Hong Kong? Starting a new business? Thinking of a career change or would like to improve your soft skills?  If so, this programme provides great networking opportunities and potential to match you with a mentor that can provide you with guidance and assists? Mentors, do you have extensive industry experience, or are you a successful entrepreneur and are looking to give back and support young executives? Then this is the programme for you!

14 • austcham news | issue 190

EVENTS UPDATE APRIL AT A GLANCE… Thur, 6 April, 12:00nn – 2:30pm AustCham Commonwealth Bank Rugby Sevens Lunch with David Campese Grand Ballroom, Grand Hyatt Hong Kong 1 Harbour Road, Wan Chai Tue, 18 April, 6:30pm – 8:30pm Women’s Technology and Business Program: Digital Transformation – what capabilities are required and what potential does it represent? To Be Confirmed Thur, 20 April, 12:30pm – 2:30pm Sustainable Supply Chain KPMG, 8th Floor, Prince’s Building 10 Chater Road, Central, Hong Kong Tue, 25 April, 7:30am – 9:30am Macau ANZAC Breakfast The Vista, Level 3, MGM Macau Avenida Dr. Sun Yat Sen, NAPE, Macau

MAY AT A GLANCE… Tue, 16 May, 6:30pm – 9:30pm The 14th InterCham Connecting People Cocktail 18/F, Grand Ballroom, The Mira Hotel 118 Nathan Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon

Consulate Update Appointment of Ms Michaela Browning – the next Australian Consul-General in Hong Kong Ms Browning is a senior career public servant and was most recently Head of Investment, Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade). She has held a range of senior positions including Head of Established Markets and Special Adviser to the CEO on Strategy and China (Austrade) and Senior Adviser to the then Defence and Foreign Ministers. Ms Browning was also a Trade Negotiator at the Doha Development Round and for the free trade agreements Australia negotiated with the USA and Singapore. She has previously served overseas in Thailand and Singapore. Ms Browning holds a Masters in Foreign Affairs & Trade and a Bachelor of Economics with Honours, both from Monash University. issue 190 | austcham news

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Committees in Action

15th CEO Forum: A Conversation with Alan Joyce


osted by the Chambersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Women in Business Network (WIBN) and Young Executives Committee (AYE), the 15th CEO Forum was held in March and honoured to have CEO of Qantas Group, Mr Alan Joyce as guest speaker. As a founding member of the Male Champions of Change, Alan discussed the importance of diversity and inclusion in modern business. He also addressed the challenges, the successes, and the change process to champion gender diversity from inside the enterprise, up to the boardroom and out into the wider community. Special thanks to Moderator Angela Mackay, WIBN sponsors Ambition and Telstra, CEO Series supporting partner Herbert Smith Freehills, venue partner KPMG, and Qantas, for their great support to the event.

WIBN Chair Fiona Nott welcomes all.

16 â&#x20AC;˘ austcham news | issue 190

AYE Vice-Chair Paul Kam thanks speaker and sponsors.

Women in Business Network sponsors:

CEO Series Supporting Partner:

Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group.

Corporate Profile

International Alumni Job Network (IAJN) 11/F Crawford House, 70 Queen’s Road Central Central, Hong Kong The International Alumni Job Network (IAJN) is the first employment group focused on career outcomes for international students who have graduated from Australian, Canadian and US higher education institutes. What are the main skills of your job? As a new business that has grown rapidly myself and Kate Harden (CEO & co-founder) have had to wear many hats and through good fortune we have worked very well together. While I mainly focus on the business development Kate has done an amazing job providing services to our Education and Job partners. We have grown to over 75,000+ members in 20 countries in our first 12 months and have Education Partners in 6 countries and Job Partners in 15. What does your company do really well? We connect international graduates and provide an instant business network for them to return home to. What is the vision of your company in 10 years? Our aim is to continue to provide the individual value adds to our Education Partners and Job Partners while engaging our alumni members to turn their international education into career pathways as we scale and get increasing diverse clients and member needs all over Asia.

Shane Dillon Founder What’s something most people don’t know about your company? Our company originally started as an Australian Alumni Job Network in Vietnam and within a few months morphed into a network of websites and social media pages engaging alumni and employers all over Asia. What’s your company’s connection to Australia? Kate Harden and I are both Australian and as mentioned above, we started as an Australian Alumni Job Network for Vietnamese international students who were looking to connect with great international companies operating in Asia. How would you describe your workplace and colleagues? Kate and I are very passionate about what an international education should mean for families across Asia who invest so much in their children’s education. We take the responsibility of turning these first class educations into great careers and have a small and growing team with the same passion. What’s your favourite place to go on the week-end? I have a young family (two boys aged 1 & 3) so anywhere they can play and get some space to expend their endless energy!

To enquire about advertising, submit an article, comment or respond to austcham news, please contact Karen Wu at or call +852 2522 5054.

issue 190 | austcham news

• 17

On The Scene AustCham celebrates International Women’s Day with members and friends and hosted a full house Great Debate event – “Trumped! Women’s progress has reached its peak” in March. Venue and Food & Beverage Sponsor:

Women in Business Network sponsor:

Kimberley Cole of Thomson Reuters and Sally Dellow of Dramatic Difference.

Amy Ho of ambition and Theresia Co.

Carly Chung, Karen See from {embrace} worldwide and Mark Shen of Telstra.

WIBN Chair Fiona Nott welcomes all.

Carolyn Dickins of Flight Centre Hong Kong and Kerry-Anne Walsh of KA Communications.

Edwin Lee and Max Chiang.

Ruth Bailey of Faithful+Gould and Janet Ledger of Telstra.

18 • austcham news | issue 190

Lee Anderson of Lee People Asia and AustCham Chief Executive Drew Waters.

Robert Quinlivan of Macquarie Group, Amy Ho of Ambition and Joanna Leung of Macquarie Group.

Andrew Steadson of Madepartners Ltd and Peter Bennett of SnagR Ltd.

Julia Miller-Osborn and Belle Morton of KPMG.

The Spring Mix at Six was held at the rooftop bar Fu Lu Shou on Hollywood Road. Special thanks to venue partner Fu Lu Shou.

Angelo Iannazzo with Brian Hunter of PwC.

Alexander Tanglao of Dragon Law Ltd and Thomas Jackson of Bayes Digital Solutions.

AustCham Deputy Chair Fiona Nott and Angelo Iannazzo.


ook Review

3 inspirational books about working women, diversity and gender equality. - A selection curated by Bookazine team

Shrill by Lindy West Shrill is an uproarious memoir, a feminist rallying cry in a world that thinks gender politics are tedious and that women, especially feminists, can't be funny. With inimitable good humor, vulnerability, and boundless charm, Lindy boldly shares how to survive in a world where not all stories are created equal and not all bodies are treated with equal respect, and how to weather hatred, loneliness, harassment, and loss, and walk away laughing. Shrill provocatively dissects what it means to become self-aware the hard way, to go from wanting to be silent and invisible to earning a living defending the silenced in all caps. Named a Best Book of the Year by: NPR, ESQUIRE, The LA Times, and NEWSWEEK. Feminist Fight Club: An Office Survival Manual for a Sexist Workplace by Jessica Bennett In Feminist Fight Club, acclaimed US journalist Jessica Bennett blends the personal stories of her real-life fight club with research, statistics, and advice for how to combat today’s sexism (and come out the other side). Part manual, part manifesto, Bennett offers a new vocabulary for the sexist archetypes women encounter every day—such as the Manterrupter, who talks over female colleagues in meetings; or the Bropropriator, who appropriates their ideas—as well as the self-sabotaging behavior women sometimes exhibit themselves. With original illustrations and fascinating historical research as well as a straightforward assessment of the gender gap that continues to plague the American workforce, Feminist Fight Club offers practical strategies, stealthy hacks, and much-needed camaraderie for women battling their way through the modern workplace. The Gutsy Girl: Escapades for Your Life of Epic Adventure by Caroline Paul From a real-life derring-do woman, exhilarating stories, activities, and tips to inspire girls to pursue a life of adventure and excitement. The Gutsy Girl is Lean In for young girls, a book about the glorious things that happen when you unshackle from fear and open up to exhilaration. The author Caroline Paul offers engaging activities such as confidence-building stances, creating a compass, positive selftalk, and using crickets to estimate outside temperatures. Each section includes a place for girls to “journal” their adventures, thus encouraging a new generation to develop a zest for challenges and a healthy relationship to risk. The book is fully illustrated and enlivened throughout by bestselling illustrator Wendy MacNaughton's whimsical pen-and-ink drawings.

Available from Bookazine,

issue 190 | austcham news

• 19

Connect with AustCham on social! austchamhk




REPRESENT The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong & Macau (AustCham)


© 2017 The Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau



T +852 2522 5054

austcham news Issue 190  

The Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau monthly publication.

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