Meet Our Women's Month Ambassador Sarah Vee, The founder of Women Of Hong Kong
Posted by FABIANA GONZALEZ
Sarah has been a champion of women in our community, and she has been representing VIPOP since day one. As a mother, mentor, and business owner, she is a great example of thriving women in our community.
Sarah is a woman with a passion for empowering women, making them feel like they can do anything as well as building pillars for a supportive community—and that's exactly what she's done through her work with Women of Hong Kong.
What began as an online platform (Whatsapp Group) has grown into an international community of over 7,000 strong who are united by their love of all things female. They share personal stories and advice, celebrate each other's successes, raise awareness about issues affecting women worldwide… basically everything we love about our own community here at VIPOP.
We are very excited to be working with Sarah, we hope this sharing will inspire you.
1. How do you address women empowerment through WOHK?
I'm pushing women empowerment by creating a space where women can have equal opportunities and equal resources. At WOHK we do this by connecting you with other women who are in similar positions, building a network of support for your career and life.
The WOHK Whatsapp group is open to all women, regardless of their work experience level or location. We've got members from Hong Kong mostly as well as around the world who are ready to share their experiences with you.
The best part of this group is that we all come from different backgrounds, experiences and points of view. we can promise you that every answer is coming from a place of love and support—and will always be given with the intention of helping one another grow
The purpose of this group is to create an environment where women are empowered and supported through honest communication, quality information, and practical advice!
We also have regular meetup events where members can come together face-to-face and discuss topics they're passionate about, whether that's work/life balance or getting ahead at work.
2. What are the challenges you face while living and advocating for it?
Few of the challenges I face are people's perceptions about what I do. Sometimes, the work that I do sounds too good to be true. People wonder what's the catch or hidden agenda? People have a hard time believing that it's a free network for women because they've been through difficulties in their lives and can't believe that someone would help them without expecting anything in return. That's one of the challenges I go through is stating my intention, no matter if I tell you that I'm doing this for the good of women or for me, there might be some people who have a hard time accepting this. That's why I always say we need to exercise empathy in the women who work because not everybody is coming from the same place as you. People have different understandings based on their own perspective.
The other challenge is more internal and how I approach situations: am I coming across as egoistic or empathetic? Not everyone is kind and can come across as difficult at times. So, it's important for me to stay aware of how I react or reassess the situation going forward so that it doesn't affect our relationship in a negative way.
The biggest challenge in running a community for women is being an example. Not every woman is perfect and not every woman is the ideal woman you wanna be, so how do you become that example of somebody that's running a woman community?
For me, it really just goes back to exercising empathy. I can't be everyone's favorite person; I can't always be liked by everyone in the network. But that's why I'm really honest about why I do it and the intention behind running WOHK.
I don't do it to be liked; my motive has always been to help others. And one of the reasons why I did start the network was because I couldn't find somewhere that provided me with genuine honest help—and also because I wasn't able to fit into anyone's puzzle piece! So I got tired of waiting for a place where I felt accepted or understood without needing a business or charity.
3. How to engage men in women empowerment?
First, we need to understand that men are not going to understand what women empowerment is unless they know exactly why it's important. We can start by explaining the value in engaging more with women empowerment, instead of telling them that this is what you need to do. If we want men to understand us, then we need to understand them as well.
You can start with being more vocal about why we would need meant to engage more in anything that we feel empowered about, instead of telling them that this is what you need to do we need to be speaking about why this is something you need to do and who it's going to affect what's the repercussions and what's the value in the future of creating this action I think we can start there because if you want to be understood by the opposite sex we also need to understand them.We need to explain how this issue affects us personally; what its repercussions will be on society; and how it can create value in the future.
Vipop team at the WOHK event
4. How do you achieve women empowerment, how success looks like for you?
My vision of women's empowerment is a world where we all know how to help each other succeed. I'm picturing a world where women are absolutely empathetic towards each other and again understanding that we all come from different places and that all have different start times as if we were running a race and it's all about looking left and right and checking what can I do to help this other person to have equal footing.
If I ever have more funds and business opportunities I'm gonna look to my left and right and see if there's anywhere I can help.
There was a life lesson that I read online that you're only here for a short while anyways so try and do something that adds to the pot and it may just make life easier for someone. And that your contributions to the world while you're here are adding value to other people's lives in some way or another whether it be through your work or just through your presence, because ultimately we're here for each other and so why wouldn't you want to give back as much as possible?
For years, the number one reason why there aren't enough female leaders or female icons leading empowerment is because we were told that I'm better given more opportunities. I agree to a certain extent, but I'm going to bring different perspectives to the pot. It's also because we women are hesitant to be more assertive or hesitant to ask for the role or position we believe we deserve, but we're not vocal about it because we are a little bit more cautious. We don't think most men have that same fear if they do have a fear of rejection; I would assume it's more in the dating world. For a woman, rejection encompasses a lot of areas in their life, maybe regarding our children or friends or job or partners, so when it comes to feeling empathetic, empowerment really starts with yourself! Be a leader of empowerment.