Gender Equality From Workplace To The Public— Dinner with Fiona Nott, CEO of The Women’s Foundation
Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career, where we get a glimpse into their mentality behind their ventures.
Originally hailing from Sydney, Fiona Nott has been in Hong Kong for over two decades — cultivating her career as a senior legal professional and advisor to a number of leading corporations, startups and non-profit organizations around Asia.
Among her extensive repertoire, she was the co-founder of Room to Read’s Hong Kong Chapter, as well as the deputy chair of the Australian Chamber of Commerce Hong Kong and Macau — where she eventually became founder and chair of its Women in Business Network and, in 2015, won the People’s Choice Award for the Advancement of Women in Business at the Austcham-Westpac Australia China Business Awards.
Recognizing her passion to support marginalized women and girls, Fiona now serves as CEO of The Women’s Foundation (TWF), where she utilizes her senior leadership experience to create programmes, initiatives and campaigns that challenge gender stereotypes, empower women in poverty, and advance women leaders in Hong Kong.
Over dinner, Fiona shared with us how she leads TWF to help build a gender equal Hong Kong.
What is your life philosophy?
Live your values, take a risk and enjoy life.
My values centre around supporting people in the world who stand for social justice, and gender equality is one of those. Each time you decide to stand up for something or you find yourself in a situation that goes against your values, there are two questions to consider: what can you do to live your life to the fullest? If you can’t achieve this through your current path of hard work, how will you adjust your values and actions to create the life you want?
If you woke up tomorrow morning with a superpower, what would that be?
I hope to improve my Cantonese (haha!).
Do you have a habit that has improved your life?
I think the whole journey around self-awareness is really important. It took me quite a long time, like years, to really understand it. It’s through lots of personal challenges where you learn to process and understand your feelings and thinking, that you can then step back and realize that you are not your job.
Being mindful and present really helped me. If you get frustrated enough, you will want to take action to change. How you handle both your frustration and ability to change is through meditation and being centered.
What is one action you want everyone to take away from meeting you?
Be positive, live your values and be that changer in the world.
Whatever you are doing, own it. Use your voice for yourself, for other people and change the system. Now’s the time! The world is shifting and you have power. So go for it!
Thank you, Fiona, for having dinner with us, and thanks to everyone who volunteered and took part in raising 132 volunteer hours to various charities. Also hats off to WeWork Tower 535 for providing us with such a wonderful venue.