For the third consecutive year, we were excited to team up with the British Chamber of Commerce (BritCham) to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) with a joint fundraising luncheon on Wednesday, 8 May.
Co-hosted at The St. Regis Macao, our 2023 “Embrace Equity” fundraising luncheon welcomed about 190 people for a delicious gourmet meal and an opportunity to hear from a trio of inspiring women.
It was an honour to have three amazing speakers this year – Jingbo Huang, Director of the United Nations University Research Institute in Macau; Joanna Tam, a palliative care specialist, teacher and advocate; Michelle Garnaut, M Restaurants Group Owner – who explored what equity means to them and shared meaningful stories from their lives.
“This event is a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness among both men and women about equity as a topic – about bringing women to the front of the stage and having an equal world,” said Jingbo, who gave the first speech of the day.
Palliative care nurse Joanna shared her very personal story of why she got into the profession while pointing out that “young women constantly seek validation and that everyone these days is obsessed with happiness when it’s perfectly acceptable to not be.”
As the final speaker of the day, Michelle encouraged everyone to consider equity in a broader context, beyond men and women. “It’s also between races, between the rich and the poor – there’s a lot of inequity in the world,” she said.
She continued, women have come a long way from having “zero opportunity” to enjoying independence, literacy and many other things. “Women were once not allowed to read, so we have a lot to celebrate.”
Janet McNab, the Chair of AustCham Macau’s Board of Directors, echoed Michelle’s sentiment, adding: “Equity is not female-specific. It should be a 50-50 approach. The point is about making sure we all have a seat at the table,” she said, noting that women must also seize opportunities. “You have to want something in life, otherwise it will never happen.”
At the end of the event, we presented the Good Shepherd Sisters, a charity group helping women and children in crisis, with a MOP 70,000 donation. Of that, we raised MOP 30,000 from the luncheon, while Banco Nacional Ultramarino, Junpam Engineering, Lord Stow’s Bakery and AustCham Macau each donated MOP 10,000.
We are delighted that our event was fully supported by the diplomatic corps who travelled from afar including the Australian Consul General Elizabeth Ward and British Deputy Consul General Sara Robinson. A wonderful contribution of women diplomats in promoting equity between women and men and in so doing setting a great example in our region.
We also thank all of our guests, our co-organiser BritCham Macao and our generous sponsors, The St. Regis Macao, Banco Nacional Ultramarino, DFS Group, Wing Tai Properties and Macao News for making this year’s IWD celebration a huge success.
Happy International Women’s Day!