2nd Women Leadership Panel Series: Opportunities for Women Leadership in the Digital Era
"I am very proud to say that the majority of deans at Columbia are now women," said Lee C. Bollinger, President of Columbia University, during his opening remarks at the panel discussion Opportunities for Women Leadership in the Digital Era. "Our female faculty and researchers are not only helping better understand the society's attitude towards and ideas about women in workforce, but they are always as it is their responsibility to do challenging preconceptions of what women are capable of in the world."
On November 9, Columbia Global Centers | Beijing, Zhen Fund, and Her Village Academy jointly hosted the panel discussion Opportunities for Women Leadership in the Digital Era at the Beijing Hong Kong Jockey Club Clubhouse, Beijing. Five women leader representatives joined the discussion, including Ms. Lan Yang, Chairperson of Sun Media Group and Her Village Academy and advisory board member of Columbia Global Centers | Beijing; Ms. Anna Fang-Hamm, Partner and CEO of ZhenFund and advisory board member of Columbia Global Centers | Beijing; Dr. Xiaohong Han, Founder and President of Ciming Health Checkup Management Group Co., Ltd. and President of Ciji Network Technology Co. Ltd.; Ms. Zhen Liu, Senior Vice President of Bytedance (Toutiao); and Ms. Wei Shu, Founder and CEO of ZAOZUO.com.
Correspondents from Xinhua News Agency, People's Daily, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times Chinese, CGTN, Caixin Media, Beijing TV, China Women's News, and Foreign Online attended the event.
During the discussion, five panelists shared their business stories and their insights on family-work balance, female entrepreneurship, and female leadership.
According to Ms. Lan Yang, the stereotype that a mother being a sacrifice to give up her life potentials and opportunities to serve her family and children is now different. Mothers now are not only taking care of their families, but pursuing their careers and dreams.
"It's only a matter of swings and roundabouts," commented by Ms. Wei Shu on the balance between family and work.
In the meantime, as a daughter, Lan also expressed her gratitude towards her parents: "I always appreciate that [my parents] are in good health condition, and I say to them all the time, mom and dad please take care of yourselves, because that is the biggest blessing in my life."
Ms. Anna-Fang Hamm said in today's venture capital, actually most of the top firms in China have a female partner: "20% of firms in China have partner who is woman, compared to about 8% in the U.S. Basically, the women we are backing are already very strong, and the thing that I noticed is that they are well-rounded, and especially they know how to make their own brand. Whether it's papi or Wei Shu, women really know how to make their own IP, and they embrace their own IP, which is really successful for a lot of consumer products.
Five panelists also had a discussion on the advantages of having women leadership in business. Dr. Xiaohong Han and Ms. Zhen Liu believe that education and career experiences contribute to leadership and can make up for congenital deficiency and gender gap in many ways.
"On the nature in between, I think they are all modeling that people on the panel they present. It is incredibly important to motivate not only women, but to motivate men and young boys, to look at women differently than perhaps we have in former generations," said Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University, during his closing remarks. "When women are given the alternative, it's open and the strains are elapsed, the sky is the limit in terms of what they can accomplish."
To close the panel, Ms. Lan Yang called on the audience to stay tuned for Columbia Global Centers | Beijing's programs and activities. More than 160,000 people watched the panel discussion live through Beijing Center's live-streaming platform.
At press time, Xinhua News Agency, Caixin Video, and China Women's News reported the panel. Earlier that day, President Bollinger had an exclusive interview with People's Daily. Please click here to read the whole interview.