Women in Business Network

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The Mission of the AustCham Women in Business Network is "To connect, support and advance women in business and promote gender diversity within the Australian Chamber
community in Hong Kong".

Steering Committee

Chair: Simone Wheeler

Global Head, Group Communications, CLSA Ltd

A corporate communications and marketing professional with 15+ years’ management experience in Asia in finance, media and advertising.

A passionate, creative and engaging leader. Spoken at numerous industry conferences. Adept at operating in dynamic, entrepreneurial and multicultural environments.  Direct work experience in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, Singapore, Thailand and the United Kingdom. 

Engagement and Mission

Announced in January 2015 by Ita Buttrose, the AustCham Women in Business Network (WIBN) has been on a roll since its official launch in March. With a focus on knowledge exchange, networking and training, the goal of the network is to meet the professional and personal development needs of women members while facilitating corporate member engagement in diversity and inclusion initiatives, all the while promoting recruitment and retention of new AustCham members.

The Network is open to all AustCham members, whether individuals or corporate.

The Chamber is delighted that global recruitment firm Ambition were the first to offer their support to the Network in the form of an official sponsorship alongside Aesop, a long term AustCham supporter. They were joined later into the programme by international corporate law firm Minter Ellison who have extended their support into the next year. And the Chamber is delighted to associate the Women in Business Network with such high profile professional organisation. 

In the first six months of 2015, WIBN has hosted five events featuring inspirational leaders including Michelle Guthrie of Google, Kimberley Cole of Thomson Reuters, Frances Adamson, Australia's Ambassador to China and two finalists in the 22nd Australia-China Business Awards, People’s Choice Award for the Advancement of Women in Business.

In addition to the generous sponsorship from Ambition, the Network has been delighted with the support of speakers, moderators and hosts from Westpac, Macquarie, KPMG, Telstra, Thompson Reuters, Bloomberg, Financial Times, Blackrock and Melco Crown.

Apart from internal networking and leadership events and programmes, part of the Network's strategy is to actively engage with other Committees and Networks of the Chamber to host joint events and encourage greater female participation, and support corporate member engagement in diversity and inclusion. To that end, the Network is planning a joint event with the Construction, Property and Infrastructure Committee in the second half of 2015.

The Network is strengthening collaborations with other Chambers and organisations promoting gender diversity in Hong Kong, Australia and Greater China. For example, a joint event was held with The Women's Foundation to host Frances Adamson, Australia's Ambassador to China.

The WIBN is also planning round table discussions with business leaders, both female and male (and within the network membership) on issues of importance to members.

Looking Ahead
There are a number of initiatives in the pipeline for the next 12 months, including two new event series - one on leadership and the other on women and technology, joint events with other AustCham committees like the Construction, Property and Infrastructure Committee and the AustCham People Forum, and a members survey, etc. 

The Network welcomes your input and support in making this new network a success so please let the Secretariat know if you would like to get involved.