TEDxTinHauWomen: From a male’s viewpoint

Summary:
We speak to Jack, one of TEDxTinHauWomen’s male volunteers, to hear about his experience and views on equality. Read on to learn more.

Meet Jack. Jack is from the UK and works as a consultant in Hong Kong. I met up with him to discuss his involvement with TEDxTinHauWomen and what it meant to him: He’s volunteered at both the 2017 and 2018 TEDxTinHauWomen events as a goodie bag stuffer, security and general support throughout the event. Jack emphasised that despite our events being female-led and orientated, he’s always felt welcome and included. Whilst he notes the value of the network and community, he finds there’s nothing he enjoys more than the actual talks.

He referenced two speakers who were particularly memorable for him, and of which he still references today:

  • From 2017, Fiona Callanan-Thorsby and her Living Life to the Fullest talk. Jack shared that her 2004 tsunami survival story left a lasting impression. And what she’s achieved through fundraising and as an advocate for disability services in Asia is particularly impressive.
  • From 2018, Dr. Zoe Fortune and her Showing Up for your Mental Health talk. A focus on mental disorders and depression highlighted the importance of wellness for Jack and something he thinks we should all be aware of.

Jack continues to speak about the value of women and equality in the workplace, “I work for a large organisation and when I look at them globally, they’re certainly hitting their equality goals in places, but there’s always progress to be made. Businesses should promote equality and diversity for the different perspectives that result from it. I think equality not only elevates women but can enable positive changes for men as well. One day, when I have kids, I would like to have the option to take more time off to spend with them, and if we were to shift mindsets, erase stereotypes and encourage cultural changes in gender roles this would be achievable.”

“Most of my office is female, and most of my managers have been too. It’s not really out of the ordinary for me, and I think this has a lot to do with my mum. She’s always been the one who brings home the bacon. It has never been unusual for me to see women in leadership roles. We moved around to follow her career, but it worked because it was always a discussion and a partnership between my parents.”

Jack’s openness and ease on the topic of equality are a testament to his upbringing and his mother. He affectionately and undoubtedly shares that his mother was and is a strong role model in his life – “I’ve always noted the level of respect and admiration she receives at every company she has been a part of, and at its core it really stems from the fact that she is remarkably good at what she does.”

He also notes that Lady Hale has had a significant influence on him – and someone who he thinks is a great role model. So, who is she? Dubbed the “Beyoncé” of the legal profession. Lady Hale is the UK’s first female head of the supreme court, having taken up the role in October 2017. She has long been breaking down barriers in the judiciary, which has struggled to cast off the perception it is an old boys’ club, overwhelmingly white, male and public-school educated. She has been outspoken throughout her career about sexism in the judiciary and lack of diversity more broadly.

Jack first learnt of Hale during his time at University when he studied Law. His family law curriculum had a strong focus on her cases, “She simply has fantastic judgements that anyone can understand, and she has taken her training as a family law judge and applied it within the Supreme Court, which has allowed her to bring a necessary sense of empathy to her role.”

So, how do we get more women like Hale in leadership positions? “It’s all about mindset. To gain equality anywhere, it’s about shifting mindset and thinking logically. It’s not just about equality, it’s about being open and more fluid about our definition of gender roles. There is a clear benefit to greater diversity and equality in everything we do, whether it be gender, race, social class, etc.”

“There is always more work to be done. Hong Kong has made progress, but that doesn’t mean we need to stop. Standard maternity and paternity leave are not where they should be. There is some negativity around inclusion, diversity, but the more clarity and information we have on benefits and rights, the better. It’s a discussion to keep having.” We couldn’t agree more, Jack!

It’s support like Jacks that really help our TEDxTinHauWomen events come to life. If you’d like to volunteer, please get in touch with the TEDxTinHauWomen Committee.

Tickets for the Dec 6, 2019 TEDxTinHauWomen event: http://pelago.me/TEDxTinHauWomen  

RSVP for the most up to date event information: https://www.facebook.com/events/3154923897852879/ 

Follow us on social – FB/IG/TW: @TEDxTinHauWomen

To see 2018 talks, click here

Interviews and gathered by: Kara Barclay on behalf of TEDxTinHauWomen

The thoughts represent Jack and are reflective of his opinions while being interviewed as part of our organization’s support team

#TEDxTinHauWomen #BoldAndBrilliant #WithoutApologies

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