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Can Women Have It All? Series

Updated: 3 days ago

Spotlight #3: Lena Wong

Even in modern times, there's a stark decline in women's participation in the workforce once they reach 30, a trend that doesn't fully rebound. In Hong Kong, research has found that while men maintain a 95% labour force participation rate, women's participation hovers at 75% or lower.

Why? Because we’re told we can’t “have it all”; we've to stick to certain roles and be confined by them. This is why I reached out to 5 incredible mothers who juggle careers, marriage, children and personal life like pros. They are a diverse group, of entrepreneurs, accountants, lawyers, branding consultants, business owners, and more. But they aren’t just defined by their jobs or their motherhood, they are women who are killing it. But not themselves. So tune in for our latest conversation now! 

Did you miss the rest of the conversations? Check out what our previous speakers had to say. 

Next up is Lena Wong, a formidable leader and advocate whom I have met through my own entrepreneurial journey. I feel so fortunate to have crossed paths with Lena, who has been a trailblazer supporting mothers and entrepreneurs. Here is a bit more about Lena’s background and accomplishments

Lena Wong is the Founder & Executive Director of Hong Kong Momtrepreneurs, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering mothers to pursue their entrepreneurial ventures. Through this platform, mothers find support and encouragement to discover their passions and reach their full potential. Lena's commitment to supporting professional women extends to her other venture, Womentors, where she collaborates with companies to create better workplaces for women.

With a background in finance and a passion for social impact, Lena began her career as a financial analyst in Hong Kong before shifting her focus to her family and entrepreneurship. Alongside her work with Momtrepreneurs and Womentors, Lena is actively involved in leading pre-career programs for 100 Women in Finance in Hong Kong. As a mother of two girls, Lena is deeply dedicated to promoting gender equality and fostering a more empathetic global community. In her leisure time, she enjoys savouring a cup of coffee or wine with friends and expanding her knowledge through learning new things.

How do you navigate the balance between your career, family, and personal aspirations?

Balancing career, family, and personal aspirations is a dynamic interrelated process. I've found that skills and knowledge gained in one area often benefit the others. It's essential to nurture all three pillars because they complement and enhance each other. Surviving with just one is not sustainable; they all play a vital role in my life. 

Can you share specific strategies or routines that have helped you maintain this balance?

Establishing consistent habits or routines in each area of your life can make a significant difference. For instance, I have committed to going to the gym four times, scheduling at least one meetup with a friend, and ensuring i am home to put my kids to bed at least three times a week. I also walk them to school daily. At work, holding weekly team meetings and setting boundaries by avoiding weekend work on the laptop are effective practices. There are many such small habits that one can build into their routines to help maintain a balance and keep your sanity! 

What challenges have you encountered in trying to "have it all," and how have you overcome them?

The biggest challenge I have encountered is to try to make everything perfect. But I realize now that this will never happen. When I was younger, I wanted everything to work out as I had planned and it's incredibly disheartening when things turn out differently.  This mindset persisted until my husband and my fertility journey, where I learned that despite our best efforts, some things are beyond our control. It took us five years to conceive our first child, which is when I realised that sometimes the best way to overcome a challenge is to sit back and take it easy. Through this experience, I realized that imperfection is inevitable, and embracing it is key to overcoming challenges. Because of these hardships, I've emerged as a better mother and leader. I believe you can have it all, but just accept that it will not be perfect. 

In your journey, how important have support systems, such as family, friends, or workplace support, been in achieving a sense of balance?

I have one word - delegate. Over the years I have learnt that it is important to allow others to take the lead, even if they make mistakes. Of course, it sometimes feels like no one can do it right. Your spouse isn’t tying your daughter’s hair properly, your aunty isn’t disciplining the children well, and your colleague isn’t creating a good enough social media post. But ultimately you need to let go and allow others to take the driver's seat. So I have embodied the mantra, ‘take it easy’. 

How have Mothers' events like Mum’s Meet Ups helped you out? 

Knowing that I'm not alone in facing the challenges of motherhood and that my experiences are shared by others brings immense comfort. Meeting other women has helped me realize that there is a great support network out there, that can give me not only a sense of direction, but also some much-needed pampering occasionally. I'm grateful for the amazing women who contribute to such supportive communities, providing encouragement and assistance to each other along this challenging journey.

If you’re also a mother looking for that comfort, support AND pampering - do join our upcoming events! You will meet incredible, inspiring women, like Lena, Tracy, Janani, Jaerey and more! 

Do you feel like you need more? I offer one-to-one coaching to help you discover your inner wisdom and have it your way!

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