East meets West POVs

Awaken the Lioness

Written by Katharina Paulini 

When starting the session about “Awaken the Lioness: The battle front of Asian women” I didn’t really know what to expect. After a quick survey from the audience on an Asian female image, 43% of the audience voted for a “hardworking, conscientious worker bee”, followed by 27% voting for a “tiger mom and a dutiful housewife” when thinking of Asian women image .

Next thing I know, three women stepped onto the stage and took their seats. And just from their presence you could feel that they’re powerful and inspiring and want to make a dent.

So how to make a change?

We need to start in the industry. While Asian women are more and more coming into the picture of a world led by men, the share between men and women is almost the same in China and Korea. However, India for example is still working on getting more women into working areas as the percentage of men is by far higher than women.

Women must have the rights to get the same education as men do. Supportive teachers, professors and mentors along the way should enable both girls and boys to learn what they’re interested in and support them equally. Because in the end, education can change direction of the path a woman is going to take.

Having great support in your family is invaluable - whether these are your parents or a person close to you. Someone who leads the way and pushes you into the right direction. Someone who makes sure to be there when you don’t know what you should do or if you need guidance. Someone who reassures you when you’re doubting everything.

People have to know that failing is okay, and you can learn from it and thrive. You need to find your position you’re taking on and that may take a little longer than expected. But that’s totally fine – dream big. We can only learn from our mistakes and criticism and turn it into something valuable for ourselves and then go on sharing it with other people. As long as you stay focused and patient you can achieve everything.

A big breakthrough with Asian women making their way into brands and companies, is the new trend where ‘she marketing’ is being used to rebuild the image of Asian women and erase the stereotypes that come with it. Focus on women’s strengths and abilities rather then them being good wives and mothers.


“In our advertising industry, allow yourself to fall in love” – David “Shingy” Shing

Highlight of the day

Meeting Shingy was by far my highlight. He is such an inspirational person and amazing speaker.