Women Media Networks starts in HK

Non-profit group seeks to empower women in industry

HONG KONG – Tuesday saw the formal launch in Hong Kong of Women Media Networks, an Asia Pacific-based, not-for-profit organization.

Founder Bobbi Campbell said its three main aims are to increase the visibility of women in the media sector, to help them make informed decisions and to create a regional network that empowers women and helps them realize their full potential.

Speaking at a breakfast reception held on the fringes of the annual Cable & Satellite Industry Association of Asia convention, Campbell said that its main areas of action will be leadership, professional support and networking.

"There is more to networking than simply schmoozing," Campbell said. "Research shows that women get promoted based on performance, while men get promoted based on their connections."

The lively debate that followed – involving Christine Fellowes, (managing director, Asia Pacific, Comcast International Media Group), former STAR TV boss Michelle Guthrie (now senior advisor, Providence Equity Asia Limited), Aliza Knox, (head of online sales and operations, Google Asia Pacific), author and chat show host May Lee (Lotus Media House), Rohana Rohzan, (CEO, Astro) and  Laura Wendt, vice president and managing director of Walt Disney Television International (SE Asia) – discussed the peculiarities of the media sector in the region, societal expectations and the pros and cons of mentor programs.

The group session appeared to suggest that "the leaking pipeline," the phenomenon where women drop out of the workplace, deserves more concern than the infamous "glass ceiling," where women in business are said to hit an invisible barrier which limits their career progress.