Empowering Voices: Celebrating Women’s Leadership and Innovation on International Women’s Day

In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD), we would like to spotlight women who have not only excelled in their fields but have also significantly contributed to the dialogue on gender equality, empowerment, and innovation. As IWD approaches, we reflect on the powerful messages shared by speakers, moderators, judges and conversion leads at our past happenings.

Bringing together a cadre of inspirational women, each leaving a long lasting mark on their audiences through their experiences, achievements, and visions for a more equitable world. Let’s revisit the contributions of these twenty remarkable speakers, whose stories and insights resonate with the spirit of International Women’s Day.

Amanda Mercep, lead consultant at Wellevated Consulting, specializes in elevating wellness in the workplace, demonstrating how holistic health contributes to professional success and personal fulfillment. 

Catherine Yu, assistant director of Partnerships at Hong Kong Science Park, plays a pivotal role in fostering innovation by bridging the gap between technology startups and industry giants. 

Chelsea Perino, managing director of marketing at the Executive Centre, champions flexible workspace solutions, empowering businesses and individuals to thrive in a dynamic work environment.

Coey Yuen, field supervisor at Hong Kong Polytechnic University, leads by example in the field of social work, eager to keep contributing to the social service sector and driving positive changes in the industry.

Debbie Mannas, a HR leader at DE&I Champion, is a seasoned HR leader with extensive experience in talent management, organisational development, pipeline building and digital transformation. 

Denise Ho, general manager of Asia Pacific at Cerqular, steers the company towards sustainable consumer practices, proving that eco-friendly choices can go hand in hand with stylish living. 

Devana Ng, co-founder of Invisible Company, is revolutionizing the fight against single-use plastic, offering innovative solutions that blend environmental activism with practicality.

Fern Ngai, chairperson at KELY Support Group, focuses on youth empowerment, advocating for mental health and substance abuse prevention among Hong Kong’s youth. 

Janette Chu, head of product at Prenetics, is at the forefront of genetic testing and digital health, offering cutting-edge solutions for personalized healthcare.

Joanna Hotung, director at Hotung Mills Education Foundation, leverages her expertise to enhance educational opportunities for underprivileged children, believing in education’s power to transform lives. 

Krizia Li, CEO & founder of Vermillion, a brand curating the best of Asia’s luxury and premium lifestyle brands, supported by Big Data + predictive AI.

Menka Patel, principal at VU Venture Partners, leads investments in groundbreaking startups, spotlighting the critical role of female investors in shaping the future of technology and innovation. 

Nicole Denholder, CEO & founder of Next Chapter Raise, an organisation redefining partnerships for Female Entrepreneurs, Investors and Partners, and a financial education platform for women to address the gender wealth and investing gap.

Olivia Cotes-James, CEO of LUÜNA, is to close the gender health gap and  redefining feminine care with her commitment to toxin-free, environmentally friendly products, challenging stigmas and promoting health. 

Sarah Fung, founder & CEO of HULA, pioneers the sustainable fashion movement, curating pre-owned luxury goods to offer an eco-conscious shopping alternative.

Serena Fan, founder & executive director of the Hong Kong Children’s Discovery Museum, creates interactive learning experiences for children, fostering curiosity and a love for discovery. 

Sonalie Figueiras is a founder of Green Queen Media, an impact media platform driving change in Hong Kong and co-founder of Source Green, connecting brands with eco-friendly packaging solutions.

Sophiya Chiang, founder of Deploy, is a global deal scouting and evaluation network – empowering investors to identify and access early startups.

Vanessa Ruzzica, executive director at Evergreen Land Ltd., a people-oriented leader who breaks down silos and special talent to create trusting relationships have seen her grow and thrive in a global and multicultural environment she particularly enjoys.

Winnie Leung, general partner at Transcend Capital Partners, is a venture capital fund based in Hong Kong founded by experienced entrepreneurs, investors and corporate financial professionals. They also commit >50% AUM on female led startups.

As International Women’s Day stands as a global call to action for gender equality, the stories and achievements of these speakers from past WLAB events serve as a beacon of inspiration and a reminder of the progress that has been made and the work that remains. Their diverse backgrounds and contributions reflect the multifaceted nature of the challenges faced by women and the myriad ways in which these challenges can be addressed.

Let’s celebrate this International Women’s Day by honoring these voices and committing to continue the fight for a more equitable world. May the insights and achievements of these women inspire us all to push for change, not just on IWD but every day, as we work towards a future where every woman and girl has the opportunity to realize her potential, free from bias and limitations.

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