Women 'movers and shakers' of various industries discuss, discover China at New York forum

Updated 2017-05-27 17:30:15 Xinhua

A forum recently held in New York City has offered a platform for women to discuss how women are shaping China as a rising global power and opportunities for U.S. women leaders to communicate with their Chinese counterparts.

More than 300 women gathered at China Institute in New York on May 18 for the forum "Women and China: How Women Are Shaping the Rising Global Power" at which the speakers were women movers and shakers in industries such as finance, technology and culture. Xinhua reached out to the organizers and speakers via email to learn more about the event.

POSITIVE RESPONSE TO FORUM

Rebecca Liao, Asia head at Globality, a startup which focuses on international trade, moderated the forum's technology panel.

"I was absolutely honored to spend time with this group of highly accomplished, warm and dynamic women," she said. "I was especially inspired to see that a lot of young women came to the forum, and I hope we will have the opportunity to mentor more and form a community to help women grow."

Jeannette Wing, corporate vice president at Microsoft Research, was one of the speakers. She told Xinhua that she enjoyed the event because it gave her the opportunity to meet accomplished Asian women whom she would otherwise not encounter in her circle of colleagues.

"I talked primarily about how technology trends, especially in Artificial Intelligence, data science and cloud computing, are affecting all sectors and professions, not just the tech sector," Wing said.

"We are witnessing a rapid growth and adoption of technology where every company in every sector is undergoing a digital transformation.Participants learned about what these trends are and how they will affect people's lives at work and at home," she said.

Wing said China's rise had affected her career path in a positive way as it has opened up new opportunities for her to meet her Chinese counterparts in academia, government and industry.

"I have been asked to advise Chinese universities and Chinese funding agencies on strategic directions in research and education in computer science. I helped advocate the importance of basic research for industrial research labs and the importance of working closely with academic partners to elevate the overall quality of research in computer science in China," she said.

Virginia Kamsky, CEO of the strategic advisory firm Kamsky Associates, also had good memories of the forum. "It was exciting for me to meet other women who have been dedicated to working in China, both Chinese and Western, and in building constructive bridges between Chinese women and the rest of the world," she said.

"I spoke about my experience of working in China since 1978 at the beginning of the reform and opening-up and the changes between then and now," Kamsky said.

"I also discussed the fact that women in China at the leadership level have, throughout the years, had a passion to help and support other women, even those just starting out like myself in my twenties at the time," Kamsky said, adding that she mentioned two of her female mentors as examples: Wu Yi, former vice premier of China and health minister during the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) crisis, and Xie Xide, former president of Fudan University.

"Female leaders in China have always provided guidance to women in the work force in China. I said that I thought working in China was an advantage because you were not limited in China as to how much you could accomplish based on your gender, as compared to both the United States and Japan and that there is still a 'glass ceiling' for women in America and that that does not exist in China. I encouraged the women in the audience to pursue careers in China," Kamsky said.

"The rise of China has affected my career path personally because in the early days, when China did not have reserves, I would need to structure transactions on a barter basis as compared with today where I have the opportunity to participate in China's outbound investment activity," Kamsky said, adding that now, there is both inbound and outbound work to be done, which she finds "exhilarating and very exciting."

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