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Find the full transcription of this episode here.

#impact Season 5 shows you how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relate to you. This time, we sit down with Carol Yeung from iNNOVGoals and Lena Wong from Hong Kong Momtrepreneursto hear why we need everyone’s allyship more than ever to reach Global Goal 5 – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The 2020 edition of a United Nations report on  “The World’s Women: Trends and Statistics” stated:  “Efforts to control COVID-19 have differing effects on women and men, but the emotional impact of the pandemic is disproportionately falling on women’s shoulders.” All over the globe, the pandemic brought devastating impacts on equality.  The UK based Fawcett Society reported in October 2020 that 1 in 3 working mothers have lost work or hours due to childcare in the United Kingdom.

Carol welcomed her first child in the world here in Hong Kong in early 2020. Like for so many mothers, returning to work did not work as planned. To make this recording possible, Carol brought her infant to Lena’s co-working space. Carol and Lena have known and supported each other for many years. Lena’s husband was helping to look after the baby while we recorded this episode. 

“As I was walking here to join this podcast, I kept on thinking:  Really, can a mother bring the child to work?”

Carol Yeung, iNNOVGoals

The set up of the recording of this episode demonstrates the importance of functioning support systems to allow mothers to keep working – if they wish or have to do so. 

Carol is all about taking action and talking solutions. She founded iNNOVGoals to offer educational training and consulting to businesses, schools and community organizations about the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“We should think of solutions, we should act for solutions for the Sustainable Development Goals.” (Carol Yeung)

One of her organisation’s impactful training programmes is the 2030 SDGs game. In this episode, Carol illustrates how this game shifts mindsets. Participants gain a deeper understanding of the collaboration that is needed to achieve the SDGs.

After Carol received her qualification as a SDGs game facilitator, her friend Lena Wong was the first to participate and although it was not love at first sight, Lena found her AHA-moment as she kept playing the game.

Lena, herself a driven professional with a passion for empowering women to start their own businesses, shares how she made the most and the best of a challenging year.

“Interestingly, Zoom, and all this technology, also brings us closer. I would have never thought about having a trainer who is out in Switzerland, contracting a game for us. Now we have people from all over the world joining. Just because it’s online, it is possible.”

Lena Wong, Hong Kong Momtrepreneurs

Lena Wong founded Hong Kong Momtrepreneurs, a bilingual non-profit platform to offer entrepreneurial training programs to mothers. They also raise public awareness on policies related to women empowerment by working closely with government, public and private sector.

“Over the past two years, I’ve received a lot of support, not only from women who can resonate with me, because they are mothers or they are women, I also get support from men as well. And that is extremely powerful, receiving the male counterparts’ support.”

It’s not all rainbows and sunshine. In this episode you will hear Lena and Carol share about setbacks and disappointments as they juggle the many roles they hold and what they worry about. 

“I’m getting very concerned in fact about the mental health of our next generation. Having been through the pandemic, a lot of our children may not have the opportunity to communicate and to socialize with their peers in the same way that we had as a child.” 

Lena Wong, Hong Kong Momtrepreneurs

This episode is a testament to the importance of looking out for each other, within our own communities, within our circle of friends, to stand up for each other, to speak up for gender equality in all aspects of our life. 

Find the full transcription of this episode here.

In this episode you learn:

  • How the 2030 SDGs game changes mindsets about the Sustainable Development Goals  (13:55)
  • The devastating set backs looking at gender equality over this past year (31:27)
  • What eating Potato Chips has to do with the SDGs (23:14)
  • How Covid-19 has helped parents to take on a more active role in their children’s lives (35:42)
  • The pandemics impact on physical and mental health and how to confront this challenge (42:52)

Featured guests: 

Also highligthed in this episode:

  • Pathfinders | a local charity in Hong Kong that ensures the most vulnerable and unsupported children in Hong Kong are protected and respected, and their migrant mothers – predominantly current or former Migrant Domestic Workers – are empowered to find a path to a bright future.
  • Bring me a book | a local charity in Hong Kong that envisions a Hong Kong in which every child is read to, strengthening family and community bonds, and creating a love of learning.