Trina Liang-Lin, 46, President of the Singapore Committee for UN Women
When it comes to making a difference to the lives of young women and girls every day, Trina Liang-Lin is a phenomenal example. A comforting presence in many diverse boards, the President of the Singapore Committee of UN Women has worked tirelessly to address issues facing the fairer sex such as gender equality, sexism and women’s empowerment.
“I’ve always felt that girls should not have to play second fiddle to boys,” she declares. “Coming from the banking industry, I experienced sexism early on and it was from there that I felt a woman’s voice really needed to be heard in the workplace, which led to the creation of the Financial Women’s Association of Singapore.”
Under her watch at UN Women, Trina counts two milestones as her proudest moments: The role she and her team played in working with the government to implement a mandatory rest day for Foreign Domestic Workers in 2013, as well as putting in place anti-trafficking laws that protects the lives of countless women.
It’s wonderful being a woman because… we are free to make our own choices for example in our education, our job and even choosing a spouse – hard-won situations which we should never take for granted.”
Georgette Tan, 56, Vice-President of the Singapore Committee for UN Women
Georgette can’t help but believe in the power and strength of women even when they don’t believe in themselves.
“It all started close to 10 years ago when I joined UN Women, it was an opportunity for me to get involved and volunteer to help women,” she says. “I saw that there was a huge need to give back to society in this way and that I could actually make a difference.”
As Senior Vice-President of Communications for the Asia-Pacific region at Mastercard, Georgette has extended her quest to empower women in the region through education and development programs.
“Women everywhere are fundamentally the same, they will put everybody else before themselves. They will prioritise their children, their family, or their parents first and place themselves right at the bottom of the list,” she observes.
“This motivated me to say ‘I need to do something for these women’ and my philosophy is that if you help a woman, there’s a multiplier effect because that woman is going to help others.”
It’s wonderful being a woman because… we’re at a point in our history and development where we can effect change because our voices can be heard.
Pia Bruce, 48, Executive Director of the Singapore Committee for UN Women
Pia loves that fact that she was born a girl. “Growing up, I remember looking at what boys were doing and I was never interested. I was always happy that I was a girl,” she confesses.
“But I grew up taking it for granted because gender was never an issue in Sweden. I quickly realised when I was older that women in other places of the world didn’t have as much freedom of choice as much as I did.”
That realisation sparked a lifelong desire to create a meaningful world for women and children, which is what Pia continually strives towards in her work with the Singapore Committee for UN Women.
“Women’s equal participation is crucial in achieving the UN’s 2030 sustainability development goals, which aims to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that people enjoy peace and prosperity,” she explains.
“We can only do this if we address key challenges like ending discrimination and eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls everywhere, including trafficking and sexual exploitation. Of course, women’s empowerment is a pre-condition for this.”
It’s wonderful being a woman because… we can connect with other people and feel and receive empathy.
(Main Image: Jeff Chang, Vee Chin and Yann Cloitre; Art Direction: Christina Lim; Styling: Jerome Awasthi, assisted by Nadia Rahman; and Neo Lirong, assited by Caroline Neo; Hair: Ash Loi, assisted by Raen Chan; Dawn Chang; and Kenneth Ong; Makeup: Carmen Ong; Ginger Lynette; Rie Miura; and Lolent Lee; All jewellery worn by PANDORA.)