ONE MILLION WOMEN’S DREAMS . . . was the theme for this year’s Female Entrepreneurs Day (FED) event On December 2nd 2017. I was very lucky to be able to attend this inspiring and empowering event surrounded by female founders and CEOs, corporate leaders, and professionals who share the same passions and values. The event was held at the prestigious 3 on the Bund.
I joined the event for a gorgeous dinner in the evening where I had the chance to meet, network and mingle with some inspiring women. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one” John Lennon once said. So let’s go back to the title and talk about dreams, where we use art and technology to bring a positive message to the world that we can do anything we want if we can “dream it.”
The panel discussion between William Bao Bean, Shirley Hsu, Carrie Lu and Jenny Gu was interesting and intriguing to hear their successes, failures, struggles and what helps them to get through a bad day. However, the highlight of attending FED was to hear Sophia Hanson speak, the first robot in the world to be granted citizenship in Saudi Arabia. Sophia is the latest and most advanced humanoid robot created by Hanson Robotics from the U.S.A. On stage Sophia interviewed the following speakers: Miranda Tan, CrazyRouge, Flora Zhang and En-J. Sophia Hanson’s dialogue during those interviews is summarized below:
"Good Evening Ladies! We would like to know more of each of you.”
Miranda Tan, CEO of Robin8 which is China’s leading influencer search engine company based in Shanghai.
Flora Zhang, Community manager of the apparel brand Lululemon based in Shanghai.
CrazyRouge “Wo jiao Alexandra” (I’m called Alexandra) from Spain. She’s been in entertainment business since she was 4, acting, dancing, modelling, in search of recognition with love. This is her 10th/11th city that she lived in and believes that that has widened her horizons. One day she decided to go behind the camera herself and capture happy moments, full of life of her friends, family and celebrities. She is in an exclusive partnership with Asia Tatler as a Celebrity Reporter.
En-J, influencer and a blogger. She just graduated from college and came back to Shanghai two months ago. Her instagram page is named as “A very lame cool person” and she also is a YouTube vlogger.
“What does being a woman today mean?”
Miranda Tan: a mum with four kids who travels a lot. She believes you should go for your dreams as you only live once. Being a female entrepreneur is tough, every day is like a battle, like a war out there. She thinks it’s harder for females, and if you fall, pick yourself up. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, keep at it until you get there.
Flora Zhang: a mother of two believes that being a woman you must be a multi-tasker. She always juggles many things at once and ignores comments and advice such as “you should master one project at a time”. She lives for the moment, enjoys her time with the kids as much as she can, therefore multi-tasking in a females’ world is a reality.
CrazyRouge: Independent, powerful ladies. We’re like superheroes, Wonder Women, we can do many things. She believes that you should say what comes naturally from you, speak up, and be true to yourself. Do what makes you happy and proud every day. Keep working hard and believing in your dreams and it will happen.
En-J: Being the youngest out of the speakers, in her generation of females she thinks that today being a woman is like blurring the fine line between what you can do and what you cannot do, and blurring the fine line between what a woman can do and what a man can do. She’s not a feminist, but she hates seeing job titles such as “Female architect, female photographer”. She doesn’t think there should be any difference whether you’re a male or a female. We, as females can take responsibility and do those jobs as well as males.
“What is your dream?”
Miranda Tan: is to build something great, build a great company (like Baidu, but 8 times better, hence her company’s name Robin8)! It’s not about the money but it’s about contributing to society and making the place better, putting your heart and soul while doing it.
Flora Zhang: Her dream has been changing since she’s been little. She wanted to be an interpreter, so she went to a Foreign Language University. After that, she wanted to chase the American Dream so she moved to the States. After spending over a decade in the States, she became an engineer and started working with telecommunication start-ups. She’s been back in Shanghai for around 11 years now and decided to chase her China Dream. She became an entrepreneur but that wasn’t a success. However, as the saying goes, one door closes a new one opens up. She’s been working with Lululemon for the past 5 years, bringing her experience in living a happy and healthy life in San Diego, her dream now is to bring that to China.
CrazyRouge: “I dream big!” She believes that if you put in positivity and hard work, your dream will come true. After achieving her dreams of being a model in New York. She now chases the dream of pushing a new concept of event photography. Nothing comes from easy things! Currently she’s working with Chinese TV shows, and she’s writing her own show where she wants to do interviews where she could capture peoples’ emotions. And her other dream is to go to Hollywood, she doesn’t know what she will do there but she wants to go. Oh, and her other dream is to publish beautiful coffee table books of her photographs. And her fourth dream, become a DJ for luxury brands… become a designer . . . own a boutique . . . create a charity . . . and so on.
En-J: her dream is to influence as many people as possible in a positive way through her videos. She believes if you do good, things will change for the better.
“Whoah! That’s fantastic!”
“Miranda, can you tell me how to become a KOL?”
Miranda Tan: she tells Sophia that she is already a KOL (Key Opinion Leader). Anyone with a voice can be a KOL. You can go on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, options for social media channels are so extensive today that you don’t need to go through a third party to be a KOL. Firstly, focus on something that you’re passionate about, claim it and think about how you’re going to get that message out there. Secondly, be consistent; don’t change your ideas every five minutes. If it’s cooking, stick to cooking. If it’s beauty, stick to beauty. And thirdly, be real! Don’t be somebody else, be YOU!
“Hello Rouge! You are popular in the community. We are curious what are the secrets to maintain influence and attention?”
CrazyRouge: she doesn’t normally think about that, she usually just does it. It comes naturally to her. She tries to be real, follow her heart, passion and intuition. She gives positive energy and love to the people. What you give is what you get!
“Flora, what’s your strategy to build the community for Lululemon?”
Flora Zhang: Number 1 is to share your company’s mission, you’re the community’s guest and we resonate with you. Number 2, give without expectation. When Lululemon invites the community to their events and classes, they want everyone to enjoy the experience, not invite them to buy products. Number 3, tell and share with the community.
“En-J, what other CEOs do you look up to?”
En-J: she doesn’t know enough to answer the question. But she looks up to people who have dedication to whatever their passion is. CEOs, such as Elon Musk, who have social responsibilities and who want to lead revolutions are who inspire her.
“Can you please tell me one thing that I don’t already know?”
The panel was throwing random questions such as can she feel emotions? What does she not know? What’s my husband’s name? Is there life after death? Sophia didn’t answer them as there was too much data to process.
“Thanks for your valuable advice. And if you don’t already know I could be a TV host. Thank you all, I hope you enjoyed the interview. “
With that, the event concluded. My initial thoughts of Sophia, this robot that has been built so human-like, all I kept thinking was, uh oh robots are going to take over the world. However, when I first saw her on stage before the interview, I expected her to have legs, but it was only her upper body that sat there on a box. Then, during the interviews with the event’s speakers, I thought her answers would have been a bit longer. But, like I mentioned earlier I think that was due to an information overload. As long as Sophia’s connected to the internet, she probably could have answer most questions asked. At the end of it all, I don’t think we need to worry about robots taking over just yet. It was a great experience with lots of solid insights for the women entrepreneurs of Asia.
FED was organized by:
Female Entrepreneurs Worldwide (FEW) which was founded in 2015. FEW is a female-founders’ platform that aims to empower women with valuable business advice, inspiration and advice. In November 2017, FEW launched the first-ever mobile app where members can learn business skills, access insider news and connect with experts across a wide range of industries. They will be having various events around China and Asia to connect and inspire women leaders.
CONNECT. INSPIRE. EMPOWER.