Speech by SHYA at opening ceremony of FutureGEN Girls Leadership Summit 2022 (English only)

     Following is the speech by the Secretary for Home and Youth Affairs, Miss Alice Mak, at the opening ceremony of the FutureGEN Girls Leadership Summit 2022 today (October 8):

Jennifer (Founder of the Jennifer Yu Cheng Girls Impact Foundation, Mrs Jennifer Yu Cheng), Dr Leung (Executive Director, Charities and Community of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Dr Gabriel Leung), Ms Lee (Executive Chairman of Hysan Development, Ms Irene Lee), Professor Ip (Morningside Professor of Life Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Professor Nancy Ip), fellow guests and fellow students,

     Good morning. It is my utmost pleasure to attend and officiate at the opening ceremony of the FutureGEN Girls Leadership Summit 2022.

     Today's event "A Journey to Your Near Future" is one of ambition and vision. Through a series of panel discussion and activities in the New Technology Interactive Zone and the Future Skills Lab, you will learn to be a leader and explore the revolutionary impact that technology has on our life. The aspiration of nurturing future female leaders is in line with the Government's belief, and is certainly one of my personal wishes.

     As our society progresses, women, making up about 54 per cent of Hong Kong's population, have substantially received more opportunities in education and employment. The percentage of females with post-secondary education rose from 14 per cent in 1996 to 32.8 per cent in 2021. In the workplace too, women are working in various professions. Many of them manage to break the glass ceiling and take up leadership roles in their own industries. Take the new-term Government as an example. Among the 21 Secretaries of Departments and Directors of Bureaux, five are female. I am very proud to be one of them and we have together made up the highest female ratio in all terms of the Government. I myself have been part of the story of gender parity and social progression, and I hope you too, in future, can continue writing this story.

     Young ladies, you all matter to Hong Kong's future, not just because of your gender but also because of your youthful enthusiasm. My bureau, the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau, is very committed to youth development. We are devising a Youth Development Blueprint, the very first attempt of the HKSAR Government in outlining a roadmap of our work on youth development. Just like today's theme, it lays out a journey to your near future. I hope you would find yourself an enabling environment to unleash your potential and fly as high as it permits.

     Finally, may I thank Jennifer for masterminding today's summit. I am sure the young ladies will be able to enjoy yourselves and connect to your peers, and perhaps be motivated to start your own interest groups or even businesses one day. Never underestimate yourself and embrace what technology and the future have to offer. Thank you.

Ends/Saturday, October 8, 2022
Issued at HKT 10:30