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Monday August 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday August 26, 2013 MYT 7:28:06 AM
by samuel ong
Empowerin g topic: Nasrudin (left) moderating the dialogue session with (from left) panelists Maya Karin, Jay, Ng and Alia.
A DIVERSE group of successful women took part in a dialogue session recently to inspire and empower other women as part of a campaign called Women of Worth (WOW).
The session, organised by L’Oreal Paris and hosted by TV host Nasrudin Rahman, saw four women — L’Oreal brand ambassador Maya Karin, TV football presenter Jay Menon, shoe designer Christy Ng and fashion designer Alia Bastaman — exchanging views on the title “Unleashing our WOW Factor.”
Maya said despite playing multiple roles, she was a person with her own identity and this must be recognised to enable her to realise and value her self worth.
“I get many questions about my love life all the time. Many also ask about me starting a family, saying that my biological clock is ticking away.
“I am my own person first and want to be seen as such, not as someone’s wife or mother.
“I want to do what makes me happy, not please others all the time,” she said.
Maya believes that most importantly, women need support from others, and said she is blessed to have her family to provide this.
Expectant mother Jay is in total agreement with this, saying it is a constant struggle for women wearing many hats.
“It is easier for men as their roles are more defined.
“Working in a field dominated by men has not been easy, especially when one is constantly subjected to criticism.
“I have learnt to ignore this and absorb as much information as I can to do my best.
“Despite the challenges, it was a difficult decision to take a substantial amount of time off work. I started working at the age of 21 years old.
“I think women go through many changes from their late 20s to their 30s.
“This is the period when they start pursuing what they like and what they want to do. That is the most crucial time in a woman’s life,” she said.
As for Ng, being with those with positive thinking motivates her.
“I was raised in a typical Chinese family with high expectations, like becoming a doctor or lawyer.
“They were shocked when I told them I wanted to become a shoe designer.
“Many even tried to talk me out of it, saying that the shoe business was not profitable because of stiff competition.
“However, I chose to ignore them and ventured into the business.
“I now surround myself with supportive people, like those who guide me and give me ideas to forge ahead and attain my goals,” she said.
Meanwhile, Alia confessed that she used to be very pessimistic and constantly complained about many things.
“I have my business partners to thank for who I am today.
“For the last 15 years, they have kept me going and I consider myself blessed to have such supportive partners,” she said.
L’Oreal Paris marketing director Goh Sa Ki said the WOW campaign in Malaysia was aimed at encouraging all Malaysian women to realise their self-worth and grow as individuals.
“The slogan ‘Because I’m Worth It’ is a reflection of the brand’s commitment to all women.
“L’Oreal Paris firmly believes that every woman must make the effort to look good as it would make them feel good.
“When women feel good, they become more confident,” she said.
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