Christine Chiu works on the IPO Vetting Team, Listing Division at the Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. In her 2021 Spotlight Series, she discusses her organization’s promotion of diversity and inclusion, her motivations, and much more.

Tell us a little bit about yourself 

 I am a Hong Kong native and have been fascinated with the financial services industry since I was small, and that led to my decision to pursue my studies in finance and business management at university. Upon graduation, I was very fortunate to join the HKEX family, at the centre of Hong Kong’s financial services industry. The rotation experience of a management trainee provided me with the foundation of how the exchanges work, and most importantly, how the financial markets operate, and helped me understand the competitive edge of the Hong Kong equities market. I am very impressed by the efficiency of the post-trade settlement system and the prudent risk management safeguards at HKEX. I am currently with the IPO Vetting team in the Listing Division, learning about the importance of our regulatory function on evaluating the suitability of listing applicants. Since I  joined the HKEX family, I have been deeply impressed by the support and guidance provided by the company in cultivating the next generation of leaders of our society. 

Apart from my professional aspirations, I am an advocate of diversity and equality and I would like to give back to the society where I was born and raised. I actively participate in activities that promote diversity and inclusion within the firm and I also take part in volunteer activities externally. Motivated by my avid interest in music, I have been playing the harp for two years and hope to become an amateur performer in the future. 

This year has brought tremendous upheaval and disruption to all aspects of our lives. How are you and your company continuing to promote diversity and gender equality despite these massive changes? 

HKEX has provided me with a platform to contribute to diversity and equality. Since I first joined HKEX, I have volunteered in the Diversity Network (formerly known as Women’s Exchange). It promotes diversity and advocates inclusion and success of all in the workplace. We developed programs and initiatives that recognize the positive impact of diversity, and engage internal and external stakeholders to promote diversity in the marketplace. 

Since I first joined the committee in 2018, the Diversity Network has arranged various types of high profile conferences, firm-wide lunch talks and donation campaigns to promote gender diversity and inclusion within the workplace and among the marketplace. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, a number of conferences and campaigns were cancelled. However, such obstacles did not discourage our passion. Last year, HKEX organized the inaugural communications campaign to support its commitment to diversity during the International Women’s Day celebrations.  For example we had  live streaming of the 5th annual “Ring the Bell for Gender Equality Celebration with UN” and HKEX Diversity video series, where female colleagues and I shared advice on work-life balance. HKEX also partnered with CareER to offer internships to students with different abilities. 

Last year, I was introduced to Women in Finance Asia (WiFA), an association that aligns with my interest in the financial industry and gender diversity. Since then, I became involved in various volunteer work co-organised by WiFA and other NGOs. Recently, I volunteered in HERFund, an organization that aims to mobilize resources for women’s empowerment, the promotion of social changes, and gender equality. As a mentor of Tin Zi Zok Wai, an NGO that aims to support the community economy in Tin Shui Wai, I provided information technology and finance advice to help the organization grow and thrive. Such fruitful and valuable mentoring experience provided me with a fresh perspective on operations of social enterprises and I developed a more thorough understanding and appreciation of the difficulties that they must confront. 

What will be your 2021 mantra to keep you motivated, either professional or personally? 

“Stay Positive”. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, people have been suffering various physical, and mental struggles. Every cloud has a silver lining, I believe this is just a difficult time and COVID-19 will not be with us forever. Rather than feeling frustrated and hopeless, why not be cheerful and appreciate all the things that we still have? We should be thankful and grateful at all times, be they significant or trivial matters. 

In 2021, I believe I will live a better life, both professionally and personally. Since the beginning of the year, I have set various milestone goals that I have to accomplish – both in my career and personal life. For instance, I wish to pursue a higher music grade on harp and advocate diversity and inclusion, not only in the workplace but also in the entire community. While COVID-19 may affect our lives temporarily, our concerted efforts will help us beat the pandemic and build a better future.