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To mark this month’s International Women’s Day, The Style Sheet celebrates three truly inspirational women — each making waves and positive impacts in their industries for their progressive thinking, passion and determination.


Founder and CEO of social language learning app MinorMynas

15-year-old CEO Hillary Yip. Image courtesy of Hillary Yip
15-year-old CEO Hillary Yip. Image courtesy of Hillary Yip

Why we’re inspired…

15-year-old Hillary Yip came up with the idea for MinorMynas after taking part in a children’s entrepreneurship competition at ten years old. Since then, she’s been focused on growing a global kids’ community (with more than 65,000 downloads across 50+ countries) that aims to create a world with fewer cultural misunderstandings and negative stereotypes. Along with juggling school, in Hillary’s spare time she speaks at events including TEDx, schools, government events and numerous local and international conferences, summits and panels.

Hillary on her role models…

‘I look up to Sheryl Sandberg because she’s someone who stands up for women in the tech industry, and encourages “bossiness” in us girls. I’m also a big fan of Malala Yousafzai, who continued to stand up for what she believed was right in the face of adversity and was willing to make sacrifices for that cause.’

On advice for other entrepreneurial teens…

‘You can plan the best business, but it will only remain a plan unless you do something to turn it into reality.’

On her proudest moment…

‘I’m most proud of the connections that I see between kids on MinorMynas. In real life, they may never have had the opportunity to meet, but through MinorMynas, they form genuine connections and friendships, coming together on common topics.’

Dr Mary Jacqueline Romero. Image courtesy of L’Oréal Australia
Dr Mary Jacqueline Romero. Image courtesy of L’Oréal Australia

Why we’re inspired…

Philippines-born, Australia-based mother of three Dr Jacq, together with colleagues, has made it easier to encode quantum information in the shape of photons (light particles), and has shown that light in free space travels a little bit slower than the nominal speed c. Last year, she was named as one of the most promising women scientists of the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science (FWIS) International Rising Talents.

Dr Jacq’s advice for budding young scientists…

‘Be good. I think that’s the first requirement. Preparation, whatever the task, is key, as it’s easier to be confident when you’re prepared. Take communication seriously — for your work to have impact, you have to share your science not only with colleagues but with the wider community. Maintaining a healthy personal life and a successful science career is challenging, but not impossible — focus is really important. Most importantly: have fun! It may feel like there’s too much pressure sometimes, but as long as we don’t forget to have fun, we’ll be fine!’

On juggling a work-life balance…

‘I deeply believe that having a fulfilled personal life and fulfilled career are not mutually exclusive. Once you convince yourself of this, it really becomes problem solving — that is, how to allocate time and energy. It helps greatly that I can work flexibly. I try my very best to be present where I am. When I’m at work, I think only of work. When I’m at home, I enjoy time with my family. I think if we’re present where we are, the balance comes naturally.’

On the advice she’d give her 16-year-old self…

‘Your success will look different from everyone else’s, so don’t compare. It’s cliché, but it’s so true: just focus on being the best version of you. Experiences both good and bad always make sense in hindsight — the way you process those experiences can define your success or failure. Be resilient!’


Founder of Breadline and Hong Kong Foodworks

Daisy Tam. Photography by Phoebe Yeung
Daisy Tam. Photography by Phoebe Yeung

Why we’re inspired…

Daisy is doing her part to help Hongkongers from all walks of life have stable access to affordable, healthy and safe food. She’s founded a crowdsourcing app called Breadline that connects bakeries with volunteers wanting to pick up leftover loaves to deliver to charities. Since it was launched, the app has helped move 4,000 loaves of bread, and has made volunteering four times more efficient.

Daisy on why good is better than best…

‘I once told a Michelin-starred chef that we should go for good food, not the best. I’d say the same in life. The best only serves the few — the good serves many.’

On the woman she most admires…

‘Gabrielle Kirstein from Feeding Hong Kong. I admire her tenacity and focus. Running a charity is like running a business — you need vision and strategy, and they’re all the more important when you’re serving a social purpose.’

On the advice she’d give her 16-year-old self…

‘“You’ve got this!” has become one of my favourite phrases. When you’re 16, there’s so much self-doubt that every challenge seems insurmountable. Go all in — in whatever you do, failures just give you more interesting stories to tell.’