As we count down the hours to the second edition of the Crib Ball—a celebration of female empowerment—we venture beyond the glamour of a gala dinner to speak with five dedicated women who are championing its cause.
They include Crib's co-founder Marilyn Lum and Trina Liang-Lin, president of the Singapore Committee for UN Women, as well as Paige Parker, Tan Min-Li and Carol Chen. As entrepreneurs, businesswomen, mothers, daughters, wives, advocates and individuals, they are recognised for their infectious drive, undeniable clout and readiness to speak up.
Here, they tell us what it means to be strong and the qualities they love most in a woman.
"I see being strong as being able to be a hero to others. In today’s world, we all need a hero—regardless of our sex, gender, age or race. Instead of saving lives with super powers, a hero will inspire and motivate others to become heroes themselves. As women, there shouldn't just be one quality we should aspire to have. There should be multiple: a woman who doesn't waste her time wishing; who dares to call others out when the time calls for it; who knows when to walk away; who takes care of herself and cares deeply for others; who never runs from a challenge; who rallies during the toughest times and gains speed on the easy streaks; who needs no external validation because she is the creator of her own life; and without doubt, who lives with intention and conviction."
"Being strong for me means being able to carry myself in a way that reflects the ideals and standards I stand for. That's why I deeply respect women who are fearless. I admire them for having the courage to overcome any form of obstacle, including their own fears, because it shows true grit."
"Strength, to me, comes with the ability to be true to yourself. It's in self-liberating; doing what makes you happy and exploring new horizons—which for me is in film and travel—regardless of what others think! That courage, too, is the one trait I appreciate seeing in my peers."
"There's strength in women who firmly stand by their beliefs and are willing to fight for a cause they advocate. There's also strength in women who are unafraid to question the status quo; to ask tough questions about the gender equality in businesses and about the equal representation of men and women on the boards of companies."
"When you live life exactly the way you want, you display strength and courage. You don't let yourself be bothered by what unimportant people think and you're not afraid to take risks and chase your dreams on your own terms. I believe everyone has the potential to do this, but the fear of failure or losing face keeps some of us from maxmising our potential and reaching our goals. If anything, I believe women who demonstrate empathy and compassion are inspiring because these “softer” traits, to me, are what secretly make us so strong in the end."
(Related: Why These Three Are Women On A Mission)