When the Asian financial crisis soured the job outlook for Vivian Lee Wing-yiu in 1998, she fast-tracked her career plans and plunged straight into full-time study for an MBA. Now a marketing officer with the MTR, she does not regret it. 'I had always planned on doing an MBA, but I expected to work about three years after graduating first,' she said. Ms Lee graduated from Hong Kong Polytechnic University with a degree in hotel and catering management in 1997 and worked for the Grand Hyatt for a year before the economic downturn hit. She does not think that there are barriers in Hong Kong to women pursuing MBAs and in their jobs in management, particularly in an area such as sales and marketing. 'I don't see any difference in the way men and women are treated. The most important issue is self-confidence. Sometimes men appear more self-confident and this affects the way others treat them.' As a young woman still living with her parents she has no trouble balancing her life. 'It's a matter of time management.' But she is less certain about the longer-term. 'Maybe when I get married and have children it will be different.'