Hong Kong’s Women’s Foundation names new CEO to speak up for city’s women and girls

Fiona Nott, new CEO of Women’s Foundation, has had close links with the non-profit organisation and will steer its mission to not just improve the prospects of women in business but also the city’s teenagers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 4:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 4:00pm

Australian lawyer and long-time Hong Kong resident Fiona Nott will take over as chief executive of The Women’s Foundation (TWF) this month.

Nott, who has lived in Hong Kong for almost 20 years, has built a career as a senior legal professional and adviser to leading corporations, while promoting the interests of women in business.

“I am delighted to join such an outstanding organisation, and one that has already been such a significant part of my life for so many years,” says Nott.

She succeeds Su-Mei Thompson, who is stepping down after eight years.

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Nott, a member of the foundation’s Women on Boards Advisory Council since 2012, has been an active supporter of the charity. She was a mentor on the organisation’s Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders, and will assume her new role from September 11.

“We are very fortunate to have in Fiona a new CEO who has not only excelled in the corporate and NGO spheres, but is already so familiar with TWF’s work and partners,” says the foundation’s board chair Susan D. Hutchison.

Originally from Sydney, Nott came to Hong Kong on a secondment from a law firm in 1998, and was later offered a position by her client, PCCW. In 2003, she left the telecommunications company to volunteer for non-profit organisations, and co-founded the Hong Kong chapter of Room to Read, a charity that promotes literacy and gender equality in education throughout the developing world.

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Nott has also held consultant positions at life insurance company AIA, and is non-executive director of cosmetics brand Aesop. She is deputy chair of the Australian Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong and Macau (AustCham), and founder of its Women in Business Network.

A member of TWF’s 30%Club, which campaigns for greater representation of women on company boards, Nott was awarded the People’s Choice Award for the Advancement of Women in Business by AustCham in 2015. She vows to “continue TWF’s important mission to provide brighter prospects for women and girls in Hong Kong”.

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Thompson is leaving Hong Kong to start a new role as CEO of Media Trust, a UK-based organisation that connects charities with the media. Describing her decision to leave as “a tremendous wrench”.

Under Thompson’s leadership, TWF ran a series of Teen Gender Awareness and Life Skills workshops, researched women’s entrepreneurship and representation in science and technology, and released the documentary She Objects, which looked at gender stereotyping in the media.

“I have known Fiona for a number of years and am confident TWF will go from strength to strength with Fiona at the helm,” she says.