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I remember feeling anguish during my early career where I was working in an industry that men dominate. Female co-workers at that time were either assigned to doing mundane administrative tasks or given a secondary supporting role. An old boys’ club rooted firmly inside the company and the old boys took care of one another. Women were hardly given any chance of getting involved in high profile projects and when promotions were coming at the end of the year, it was a no brainer who would move up the corporate ladder. 

That was the time I became conscious of the disadvantage of being a woman in a competitive work place. I wondered how many educated women were facing the same problem as I did, and I also pondered over the struggle of the less educated women in the third world countries, realising how much harder it would be for them to compete with the men for a living. 

That also being the time I began to develop an interest in women’s issues. So, when UNIFEM Singapore ran a membership drive in year 2004, I did not hesitate to sign myself up as a member and a volunteer. Through UNIFEM, I met Theresa Tan, the co-founder of Women Make A Difference International (WMD), with whom I share the same vision and passion in helping the less fortunate women and children in the neighbouring countries.

It has been a fulfilling year for me since I joined WMD. Volunteering does take up a lot of my personal time and some friends are telling me to cut down the work. Their rationale is: non-income generating activities can wait till our retirement age. But life is short and unpredictable and I have no idea if I would ever live long enough to do something meaningful for the society. While I thanked them for their concern, I told them that I am fine with what I am doing now.

Interested to join WMD as a volunteer? Sign up at: http://www.womenmakeadifference.org 

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