Woman at Work

WOMAN AT WORK offers an opportunity for current members to share your creative journeys, introduce your work or your businesses, and in doing so inspire others. Please contact us for submission details.


Vici Egan is a Canadian who has been teaching overseas since 1983. Her first job was in a bush village in Nigeria, with no electricity or running water. She loved the challenging experience, which involved, at one point, teaching 80 kids in both a half-built building, where they literally climbed the walls, and her garage, where they brought their own rocks to sit on.

Vici has also taught in Mexico, Turkey, Cuba, England, Greece, Canada, Singapore, Beijing and Manila. She arrived in Hong Kong in 2005 and taught at South Island School until ESF’s enforced retirement programme kicked in. Not feeling quite ready to leave Hong Kong, Vici chose to stay and give free-lancing a go: supply teaching, tutoring and proofreading/editing. Of course, this was not the best year (which turned into two!) to stay in one of the most expensive cities in the world, without a steady income. But who could’ve ever predicted the year we’ve had!

Luckily though, a new adventure awaits in July at the Canadian International School in Bangalore.

Vici has completed her travelogue manuscript and is seeking a publisher. It documents some of her many travel stories, as well as frequent near-death experiences, relayed with humour. She is a regular contributor to Imprint and has had several stories published in newspapers and magazines. Vici is grateful to WiPS for the friendships made, the good times had, and the knowledge gleaned at many of the workshops and events attended over the years.


March 1st, 2021|


Mary-Jane Newton is an educational publisher and poet. She was born in India and grew up in Germany. She lived in Hong Kong until December 2019 and then returned to Europe to live in the UK. Mary-Jane has been a member of WiPS since 2009 and was a committee member 2011-2013. She serves as the IMPRINT poetry editor.

Mary-Jane started her career teaching learning impaired children and adults before joining Oxford University Press as an Assistant Editor. She spent five years at Macmillan in various editorial roles and rejoined Oxford in 2016, where she was first responsible for publishing in China before overseeing publishing for the Asia region, including China, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and South East Asia. She is now Regional Market Development Director, planning market entry strategies for new areas of business. She holds a number of degrees, including an MBA from the University of Hong Kong and a post-graduate diploma from Saïd Business School, University of Oxford.

In her free time, Mary-Jane writes poetry. She has published two collections with Proverse Hong Kong and one with Orient Occident Press. She has been published in journals and anthologies internationally. Read or listen to her poetry at www.maryjanenewton.com.

Mary-Jane is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the Oxford Union, and Women on Boards. She cares deeply about the universal right to education and freedom of speech and press.

February 1st, 2021|

Woman at Work: SARAH COOK

After a career in the UK, which included the civil service, Macmillan Publishers and KPMG, Sarah relocated to Hong Kong in 1992. She worked initially as a copywriter and proofreader for an electronics firm manufacturing BT telephones (writing the manuals and testing the phones). This was followed by an assortment of freelance jobs including with Ink Publishing working on Oasis Hong Kong Airline in-flight magazine, a hugely enjoyable experience as it involved writing about food and entertainment in business class. With the closure of Oasis, Sarah completed a teaching qualification which led to a bizarre NET teacher experience on day one when a range of coloured chalks and a duster were included with the manual!

For many years now, Sarah has worked at HKUST, first as a research assistant working with MBA students and co-editing a couple of research papers included in Global Electronic Commerce: Theory and Case Studies (MIT Press, 1999). When that contract ended, a chance meeting at a WiPS event led to a successful application for a communication tutor position in the School of Engineering, where she remains.

Sarah’s main focus is with UG and PG students, as well as editing papers for faculty. Students typically take IELTS and TOEFL exams in their final year at HKUST and preparation for these also falls within her job specification. Additionally, she assists with improving interview skills, and this year, having become familiar with Zoom, is more easily able to liaise with students and offer various courses.

Joining WiPS has provided Sarah with a wonderful connection to her earlier publishing experience at Macmillan as well as friendships and shared interests.

November 15th, 2020|

Woman at Work: RITU HEMNANI

Hong Kong born and raised Ritu Hemnani, is an author, teacher, TEDx speaker and voice actor. From a young age, Ritu was a passionate stage performer and writer, winning poetry competitions from entries scribbled on the top deck of a moving bus! After qualifying as an English and Drama high school teacher, Ritu worked in the UK before returning to Hong Kong in 1997, to work at KGV School, whilst voice acting for educational toys.

Ritu published her first children’s book in 2017, Gope and Meera – A Migration Story, which seeks to foster awareness and empathy for migrants in our communities. Ritu promotes inclusiveness and diversity in her writing and story-telling presentations to schools across Hong Kong. Her stories feature in the South China Morning Post, Asian Literary Review and Reader’s Digest.

Ritu was selected to speak at the TEDxTinhauwomen event, Bold and Brilliant, in 2019. Her talk, An Inheritance Worth Sharing, is a reflection on the gift of resilience she claims from her rich heritage.

Ritu is a writing ambassador for the Home of Loving Faithfulness, which serves the disabled community of Hong Kong. Ritu also serves on the judging committee for the annual Kids4Kids My Story Creation, writing competition and KGV’s Evening of Music and Dance, which she co-founded in 1999. Ritu is an active member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is working on her first novel.

Website: https://www.rituhemnani.com/

SCMP page: https://www.scmp.com/author/ritu-hemnani

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRoIkYzmLa8

TEDx Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-GelCkt-t4

October 12th, 2020|

Woman at Work: LUISA TERNAU

Luisa Ternau hails from Trieste, in the north-eastern corner of Italy along the Adriatic Sea. Since both her parents kept strong connections to their native land of Istria, a historically multicultural and multilingual region, Luisa has always wondered how cultural identity is shaped and what is at its core.

It was at elementary school that Luisa wrote her first pieces. Decades later and in Hong Kong, Luisa resumed composing poems and stories. Her first submitted poem, “Spring in My Heart”, won a third prize in the International Proverse Poetry competition in 2016.

After graduating from the University of Trieste, Luisa moved to London, where she later received a master’s in English literature at King’s College, University of London. A sense of curiosity in local life is a motivation which accompanies her to the places she has chosen to live. After working in Japan and the US, Luisa moved to Hong Kong in 2011. Work commitments here have restricted the time she has for her beloved writing. However, it is in Hong Kong that mentoring has enabled her to publish poetry and short stories. She has had poems published in “Mingled Voices”, the annual International Proverse Poetry Prize anthology, and short stories included in WiPS annual anthology “Imprint”. Luisa has also translated “Sightings”, a collection of poetry by her friend and fellow WiPS member Dr Gillian Bickley, into Italian. The book was published in early 2020.

Luisa writes creatively in English, Italian and her native Triestine dialect.

September 13th, 2020|

Woman at Work: TANYA SINGH

Tanya Singh is the creator of NAARI magazine. Her career began right after she completed her majors in advertising, marketing and public relations in 1995. Her first venture was with Magna Publishing, a prestigious group in India producing many high-end magazines, including Savvy, Society, Interiors and Star Dust. This began her fascination with the media world, since when she has grappled with many projects in the print and television industry, gaining insights into the nitty-gritties of its workings.

Her husband’s job brought the family to Hong Kong in 2010, but with two small kids she didn’t find life easy here on her own. It took them a while to settle in to the local culture, but Hong Kong is a dynamic society and before long they understood that it suited them well! At that point Tanya started the second innings of her career by joining a magazine. She managed its business for three years, during which time it edged its way into the main league in the world of print media in Hong Kong. Some lucrative business offers followed and Tanya became known among the who’s who in Hong Kong’s Indian community.

However, keen to do something of her own, she settled on the idea of creating a lifestyle magazine for the woman of today, which she called NAARI, to cater to women across all communities. Her aim with the magazine is to give readers exclusive and exciting articles, news and information, with an emphasis on women as a whole rather than just their bodies. Tanya looks forward to seeing it prominently placed in exclusive prestigious outlets. Sitting down to write this bio about herself, she says, gives her immense pleasure to be a part of WiPS and to meet so many women from whom she can learn so much.

January 20th, 2020|
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