We are always concerned about women's conditions and announce our opinions on issues in due time.
Media Inquiry: If you have any inquiries about our work, services, or issues that we concern, please feel free to contact us at 2153 3153 or email us at


【HKFWC40】Reclaiming life after joining the HKWFC - Vikki Yuen

When it comes to a "veteran" of the HKFWC, one must think of Vikki Yuen (affectionately known as "Chief Secretary"), Vikki joined HKFWC in 2001 as Administrative Secretary.  After serving HKFWC for over 21 years, Vikki is now the Senior Finance Administrator of the organization.  Being a long-time staff member, Vikki has been involved in and witnessed the great development of the organization.


No absence from child's school activities after joining HKWFC

Vikki said that she was an introvert and that might give people a bad impression. However, during this interview, Vikkihas shown her affable side. Before joining HKFWC, Vikki  worked in the finance department of a  listed company for nine and a half years. Her workload was so huge that she often worked overtime and so missed having dinner with her family. She had even  worked overnight until the next morning. The long hours of robotic work were unbearable for her. After struggling for two years, when her child was just starting school, she decided to resign to join the social welfare sector, which she had no exposure to before. Even though her first job application to HKFWC was unsuccessful, she tried again to apply for the position of "Administrative Secretary". She admits that she hoped to have "time off from work". As expected, she had more time to take care of her family after changing her career. What made her even happier was that she was able to be there for her child when he was learning and growing up. She also thanks  HKWFC for its flexible working style and understanding, which allowed her to "attend almost all of her child's parent-child activities in kindergarten and primary school".


Changing through adversity

At the beginning, Vikki said she had no confidence in herself and her work. "I was responsible for organizing HKFWC's 20th Anniversary dinner when I first joined, but I had no prior NGO experience and had no knowledge of how to organize an event, so it was a great challenge. "Fortunately, with the trust of Dr. Chen Yu, the then Director of HKFWC, and the help of various colleagues, Vikki was able to overcome one challenge after another. "When I joined the HKFWC, I thought I would only follow up on the financial work. I didn't expect that the scope of the administrative secretary's work would be so broad, from accounting, administration, and human resources, to public relations. All of them are related to the work of administrative secretary. I had no relevant experience, so looking back now it was really scary!" Vikki was under a lot of stress for job duties that she hadn't tried before, but in the process she also learned to "refuse" and not push herself too hard. She also confessed that she felt an unprecedented sense of satisfaction and recognition here. "Ten years ago, I enjoyed my time at work." There were only a dozen colleagues in the HKFWC at that time, and they communicated closely and cared for each other. Her serious work attitude has earned her unanimous praise from her colleagues, and she was given the title of "Chief Secretary", and her colleagues continued to call her by this name even though she is now the Senior Finance Administrator.


For more than 20 years, Vikki has witnessed the rapid growth of the organization and her workload has gradually increased, which made her feel more powerless. "I was under a lot of mental pressure for a few years because we were expanding so fast that I began to feel that I could not cope with the heavy administrative work alone. I needed a team." Despite the heavy workload, Vikki persisted on serving HKFWC for many years. When asked why she persisted, she responded with a smile. "My colleagues care about me so much. We have a good relationship. Our work is flexible enough. HKFWC is very understanding." In this environment, Vikki has made many friends and her personality has changed a lot. "I used to deal with stress on my own, but now I'm willing to talk to people." Vikki said everyone has a different way of relieving stress and after searching for a long time, Vikki has now found the right way to adjust herself.


Learning how to release caregiving pressure

Vikki has now been with the HKFWC for half of its existence. She kept promoting its mission during work while its vision and philosophy has gradually changed her. She had been influenced by traditional family values since she was a child, and was taught that "women have to put up with everything" and she used to believe that women are natural carers and should take care of the family. She recalls, "Before going to work, I had to finish my chores, buy food, and send my child to school; after work, I had to pick up my son, and at night, I had to take care of his schoolwork, and on weekends, I had to do housework, every day." She said, "The role of a carer is very stressful, especially mentally." When she started to get busy at work and had less time to take care of her family, her family complained about it and she finally "couldn't stand it anymore". She told her family about the heavy pressure of housework. Even though she understood that it was not easy to let men do the housework, she hoped to change her husband so that they could discuss and share the chore together. "Do you want to kill me? I've been overworking for a long time!" Fortunately, her husband has learnt to be understanding in recent years. He would now help with laundry and prepare soup on weekdays and share household chores on weekends.


She said that this significant change was inspired by the HKFWC's efforts to promote the concept of "gender justice", and that some of her traditional concepts have gradually reversed. "I used to be obsessed with housework, thinking that housework was a woman's responsibility, but in the past five or six years, I have a different view.” After so many years, she has let go of her obsession with chores and started to enjoy some me-time, such as watching drama. She concluded by saying "Sometimes women also need to be 'lazy'!" 


As Hong Kong Federation of Women's Centres enters its 40th Anniversary, Vikki is happy for the organization, but also laments, "We are growing so fast that I don't have time to think about how to do better." HKFWC has grown from a team of eleven members to six service centres and over 80 full-time staff now. She thinks it is important to focus on other aspects of development in addition to service. "HKFWC has a wide range of services, but it is not well known." Vikki also has an expectation for herself, "I want to lower my expectation. I used to be so concerned about people's opinions and I thought I was so important to the organization, but I really couldn't have it all. I hope I can strike a balance between work and life and not put too much pressure on myself." At the end of the interview, Vikki also shared, "Women should have their own time to rest, not just focussing entirely  on the family", and "Do not take everything too seriously. Learn to be cheerful and relaxed".



Interviewed by Presley Lai & Kityi Lau

Edited by Presley Lai, Kityi Lau & Alvin Chung