In celebration of International Women’s Month, meeth – luxury skincare brand founded by Japanese model and celebrity Sonmi – organised a panel discussion on 17 March with brand ambassador Jamie Yeo as the moderator.
Taking on the theme of ‘Powerful Alone, Stronger Together’, the panel discussion was held in collaboration with WEConnect International and sought to #BreakTheBias and to foster a like-minded community bringing together individual powerful fempreneurs from various fields.
Beyond being a skincare brand, Sonmi hopes that meeth can foster a community where women can stand stronger together.
Joining the panel were Sonmi, Japanese celebrity and founder of meeth, Urvi Jain, the Co-Founder and director at Genius Ants and Mrinalini (Minnie) Venkatachalam, Regional Director for Southeast Asia and Oceania at WEConnect International.
The discussion touched on gender biases in the business environment, how each of them was able to build confidence through their work and tips on female entrepreneurship, all centred around working together towards a stronger tomorrow for females in business.
While progress has been made for gender equality, 4 in 10 women in Singapore still face sex discrimination at work in a finding by Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI). Prejudices and societal norms still seem to form the glass ceiling of public perception on what fempreneuers can achieve.
“You must have a man backing your business up” – one of the comments that Sonmi recollected receiving from the Japanese community when meeth started gaining foothold as a trusted skincare brand. In fact, Sonmi started the brand with her own savings, and built the brand step by step to where it is today with her own hands.
Gender stereotypes like this are still prominent in society today, Minnie also shared about how she was told repeatedly that being a mother would not allow her to be a good advocate for gender equality among entrepreneurs.
“I doubted myself for quite a few years before realising that I was not doing justice to my fellow working mothers if I can’t advocate for mothers as a mom myself,” said Minnie, encouraging aspiring female entrepreneurs to ignore withering comments from others and learn to be who you are.
Furthering the discussion on tips for female entrepreneurs, Urvi shared on the importance of having a strong network, something that meeth hopes to work towards with the panel discussion as the first step.
“As an entrepreneur thinking that you have to have the answers to all the questions, that’s not going to happen. You might be stuck at certain things but if you have great networks, that will really help you find solutions to the problems your business might have,” said Urvi.
It is precisely these networks that have kept Sonmi going while she grows meeth to the skincare brand it is today.
“Heartwarming messages and feedback from my customers about how meeth helped them with their skin conditions and how they have built their self confidence with better skin kept me going. It made me realise the purpose I’m creating with the brand”, said Sonmi.
Closing the discussion, Jamie sent a timely reminder to all female entrepreneurs that they are not alone in their journey.
“Never be afraid to speak up and to seek help whenever needed, and you can be sure that there will always be someone around you who can provide assistance to your situation,” said Jamie.
Marking the theme of “Powerful Alone, Stronger Together”, meeth also launched their Women’s Day duo set, comprising meeth’s power duo: Twelement Day Cream and Skin Repair Night Cream, where it is currently being retailed at 15% off usual prices.