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AS they stay in Shanghai longer, foreign working women are eager to find a place where they can communicate with one another.
“We are very busy every day and have little spare time to relax,” said Regine Misera, public relations manager of the Expatriate Professional Women’s Society (EPWS).
The society was founded in 1993 and its membership has grown to 130. It holds two activities every month, with one on the second Tuesday and the other at a time most convenient for everyone.
Misera said the working women need a place to discuss work experiences and business ideas, which they think can help them get closer to China’s market and culture.
At each meeting, a member makes a presentation and the other members air their opinions.
The topics range from the World Trade Organization and China, how to launch a brand name in the Chinese market and their experiences acting as general managers, to how to protect legal rights of foreigners in China.
Katja Levy, another PR manager who has lived in Shanghai for seven years, said they also have fun social activities regularly.
“We have dinners and drinks in special bars or visit interesting art exhibitions,” she said.
The society’s board is responsible for choosing discussion topics and communicating with other members through e-mail or news letters.
“Board members all work full-time, so they have to fill their society executive roles in their spare time,” Misera said.
Every March, the society organizes a charity gala to support local charity projects.
Last year, they collected 200,000 yuan ($24,000) with half being given to Shanghai Sunrise, an expatriate organization sponsoring under-privileged children in Shanghai. The remaining donation was awarded to the Fred Hollows Foundation which specializes in ophthalmology.