Many modern women are making waves in various industries while juggling their roles as wife, mother, daughter, and advocates of charitable institutions. The world has recently seen a strong sense of global activism towards gender parity like #MeToo and #TimesUp. While change will take its time to fully settle in, women are speaking up and are finally being heard. We are celebrating International Women’s Day with a round-up of inspiring and remarkable women in Macau. #PressforProgress
Joana de Freitas is a respected journalist and editor of Teledifusão de Macau (TDM). A woman of many talents, she’s passionate about writing, music, and photography. A born storyteller, she has always been fascinated by people and places. Her dedication to her job reflects the journey of successful women at work.
What do you love about your work and why?
I’m a broadcast journalist and news editor and I must say my work day is absolutely crazy. I love doing what I do. I wanted to be a journalist since I was five, and although it’s really hard sometimes, I enjoy every bit of it. I don’t have the so-called normal schedules and every day brings something different, which makes the job more challenging but also more fulfilling.
What prompted you to choose this career path?
I’ve always been interested in knowing and understanding the world. I was that type of a kid who was always asking why. I was also interested in communicating and I think that’s what drew me to journalism. Since I was a little girl, my parents recalled my fascination with microphones and camera. I’ve always been the one in the group reporting and collecting memories of everything, so I guess that I was actually born to be a journalist.
What was the greatest challenge you’ve ever faced in work or life?
That’s a tough one. Work wise, I guess the age factor. When I came to Macau for work I was very young and, although it wasn’t hard to find a job, there was always some kind of barrier. I always felt the need to prove myself and not be judged because of my age. But, that’s not really a challenge. I guess it’s something everyone faces at any point in their life. In terms of personal life, I think it’s the balance between work and finding time to actually do something else. I find myself thinking about stories or reports that would be interesting all the time.
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned from those challenges?
Somehow we all have this energy inside us that always help us overcome any kind of challenge. We need to find it. We need to always put a positive spin on hard times.
Which woman inspires you? Why?
I have many in across areas. I like to observe what people have in them that is good and inspiring. It’s hard for me to mention just one name, but I can say, my sister Rita, is one of them. She leads her life and overcomes difficulties. She’s definitely an inspiration.
What does it mean to be a woman in this digital age?
It might sound silly but I’m really not focused on what it means to be a woman in these times. I’m a kind of person that sees “us” for what we are, individually. For me, it doesn’t make sense to separate the men and the women. But, of course, there are times when you’re faced with some harsh realities that you end up thinking about it. In these times though, I see more women are empowered and empowering others, taking leading roles in the digital era making their presence noticed.
What’s the best advice you could give aspiring young writer/creative professional?
I don’t want this to sound like a cliche but just follow your gut. If you have something you really want to do, try it. In my opinion, we shouldn’t completely block what others have to say, but there are times when we have to count on ourselves only. Learn how to balance each situation and always try harder than the previous time before you give up on something. Remember to surround yourself with those who will help you find the best of yourself and inspire you somehow.
What are your favorite things to do in Macau when you’re not working?
I’m part of a band called Concrete Lotus so music is surely one of my top priorities. And my dog. I walk my dog on the beach because it reminds me of home so I’m there anytime I can. I also love photography, and Macau is one of the best places to go on adventures with a camera. Getting to know this city is important because it’s my second home now. It feels great to be a part of its culture and people.
What’s your recipe for a power breakfast?
Breakfast is my absolute favorite meal of the day. I don’t have time for a proper breakfast every day but when I do, I like to indulge in a multi-course breakfast buffet at big hotels– croissants, toast, jam and honey, fruit and yogurt, fresh juices. I would do it every day if I could!