Calling on “aunties” and “nieces”: Empowering women in creative sectors in Southeast Asia through designing mentorship

Joyce Yee, Khemmiga Teerapong, Yoko Akama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


From social expectations and obligations, women in Southeast Asian countries tend to face gender inequality and have less support for their personal and professional development compared with their male counterparts. This chapter draws from our pilot project, Designing Entangled Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific (DESIAP) Young Women Mentoring Programme 2021, which was designed to support Southeast Asian women in social innovation and creative sectors. This four-month-long programme was undertaken from July to October 2021 and it was funded by Northumbria University, United Kingdom. The participants of the programme include nine mentees from Southeast Asian countries and ten mentors from Australia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and the United States. In this chapter, we explore culturally sensitive and gender-based mentoring practices, focusing on how trusting and caring relationships between mentors and mentees are primarily nurtured and supported. This chapter discusses approaches and principles in prototyping a culturally safe approach to support women practising in designing social innovation in Southeast Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEntanglements of Designing Social Innovation in the Asia-Pacific
EditorsYoko Akama, Joyce Yee
Place of PublicationNew York, US
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781003244684
ISBN (Print)9781032140643, 9781032155562
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2023

Publication series

NameDesign Research for Change

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