By Nick Christophers
Caterina Han is a driven woman with a specific goal in mind, to assist in the mission of empowerment for women everywhere. Coming from a strict upbringing in her native China the notion of woman empowerment has not come to the extent in her native Country comparing to the US. Yet here in America it has recently become a force to be reckoned with.
It is not to say that women have not risen in status in many industries. On the contrary they have. We almost had a woman President of the United States. There are powerful women like Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Sheryl Sandberg, Janet Napolitano and many others. Yet Caterina’s true mission is to shed light on the lack of Asian women in the mainstream media. She just may have a point.
Caterina who believes in the preservation of the mind, body and spirit and has partaken in the art of yoga for the past 15 years. This art form she sees as a guiding light on her mission. It has helped her become more balanced in every aspect of life, especially for what she is thinking about capitalizing on, the new women movement which is taking the world by storm.
She came from Beijing, China many years ago to the shores of New York with a shine in her eye and a desire to succeed. Coming from a disciplined culture she saw the difference in America and was driven to understand why. The back-bone of her mission is to shed a light on the gap between both cultures. In China the women are raised in a certain way and know no different and do not question it. This mentality has been brought here to America as well.
Many may see the Chinese community as very private and set in their own ways. Which in some ways is very true. Caterina has seen this and finds this the reason why there is no prominent Asian voice in American society like the African- American or Jewish community has in current affairs. Asian women are taught that their main goal is to be married or be in a serious relationship by the age 27 or 28. If not they are labeled “Leftovers” which is a label that Caterina finds unfitting and insulting.
“In China the women know where they stand in their society. Society has already giving her certain boundaries no need for her to ask for anything different, while here in America the Western woman is free to pursue a new career or getting married or simply dating freely after 30.”
This desire to change the “status quo” and the need to encourage other Asian women to work towards a more public image in society and to represent the Asian woman is what Caterina is striving for. Many of what she is looking to change and bring to the center stage has been exposed in a book by author Roseann Lake entitled “Leftover in China – Women Shaping the Next Super Power”. The author spent five years in Bejing and observed the way life was for the young women in China and what was expected of them.
It was very much what Caterina has personally experienced and hopes to change. This social phenomenon and indeed the term “leftover woman” (sheng nu in Chinese Mandarin) has become so widely used that in 2007, Chinese Ministry of Education added it to China’s national lexicon. We cannot ignore that there are some key Asian public figures like Connie Chung (TV journalist) and Jennifer Lee (On air personality on Hot 97). But there is no public speaker of Asian descent that speaks about current affairs or on any key issues facing America or the world (according to Caterina). All these issues that she has brought up she hopes to put into a book to educate not just the American media and readers but also her Asian sisters.
“I am excited to work on this book that will harp on these issues facing the Asian women around the world and also to address the question as to why there is no stronger Asian representation in American media. I am looking to start a revolution of some sort.”
On her own the attractive Caterina has started to get involved in modeling in addition to her successful real estate career, her goal is to represent lifestyle brands and women initiatives in fashion, wellness, and travel. As she explained Asian women are the biggest spenders when it comes to shopping. Yet they are seldom part of any ads promoting any brands specifically targeting Asian women in their 30s and 40s. She believes if there were it would attract even more Asian woman consumers. She would hope to bridge this gap through her modeling aspirations. Caterina is on a serious mission and one that everyone should take notice of.
Categories: Profiles of Interesting New Yorkers