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International Women’s Day – All About Balance

On International Women's Day, Nexia TS speaks to five successful women in Finance, Sports and Sport Management, to hear their views on gender equality and how they have gone beyond the glass ceiling.

In our first article of the 2-part series, Celebrating Women’s Success & Going Beyond the Ceiling, we featured three amazing women with diverse backgrounds who have made significant contributions to the roles they played in the boardroom and sports arena.

This follow-up article, All About Balance, emphasizes the importance of gender equality in the culture of gender where expectations for men and women are different. Hear from Lee Wei and Christine, women at the top, as they weigh in their views on what more can be done to promote gender diversity and reduce gender bias in the workplace.

 

How can women balance competing demands at work and yet fulfil the role of the primary caregiver at home?  

 

Ms Lee Wei, Chief Financial Officer of Hyphens Pharma International Limited. Lee Wei joined Hyphens in 2010 and led the company to IPO in 2018. She has more than 20 years of experience in audit, corporate finance and financial management. Prior to joining Hyphens, she has worked with Ernst & Young and a few SGX Mainboard-listed companies.

The key is prioritisation and focusing on daily habit. Knowing your immediate goals segregates what are important and what are urgent. Once priorities are identified, tackle the important tasks first within the allocated time and move on to the next task, don’t procrastinate. Equally important is support from your boss, colleagues, and family. The privilege to have an empathetic boss, helpful colleagues and understanding family members goes a long way to avoid a burnout.

 

Ms Christine Lee, Assurance Director, Nexia TS. Christine joined the international accounting firm for more than 15 years, of which two years were with Nexia TS Shanghai. She specializes in audit in Singapore and China and has been involved in audit advisory services in public listed companies, multinational corporations and small and medium enterprises.

Women are generally perceived as the predominant caregiver in the family due to gender-specific difference in the provision of care. Having to perform two roles at one time effectively can be a daunting task if personal expectations are not managed well as exceptions are uncommon in some environments. Be determined to overcome challenges and not procrastinate to make decisions.

 

Achieving Gender Balance in the Workplace – What more can be done for companies to eliminate gender bias?

Lee Wei  – Firstly, making a conscious effort to ensure a fair balance of both genders in the board and management team. At Hyphens, more than 60% of our Managers are female. When they have a board vacancy, they specifically sought for a female director to fill the seat.

Secondly, ensuring employees have equal opportunities to training and exposure. A person is valued for his/her perspective only if he/she speaks sense, thus providing the right training and exposing female employees to appropriate work experience will help build their expertise to contribute effectively.

Thirdly, evaluating employees’ ideas objectively without bias to position, gender, age or race. Reliance on data-driven decision-making can help to reduce biasness.

Christine – Gender bias can be avoided if fair decisions are made based on capabilities and suitability of the same job offered to both gender binary. Companies should conduct fair hiring based on merits and relevant experience for the job and commensurate accordingly based on performance. Workplace diversity offers different skill sets and perspectives to solve a work issue thus drives innovation.

 

On International Women’s Day, what is your key advice to women advancing their careers?

Lee Wei – Making a career plan for themselves and to review the plan regularly to ensure that the rights skills are picked up at each stage of career so that they can be well prepared to move onto the next stage.

Christine – Inequality in culture of gender is inevitable in some industries or work environments but that should not be the deterrent to prove what you have. Demonstrate your readiness to take up new challenges and take pride in what you do, and that will inspire you to drive towards success.

 

 

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