This article is a guest post.
In a rapidly changing world where industries and jobs are expanding and shifting at a rapid rate, everyone’s job scopes are increasingly more fluid. Where the same set of skills were a prerequisite five years ago, may not be the case in today’s world. With the many roles women juggle at work and at home, how can we set them up for success in their workplaces?
My own journey was not so different. I started my career in sales, where I grew from a sales representative to a national sales manager. This was when I knew that I was able to foster deep connections with people, which then led to a role in HR. The past 15 years as an HR professional has allowed me to chart an exciting journey that allows me to help professionals map out their career ambitions and fulfil their career trajectories. In this capacity, I seek to impart what I have collectively learnt to set women up for success in the years to come.
Knowing what you want to achieve is the first part of success. Chart your career by questioning your aspirations and how you get there. By taking the time to think about what you want to achieve in your life and career, it is possible to implement a realistic plan that will help you hit these milestones. But do not forget that even the best of plans can be tweaked along the way.
Do not be afraid to take initiatives to create opportunities. In an increasingly competitive environment, those who dare to take initiatives and suggest ideas will be seen as trailblazers. Many women often advocate for collaboration, but do not forget that you must advocate for yourself to be seen and heard. Often, men are more willing to voice their thoughts and concerns which get them recognised for the similar ideas women possess.
It is important to be a lifelong learner. Being open and keen to learn throughout your career allows you to continuously pick up new skills, stay sharp and keep abreast with current trends and happenings. With the ever-changing nature of jobs, it is imperative to evolve with the times and what is required to stay ahead of the curve.
Instilling a growth mindset is equally important. Individuals who believe in hard work, developing good strategies and are open to input for others are the ones who believe that their skill sets can constantly be refined and developed. Remaining stagnant is more a danger than a benefit in a world that is consistently being challenged by technology.
Learn from your role models and peers – whether they are personal or professional. Whether you build a professional network or lean on your personal connections – such as a spouse or partner. It is an advantage to have people you can bounce ideas off and have discourse with to constantly challenge and improve your thinking. If possible, find a mentor who will guide (or challenge) you and provide tips on how they overcome challenges and difficulties being a woman in the workplace. I have seen it time and time again: Women help women.
Seek workplaces that encourage and empower women in order to amplify your voice. For example, we consciously provide women with learning and career development opportunities, including having clear approaches for women’s leadership development. We often find that developing female employees’ careers lies in helping them solve their concerns – one of which is balancing work and life. Women’s careers do not come from a lack of experience, ability, or knowledge, but from balancing the multiple societal roles they must uphold.
At ADM, diversity and inclusion are important aspects of the workplace. Women are often perplexed by how they can better balance their personal roles, such as being a mother or caring for elderly parents, with their careers. Thus, it is not surprising that working mothers also prefer to work in organisations that emphasise diversity and inclusion.
We believe that a diverse, collaborative, and open workplace is important for women to grow. We must all collectively embrace change and be open to new ideas to become a more diverse and inclusive society.
Alyssa Wang is the Human Resources Director, APAC at ADM. She brings over 15 years of experience in the HR field, and is responsible for building an efficient human resources management system; conducting talent selection and training; establishing scientific incentive mechanisms; and creating a diversified and inclusive corporate culture to promote transformation and innovation. Prior to a career in HR, Alyssa also brings 16 years of sales experience. Alyssa Wang has an MBA degree, participated in the human resource management class of Peking University, and is proficient in Chinese and English.
Connect with Alyssa on LinkedIn.
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