We shine a spotlight on the insightful takeaways from the Women in Association conference held at the MBS hybrid event broadcast studio in Singapore.
Approximately 70 women and men from different industries and associations centred their conversations on the findings from a recent BEAM survey on the future of women leadership in APAC. But, more importantly, they wanted to brainstorm actions that could advance women and activate a future-shaping leadership mindset.
Reflecting on how other women support her development journey, Ailynn Seah, VP of Sales, MIC and Association at Marina Bay Sands, shared in her opening speech that empathy for others shows strengths in leadership; contributes to building team members’ resilience.
Ailynn Seah, VP of Sales, MIC and Association, Marina Bay Sands
Virtual panellists Dianne Smith, Laura Deal Lacey and Nicki Kenyon advocated equal opportunity and fair play through having self-confidence. They also suggested the importance of speaking up individually and joining support networks with a collective voice that increases awareness and affirms the need for legislation and organisational policies to protect women from harassment and discrimination.
Philip Pang, Manager, Marketing & Events, PCMA Asia Pacific moderating the virtual panel.
”To me, it’s more about collaboration, and we all need one another, regardless of whether we are male or female, how we can all affect change together.Philip Pang, Manager, Marketing & Events, PCMA Asia Pacific
Speaking from MBS Hybrid Broadcast Studio, panellists Kim Underhill, Shen Ming Lee, and Vijaya Rao encouraged women to be their authentic selves and set realistic goals when managing imposter syndrome. They also suggest ways to achieve productive mentorship that could lead to more robust succession planning.
”We talked about being brave and putting ourselves out there. One of the biggest things I got out of today was the want that many women have to be authentic at the workplace and bring their true selves to whatever situation they face because often, we feel that we cannot do that.Shen Ming Lee, CMO, Crust Group
Using inspirations from the panels, the participants delved into deep conversations around making real change.
When it comes to creating opportunities, the participants felt that the courage to break the rules and committing to making a real change is vital. In addition, having a coach and working with different kinds of knowledgeable people could inspire new skills and approaches to creating new opportunities.
The participants echoed El Kwang’s comment from his panel session, “Mentors are not a buffet of learning experience. Be specific!” They believe that both mentors and mentees should set clear expectations when setting up a mutually benefiting relationship.
COVID-19 exacerbated the need for flexible workplace arrangements. The participants suggested that consequential management and team accountability solidify trust. Setting a designated meeting day promotes social interaction – an essential element to prevent organisational culture dilution.
”One topic that came up was calling at inappropriate hours. But the interesting part was when I had a conversation with that table, they shared that it is actually okay in some circumstances. The question is, are you ready for it? Did you accept it when you got the job? The problem comes when leaders impose on your time, demanding your attention without telling you in advance.Kim Underhill, Director, Ultimate Balance Consultancy
Christo Alexander, General Manager, SongDivision Asia