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Empowering Female Leaders: The Symphony of Leadership and Balance

The YWLC Mentorship Programme concluded its 2nd iteration of the Masterclass Workshop Series on 17 February 2024 in partnership with Visa. Thematically focused on navigating a young female professional's journey in leadership and balance, our mentees had the unique opportunity to engage up close with our esteemed YWLC Mentors and Visa representatives through an intimate human library sharing session, an innovative format designed to facilitate personal storytelling and mentorship.

The workshop commenced with a brief fireside chat featuring our distinguished speakers: Ms. Bianca Cheo, COO of Mewah Group; Ms. Chong Ee Rong, Independent Board Director at Certis Group; Ms. Genevieve Goh, Director of Talent Management at Visa, Asia-Pacific; Ms. Sonia Gupta, Managing Director at Accenture; Ms. Saleemah Ismail, Co-Founder & Executive Director of New Life Stories; and Dr. Jade Kua, MCC Coach at Jade Life and Wellness. This insightful discussion was moderated by Jamie Low, a fellow YWLC member and Deputy Director of the Mentorship Subcommittee. Following the fireside chat, the speakers further elaborated on these themes through a series of human library sessions, providing attendees with invaluable perspectives. Here, we summarise the key takeaways from these enriching discussions.

The Journey at a Personal Level

Prioritise and Understand Personal Goals: It's crucial to take time to prioritise and understand your personal goals and objectives. Setting aside time to review these goals allows you to reflect on the non-negotiables or the key values that matter the most. This process of reflection is vital for understanding the desired direction and finding personal bearings. Clarity on priorities and decision-making parameters provides a clearer set of guidelines for mapping out the journey towards your desired end state.

Goal Setting: The process of setting goals should be structured to include various aspects of life, such as work, family, and hobbies. Goals can be broken down into micro-goals that are achievable and provide momentum towards meeting long-term ambitions.

The Journey Around Yourself

Building Your Network and Personal Track Record: Networking is key to building your personal and professional journey. Start by meeting new people and discovering common interests to spark conversations. Relationships require time to cultivate, and engaging in communities can be extremely beneficial, as these platforms bring together individuals with similar interests. Taking on leadership roles to create memorable experiences for stakeholders can also be a valuable way to meet and collaborate with others. Authenticity is crucial, as it is challenging to maintain engagement in activities that do not align with your personal character or values.

Creating Value in Your Selected Vertical: Hard work, tenacity, and a strong work ethic are highly respected and valued. Aim to gain expertise in your field by dedicating effort and time to create value in your selected vertical. Understanding your personal toolkit, including strengths and areas for improvement, is important for career advancement. Early in your career, seek out learning opportunities and be open to tasks beyond your personal preferences. The collective experience gained can lead to new discoveries and personal growth beyond the workplace.

The Journey Beyond Yourself

Navigating the VUCA World: The world is volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous (VUCA), and plans may need to change accordingly. It is okay if the original plans are no longer suitable, and adapting your non-negotiables according to life's seasons is a part of this process. Accepting changes and making comfortable decisions for a new direction is a vital part of navigating life's unpredictability.

The YWLC community has benefited immensely from the intimate engagements with the panel of speakers, gaining insights and guidance to navigate their professional and personal journeys.


Human Library panelists

Ms Bianca Cheo, COO, Mewah Group

Ms Chong Ee Rong, Independent Board Director, Certis Group

Ms Genevieve Goh, Director, Talent Management of Visa Asia Pacific

Ms Sonia Gupta, Managing Director, Accenture

Ms Saleemah Ismail, Co-Founder & Executive Director of New Life Stories

Dr. Jade Kua, MCC Coach at Jade Life And Wellness

Venue Partner: Visa 

Author: Jamie Low

Editor:  Caren Tso

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