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Future Women Leaders Forum 2024: Taking Bold Moves

The Future Women Leaders Forum is YWLC’s annual flagship dedicated to empowering young women leaders from the start of their careers. This year’s edition was organised in partnership with Bloomberg, and focused on enabling undergraduates and fresh graduate women to explore unconventional paths and gather insights into navigating changes in their professional environments.

The event featured an esteemed lineup of women leaders and industry professionals such as Halynne Shi, Product Manager, Spotify Asia, who delivered a keynote address on the journey to finding one’s passion. Joe Lee, Strategic Partnership for Financial Solutions, Asia Pacific, Bloomberg, Maya Kale, Founder of Moom Health and Monica Bhatia, Head of SEA & Korea (Enterprise), LinkedIn Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn came together for a panel discussion on riding the wave through changing times. 

Through personal stories and reflecting on navigating career uncertainties, the speakers and panelists shared actionable advice for participants to take away. 

A career is a journey

The perception of a career as a linear journey has been a longstanding paradigm, shaping the expectations and aspirations of individuals.Traditionally, this perspective envisioned a clear and straightforward path: education, entry-level position, gradual climb up the corporate ladder, and retirement after decades of service with a single organization. However, as we navigate the complexities of the modern professional landscape, it becomes evident that this linear model no longer accurately reflects the diverse and dynamic nature of the changing times we live in. 

Through a reflection on navigating a career switch, Halynne reassured participants that it is okay to not have it all figured out. For instance, Halynne’s leap into product management included many pivots - she majored in international relations in university and took on roles in business development, operations and marketing before ending up in product management. She emphasized the importance of individuals giving themselves time to learn to grow and embrace a nonlinear approach to their professional lives.

Adapting to the evolving landscape 

During the panel discussion, speakers imparted actionable advice for participants to cultivate a mindset of continued learning and adaptation. Maya shared that first jobbers should not be afraid to ask questions as they navigate settling into their roles. She reassured attendees that managers appreciate being asked questions as it shows initiative and the hunger to want to learn and understand the job scope. 

Echoing these sentiments, Joe advised on working hard to build a solid foundation. Building a strong foundation helps individuals become more agile as it enables early career professionals to adapt to the evolving landscape. 

Challenges are bound to arise, especially if an individual is learning how to adapt and navigate their first job. Reflecting on how she navigated difficult situations in her career, Monica shared that asking for help is not a sign for weakness. In fact, individuals might find that their team mates are also experiencing the same difficulties and they can learn how to navigate it together.

Managing your online reputation

Capping off the event was a LinkedIn workshop by Monica catered to early career professionals. The key advice she had for participants was to pivot from the mindset that a LinkedIn profile serves as a resume. She positioned an individual’s LinkedIn profile as an online reputation to manage - offering actionable tips on how to optimise profiles for more visibility and connecting meaningfully with like minded individuals on the platform. 

YWLC would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the venue sponsor, Bloomberg, all our esteemed speakers and participants for making this event a resounding success. We wish each participants the very best in embarking on their professional journey. 

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