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IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Celine Quek

Alex Wiseman IWD2021

Disclaimer: Please note that all commentary and opinions provided in this interview are those of the individual and not the organisation/company they are employed by. 

What skills and attributes do female leaders bring to create diverse leadership at management level? 

Firstly, women comprise half of the world’s population so naturally their views and experiences should also count. While we should not overly-generalise, women tend to be more empathetic and abler to listen to diverse viewpoints. As our life journeys and challenges are different from men’s, we are able to offer different perspectives to an issue. What is not very commonly acknowledged but which we know is probably true, is that women tend to be a moderating force - many male colleagues have told me that when there is a lady in the room, the boys will automatically be on their best behaviour!

How can female leaders ensure they get a seat at the table?

A few key things to note: 

1. Confidence is essential - do not put yourself down, let others put you down or think that the others (i.e. men) are necessarily better or smarter. If you want to be treated as an equal, you must first and foremost also believe that you are an equal. 

2. Do not be afraid to be different but always ensure you have the same end goal in mind as your colleagues - a woman is of course different from a man so do not try too hard to fit in with the boys - instead, do your best to display your female attributes and femininity in the most positive way but at the same time not losing sight of the end goal which is to get the work done and help the organsation achieve its goals. 

3. Ask and you shall be given. If you want something, need help or advice or don’t understand anything, always ask. You will be surprised that people are a lot more helpful than we care to give credit for.

What are you really, really good at? 

I have been told that I am very good at assessing a situation, very spot-on in identifying the issues at hand, and very eloquent in communicating it to others in order to support the entire decision-making process.

What is your next goal or adventure?

I was an in-house legal counsel in the organisation for almost 16 years before I took a huge leap of faith to take on my current role as the regional HR Head. I have been very successful in establishing myself as a solid in-house legal counsel within my organisation in the past so the most recent move was an excellent opportunity for me to move out of my comfort zone and challenge myself. I do not know for sure yet what my next goal or adventure is or will be, but for now I am still in the process of learning and developing my own knowledge in the various HR topics as well as my own leadership skills.

Click below to read the full edition of IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Female Leaders Across The Globe.