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BIC’s CEO Jing Liu talks about her ‘Women in Leadership’ Executive program experience

By June 27, 2022 No Comments

Our CFO, Jing Liu (front row, 3rd from the right), recently participated in the ‘Women In Leadership Executive Program’, organised by the Women Leaders Institute

 

This excellent program was run over 4 half-days, bringing women from diverse backgrounds together to enhance their leadership skills, develop tools and strategies to align with their purpose, connect with peers and drive change through collaborative empowerment.

BIC understands the importance of supporting inclusion and diversity as a cornerstone to building businesses of the future, that in turn transform our society to become more equitable and provide greater opportunities to future generations. Jing told us about her experience, participating in this program:

What was the program all about?

The Women in Leadership Executive Program is set up as a safe and encouraging space for women like me in executive positions to explore our purpose, motivations, behaviour, and leadership qualities, and how we can be more effective and empowered in our roles. It brought a real diverse mix of women together, but we all shared common challenges and dreams.  It was amazing just how quickly it felt like I was in a room full of close friends.

What was the format?

Over 4 half days, we participated in a range of exercises; sharing, interacting, and challenging each other to explore our potential and overcome limiting factors.

What were some of the key areas you focused on?

I was able to look at my purpose, both as a person and through the significant role I play at BIC. Sometimes we lose sight of our purpose when we get caught up in the day-to-day operations in business, so I was able to pause and see myself as bringing all kinds of values and skills to my role – not just my financial skills but my interpersonal ‘soft’ skills that are so important in an executive team, managing a major national enterprise.  I was quite pleased to realise the importance of focusing on the soft skills as a strategy. My financial credentials are solid, so really the soft skills are what makes the company culture thrive and drive organisational success. Building confidence in this area is very important, I think.

What was the most memorable exercise?

We had a bit of a surprise when we were asked to go around the table and each participant had to observe, then provide honest and open feedback to each other, around our strengths and weaknesses and make suggestions on what we could improve. This was rather challenging as we were all strangers when we started the program, but it was a powerful exercise and brought us together in a trusting and authentic setting. Very powerful.

Another great feature was being allowed to discuss various real-life situations that we had experienced in a safe and confidential environment. This made us realise that we all face many of the same challenges and difficulties, especially around gender assumptions, which can often be subconscious – and assumptions we might even hold about ourselves that may not be accurate. It was a real eye-opener for me.

What were your biggest take-home messages from the program?

At first, I was a little nervous to participate as the program, but I walked away feeling really connected to the other participants – like we had just formed a new network of friends, bonding through our shared experience.

I was able to appreciate what I bring to my CFO role at BIC and that it is so much more than just overseeing the financial health of the business. All the other factors of interpersonal relationships and dynamics of an organisation are extremely important – and even more so when seen through a lens of gender and cultural diversity.

I realise how much more value I bring to my role and I am so grateful to be working for a business that places so much importance on these values and so appreciative that they saw the benefit in this program.

I left the program with some real practical tools as well, to help me be more effective as a leader and as a team member, working together not just for the success of the business but for everyone involved to achieve their own personal goals and dreams.

The BIC Executive team congratulates Jing on her successful completion of the program and look forward to the long-term impact of everything she experienced. Our People make us who we are so we will continue to invest in the learning and personal development of our leaders and our entire workforce. We continue to evolve our business and do what we can to build a better society that is fairer, more equitable and fully values what every individual can bring to the table.  Well done, Jing!