We spoke to our group finance director Kim Lim for International Women’s Day.
Why is International Women’s Day important to you?
International Women’s Day is important to me because it gives women and men across the world an opportunity to come together to celebrate women’s achievements, reflect on our journey so far and further strengthen our collective efforts and resolve to get to true equality.
Are there any women who have inspired you, whether personally or professionally? What impact have they and other role models had on you?
Many women have inspired me, some I know intimately, others I am in awe of from afar. Like many, my mother is my first female role model – she shows me every day the importance of being kind to others, to speak your truth, to learn and contribute to society and despite setbacks and challenges, to pursue my dreams.
Other women who inspire me are too many to mention. Examples include Helen Keller, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Emmeline Pankhurst, Marie Curie, Rosa Parks, Amelia Earhart, Mother Theresa…the list goes on! They inspire me because they are true to themselves, they speak out, they care and fight for others, they pursue their dreams and goals despite limitations placed on them. Through their achievements, they have paved the way for us to follow.
What challenges have you faced as a woman in the workplace and what – or who – has helped you to overcome them?
Throughout my career, I often find myself working in a white, male-dominated environment. It is not unusual for me to be the only woman in a team. This sometimes makes me feel a little out of place, being a woman who grew up in the Far East, with a different cultural background and heritage, whose first language is not English.
However, looking at my role models and being inspired by them, I know that in my own way, I can also overcome challenges. I embrace and celebrate that we are all different. I work hard, strive to be the best version of myself and contribute to the best of my abilities.
I am grateful to all the people (men and women) who believed in me, encouraged me and generously shared their knowledge, experiences and wisdom with me. I can emulate them and help and support others.
What makes a good male ally in the workplace? What can men do to better support women at work?
A good male ally is one who understands and acknowledges the challenges others (men and women) face at work and is cognisant that some of these challenges affect women disproportionately. At work, men can better support women by being more aware of challenges faced by women, calling out on any inequality, and listening and taking action to cultivate a more supportive and inclusive work environment.