1. Briefly describe your role and what you do at NUHS.
|As the Group Chief Financial Officer (GCFO), I lead a team to manage the entirety of the NUHS's finance and business functions.|
2. How have you defied expectations and challenged the norms as a woman?
|We are fortunate to be living in the current era and environment, where all women - to some extent - have benefitted from the increased emphasis on gender equality and diversity.|
Over the course of my career, I am thankful to have worked with an array of leaders, both male and female, who provided lots of opportunities to my team and I to contribute to the success of the organisations.
I recalled a conversation with one of my male bosses, where I had to make some hard choices. We rationalised that I would not be able to clock as many travel and entertainment hours as my male counterparts, but he understood my ambitions and still invested in me so that I could have an equal shot at an expanded role in future. This was even though we both knew that accommodating my work-life priorities at that point would mean a slower career progression.
Of course, there had been transition points in my life during which I had to forgo promotions or relocation opportunities, but these were largely my personal choices - choices that I made to achieve the work-life harmony that i desired, and not because I was denied the opportunity.
3. Name some of your achievements as a woman leader.
|I have never looked at things from a man's versus woman's perspective. In general, as a leader, I am happy to have been able to build future-ready teams contributing to the organisation's vision; have credible successors for many of my roles; have taken on varied roles outside my professional comfort zone; and used technology and enabled digitalisation in many of our functions.|
Within NUHS, I especially enjoyed working with A/Profs James Yip and Keith Lim and the cross-functional teams to re-engineer our processes to construct VDO (Values Driven Outcomes) and in the process, winning a National Medical Excellence team award. I am also thankful to have an agile and resilient team who work behind the scene to streamline many of our processes and be amongst the first to roll-out Robotic Processing Automation for billing refunds and COVID testing registration.
4. Piece of advice to women working in NUHS?
|Know yourself, understand your strengths and vulnerabilities; focus on where you want to go, not on what you fear. Be yourself and don't be compelled to behave in certain ways or tendencies just to fit in. Speak up for what you want and go for what makes you happy. Build your own network of people who can inspire you and keep you going if you are ever faced with the unfortunate scenario of being undervalued, undermined of overlooked.|
Finally, focus on the transition points in your career, and know the work-life choices you have to make at the different milestones in the journey.
Remember that, "A woman is a full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform!"
5. What improvements will you like to see to empower women in NUHS?
Empowering women means trusting them to take control of their choices and decisions. While we already have a mentorship programme in place under our Women in Science and Technology initiative, I believe we can expand it to accomplish more, professionally and personally. This includes identifying opportunities and building a holistic support system to allow women to manage their career transitions within NUHS.
I also hope that we can continue to accept and embrace individuality and practice inclusion in the work place. Although there are certain qualities expected of women, we shouldn't expect them to adhere to a stereotypical idea of feminity - rather, we just need to embrace the ways in which everyone is unique.