HR Leadership

8th March 2021

Women Leadership Paves the Way

WOMEN LEADERSHIP in the workplace today is ushering in a future of work wherein female professionals are valued for their skills, expertise, knowledge, critical thinking and conviction. Women leaders today are breaking down the barriers that for decades held women back in reaching the recognition, opportunities and achievements they deserve. HR, as one of the top industries embracing gender diversity, is leading the way for better female representation across the corporate ladder.

Here at Will, we get to see amazing and hardworking female leaders positively impact so many lives through their expertise, guidance and advice. Meet the female leaders of Will. Be empowered as they share their respective journey and inspiring messages to the female leaders of tomorrow.

Andrea McDonald

Andrea McDonald, Director of u&u Recruitment Partners

I have always aimed to keep understanding more about myself and others, and what that means for me in terms of strengths and weaknesses in leadership.  I have always been prepared to take action and adapt when I receive feedback, because GROWING AS A LEADER IS THE KEY. You do not just become a leader once you get the title, it is a career long journey to strive to be the best leader you can be. I believe in leading by example and treating our staff like customers, that leadership service mentality has served me well.

Be teachable, the best leaders know they are not always right.  You learn more from what goes wrong than what goes right as a leader, so don’t be too hard on yourself when you make a mistake and pull back when you don’t get things right. Just know it is necessary for learning to be a great leader.  Good conversations solve most things, always lean in to having a genuine conversation and never hide behind technology or email as a face-to-face conversation is far superior.

Stefanie Cross-Wilson

Stefanie Cross-Wilson, COO of ChapmanCG

My leadership journey has deliberately been an international one across various countries and cultures, so I’ve been very fortunate. I do not draw a distinction between female and male leaders, and I have never thought of myself as different or special because I am a woman. (Although admittedly in the time that I started my career, I did turn a blind eye to what was ‘expected’ of me.)

Today, I am the main income earner for our family.  I feel that I carry the responsibility of being the main breadwinner in the same way a man would feel that same responsibility. I am a believer in servant leadership, and I feel ANYONE IN A LEADERSHIP ROLE SHOULD SERVE THE PEOPLE THEY LEAD, but always with confidence, compassion and humility.

My advice is that hard work pays off. Always surround yourself with people with the right values who have the potential to excel. Never be afraid, do not put limitations on yourself and try to help others, along the way.

Cecilia Sim

Cecilia Sim, Managing Director of ScienTec Consulting

‘Perspiration, persistence and relentless pursuit of excellence’ is my default mindset that very much sums up my leadership journey in ScienTec.

There is never a dull day in our industry and every action we take impacts the lives around us. I still hold my fond memory, remembering the very first recruitment consultant who reached out to me and broadened the horizons of possibilities and changed the course of my career pathway thereafter.

When I eventually became a consultant years later, I cherished the opportunity and truly believe that I too, could positively impact others. It has been an eventful and fulfilling ride, taking over the helm from the founder and charting new courses, achieving exciting milestones. Success is about becoming a greater version of ourselves and it is a daily reminder for me to stay true and speak my truth. Be authentic, loving what I do and loving the people with whom we interact with. Don’t forget to breathe and smile. When setbacks happen, I tell myself that it is just a chapter, not our whole story.

First, ditch the self doubt. Second, give a new definition for fear, FACE EVERYTHING AND RISE. Always remember to embrace the 3 C’s in life, choice, chance and change. We have the power to make the choice, take the chance and change the outcome. Be that girl who wakes up with purpose and intent. Be that girl who shows up and never gives up. Be that girl who believes that anything is possible and is willing to work hard for it.

Don’t allow yourself to wake up with yesterday’s issues troubling your mind. Refuse to live backwards, always forward.

‘Opportunities don’t just happen, you create them.’ The saying goes, ‘A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not on the branch, but on its wings.’ Always believe in yourself and see how the magic unfolds.

Janice Oh

Janice Oh, Consulting Manager of Asia Recruit

Throughout my leadership journey in AR, I would say I am still continuously exploring and learning to be a better leader. At this moment, I see myself being a coach rather than a leader. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses which I would like to help them identify.  I give my team the space and freedom to complete their work, but my door is always open to listen and provide them with guidance and advice. I genuinely want to see how everyone can grow and succeed in their work not only in Asia Recruit but throughout their entire career as a whole.

My humble advice is to believe in yourself, DARE TO TAKE UP NEW CHALLENGES, take leaps of faith and work hard to pursue your passion.

Claire Teden

Claire Teden, Managing Director of Ethos BeathChapman

The big secret in life is there is no big secret. I challenge the next generation of female leaders. Whatever your goal or ambition, you can and will get there if you are willing to work hard. One thing I do know is that NOTHING IS TOO HARD OR TOUGH ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU ENJOY EVERY MOMENT IN LIFE.

Tan Ying

Tan Ying, Manager of Good Job Creations

It is a humbling journey, full of ups and downs, and mostly involving trial and error. I learnt that it is a give and take relationship with my subordinates. There is also a need for a ‘push-through till you see the light at the end of the tunnel’ mentality all the time. Though the end of the tunnel is still far ahead, it has been very fulfilling to see my self-development and gain more confidence with each right decision I make.

WHEN GIVEN POWER OR AUTHORITY, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO USE IT. There is never a universal ‘right’ way of doing something, take a stand and stick with it.


Heidi Livingston

Heidi Livingston, Executive Director of Quay Appointments

Like many, I did not choose recruitment, it chose me. In my, almost 30 years of recruitment, I have been very fortunate to have worked with some exceptional female role models, coaches, mentors and leaders, who were generous of knowledge and time. I learnt from some of the industry’s best female recruiters and leaders. I listened to their conversations and hung off their every word. I learnt about the industry, people, myself and what it takes to be a great leader.

My journey has been amazing and I have had the pleasure of leading some exceptional women. I LEAD BY EXAMPLE, setting clear expectations. I am always generous with knowledge, trusting until you give me a reason not to. Never be too proud to say sorry and love the thrill of the fill.

We are living and working in very different times, but my advice is always the same – KILL THEM WITH KINDNESS, you never know it all, inspect what you expect, be honest and be true to yourself. ‘Keep your head, heels and standards high.’ – Coco Chanel

Katherine Qu

Katherine Qu, Senior Director of ChapmanCG

I have personally come a long way to find peace with myself, balancing the various roles I play in life as a mom, a daughter, a wife and a female leader. My advice for our next generation of female leaders is this, know your priorities and stay focused on your commitment. Be confident but also humble, admit that we are not superwoman, but we can ALWAYS STRIVE FOR THE BEST WE CAN ACHIEVE. Love yourself.

Kate Coath

Kate Coath, COO of DFP Recruitment

My leadership journey, more than 20 years adventure has been characterised by seeing the possibilities, and especially the upside, in every situation. Being honest about who we are and the strengths we bring enables us to overcome barriers, solve big problems and identify new ways of working, building a deep sense of trust. Leading great teams with high levels of expertise and a deeply collaborative spirit, WE STRIVE TO ACHIEVE MORE THAN WE THOUGHT WAS POSSIBLE.

I am inspired by the remarkable and enduring relationships that have been created, recognising there is room for everyone. Through this sense of belonging, our connectedness creates momentum, enables us to thrive and have fun.

We are at our best when we are challenged, embrace the hard stuff and grow stronger. Lead with optimism. Focus on what matters. Stay curious and keep learning. Plan and act with purpose, communicate with care, and always remember courage is contagious. There is no safe way to be great.

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