IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Caecilia Chu

IWD2021 #ChooseToChallenge: Caecilia Chu

Sean Tong 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. 

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

Reaching the top of the leadership ladder can be a strenuous process for any woman as biases and barriers still exist in many workplaces. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes these biases can be self-inflicted as well. My advice to aspiring female leaders to get a seat at the table? 1. Never let self-doubt stop you from chasing your dreams - remember what your intentions were and what you set out to achieve. 2. Value your support system - it’s alright to lean on people, but it’s also important to choose the right team that values inclusivity and collaboration in order to propel you to greater heights. 3. Be ready to bounce back from setbacks - whatever the bumps you may face in your life and career, you need to be ready to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and just keep going. Never lose sight of why you started in the first place. 

What is one thing women don’t talk about enough? 

Women don’t talk about how they still need men - men to play their part in truly achieving gender equality. In less than a century, we’ve achieved great progress where gender equality is finally a key agenda for many developed societies. We started the shift by empowering women to shed the traditional gender stereotypes cast upon them. In many ways, we’ve successfully achieved that, but that’s only half the battle won. It’s time we shift the conversation on how men too, have an equally important role in our continuous pursuit towards gender parity. We often say that “behind every successful man is a woman”, but not enough on how women need the same support system in order to achieve their ambitions and goals. From being a supportive husband at home to being an open-minded colleague in the workplace, these are some of the many crucial roles that men can play to enable women. Simply put, no one can succeed alone - we need everyone to do their part to help each other grow as individuals, and ultimately progress as a society. 

Why is it important that we “choose to challenge” and call out gender bias, discrimination and stereotyping? 

Gender equality is an issue that is important to me both personally and professionally, not only as the CEO of YouTrip, but also as a female leader in a male-dominated industry. I believe that in order for us to become a truly progressive society, it’s important to be comfortable to discuss topics that weren’t salient before. Just over half a century ago, the thought of female empowerment was easily an idea that would be scoffed at. It was only when more people started to question existing biases and discrimination, that we’re able to achieve the concepts of gender equality that we know today. As a female leader, I hold a responsibility to my team and women around me to ensure YouTrip actively pursues gender parity. Here at YouTrip, we’ve built an inclusive culture making sure that anyone, woman or man, who joins the team feels equally respected, trusted, and supported. We have a close to 50- 50 gender balance across our offices, which is something we put in the conscious effort to achieve.

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