In the lead up to International Women’s Day on Friday 8 March, the conversation around women in the workplace in Hong Kong continues, with recent figures finding there is an increasing number of female workers in Hong Kong taking on the roles of manager and administrators – with a growth rate of 32 per cent since 2011, higher than the growth of male workers (16 per cent).
In light of this, specialist recruiter Robert Half has asked their female recruitment leaders in Hong Kong how they got ahead in the workplace and their helpful tips for women (and men) to drive their career.
Andrea Wong, senior division director, Robert Half Hong Kong said: “Women should actively display their ambition and direction in the workplace, and regularly communicate to senior leadership their efforts and achievements. Your efforts won’t go unnoticed if you’re seen as a committed and proactive achiever.”
Melissa Lau, associate director, Robert Half Hong Kong said: “Regardless of your gender, everyone in the workplace needs to speak up for things they believe in and take the initiative to go beyond traditional job requirements. Success comes down to asking for the right opportunities, not waiting for them to come to you.”
Elaine Lam, associate director, Robert Half Hong Kong said: “To succeed in the workplace, you need perseverance when you face challenges, but above all you need to maintain a positive attitude. With this in mind, any woman can succeed in business as long as they produce good results and have confidence in themselves.”
Robert Half have also put forward four useful tips for career progression:
1. Planning is critical
Your career should always be guided by a plan that is ambitious, adaptable and achievable. Create a career plan accompanied by a five-year strategy establishing what you want to achieve, and the skills, experience and people required to get you there.
“Make sure your career plan is adaptable as the success of your plan and ability to progress hinges on being able to seize different opportunities when they arise,” said Andrea Wong.
2. Always be an asset
Whatever role you’re in, make the most of it by regularly exceeded expectations. Ensure you learn as much as possible and embrace feedback.
“Develop your skills and learn new processes by embracing change and looking for opportunities to add value to your team and your company. Most importantly, always be enthusiastic, approachable and adaptable, take constructive criticism on board and be able to follow direction,” said Melissa Lau.
3. Go extra-curricular
Finding a mentor outside your organisation, undertaking training, joining networks, and being aware of market trends and the key issues impacting your role and industry are just a few things you can do to help advance your career.
“Career progression can take place after work hours and doesn’t necessarily have to be provided by your employer,” said Andrea Wong.
4. Mistakes are part of career progression
Advancing your career doesn’t mean having a flawless, winning run at everything you attempt. Making mistakes is a critical part of learning and an effective way of finding ways to optimise experiences throughout your professional life.
“While it can feel like making mistakes slows down your career advancement, managing them diplomatically and professionally will show your colleagues, managers and stakeholders that you’re resilient, flexible and focussed on the best outcomes no matter what challenges lie in your way,” said Elaine Lam.