INSEAD's Limitless campaign celebrates women who have dared to push beyond their own limits and conquer obstacles in their lives to create positive change. We also recognise that change would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the support systems they relied on – people who shared their lives, the weight of their responsibilities, and the ups and downs of their friend’s or loved one’s journey to success.
I would like to encourage all men to become more vocal about gender equity.
When I got accepted into INSEAD the first reaction I got when I told people, was “Who will take care of your child?” instead of “Congratulations! You can do it”. Then when I found out I was pregnant, and I chose not to defer, I was told all sorts of things, like “Think about your child, this is an impossible task, you cannot raise a toddler and be pregnant and do such an intense MBA, stop thinking you can do it all”.
I have a client who is a graduate of a prestigious business school. After her education, she went into consulting for a few years. The prestigious MBA and a couple of global postings resulted in her getting an irresistible offer in finance. She enjoyed the work and personally was in a relationship that was headed to the altar. Somewhere after being passed on for a role and the weakening and ultimate demise of her relationship, she said: "the spark" in her had "died" out.
My client, a single child of an overworked single mother, was emotionally rewarded as a child for "not asking for much." As a child, she was responsible and wise beyond her age. This unfettered self-sufficiency continued as she worked her way up the corporate ladder, wherein she took on more than her share of the responsibility and loosely led a team of "easygoing executives." The problem is what I call the "lenient rescuer leader" accepts underperformance to stay popular and then rescues others once a crisis arises.
A year at INSEAD allowed me to reflect deeply about female leadership. From discussions inside the INSEAD classroom to the incredible seminars hosted by the Women in Business Club, discussions on female leadership and gender equality are abundant.
We live in a world of constraints - some are physical, some cultural but they are always personal. These mindsets limit our human potential to achieve great things in life and hinder experiences that not only enrich ourselves but also benefit society at large. INSEAD celebrates women who have dared to push beyond their own limits and conquer obstacles in their lives to create positive change. In today's episode of In The Know we celebrate the incredible feats of our five guests with a digital roundtable discussion.
Starting a business is an exciting journey and many INSEAD alumni have found the support, resources and network at INSEAD that gave their entrepreneurship start a boost. We spoke to three INSEAD alumnae - who are successful business owners in their respective fields - on why they decided to do an MBA at INSEAD, how the INSEAD MBA prepared them for a life and career in entrepreneurship, and what advice they have for aspiring women entrepreneurs.
At a networking event in Hong Kong, I was asked what I do. My answer instinctively was, “Not much.” “Not much” is far from the truth.