Women in Business Focus Group Quarterly Update - Q1 2014

Published on 2014-02-20

As we move in to 2014, the Focus Group will continue to organise events that allow women to share their experiences and their challenges and promote a supportive environment for discussing next steps and solutions.

wib
Early in 2013, Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook and former Google Executive published a provocative book entitled Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. In the book, Sandberg encourages women to “lean in” to the challenges of corporate life and assert themselves more in the workplace.

Critics of Sandberg’s observations and tips featured in the book asserted that it’s easy to “lean in” when you can afford help at home, and that the book’s advice regarding ‘self-promotion’ of women above all else ran counter to the established principle that women should encourage solidarity among their ranks in the workplace. Sandberg supporters countered that the author’s basic message is, “more female leadership will lead to fairer treatment for all women”, and that Sandberg set out to “offer advice that would have been helpful to me long before I had heard of Google or Facebook.”

To the members of the Women in Business Focus Group, the furore surrounding Sandberg’s Lean In was another reminder that the conversation around women in the workplace must continue and that there is not necessarily a ‘one size fits all’ solution for success as a woman in the work place – and indeed that ‘success’ comes in different forms.

In 2013, we piloted two types of events for women in the business community here in Shanghai. Our Speed Networking and Speed Mentoring sessions focused on creating a neutral and supportive environment for women to get together, share opinions and discuss the issues they are facing at work.

As we move in to 2014, the Focus Group will continue to organise events that allow women to share their experiences and their challenges and promote a supportive environment for discussing next steps and solutions. This year we will be expanding our Speed Networking model to include other Chambers and broaden the networking opportunities. The Focus Group will also host an event for International Women’s Day as well as boardroom-style debates on topical subjects throughout the year.

**Learn more about the Women in Business Focus Group>>**