MakingHERStory is back again, and this time we sat down with our outstanding Senior Finance Manager from Singapore, Nikita Tibrewal. In this issue, Nikita shows us how to combine the unique qualities of womanhood with the complexities of leadership. Learn how you too can become a leader who employs compassion, collaboration, and excellence in their leadership style. To live in a world that works together, lifting each other up to create a better workplace and a better society.
Influence and inspiration
Tell us about a leadership lesson that you’ve learned that’s unique to being a female leader.
Qualities like warmth, compassion, and empathy are unique to being a female leader. With these qualities, a female leader can create a supportive and inclusive work environment, where everyone feels valued and heard. Additionally, female leaders can bring a unique perspective to problem-solving and decision-making, as they often approach issues with a more holistic view. Being a female leader also provides an opportunity to break gender stereotypes and serve as a role model for other women and girls in the workplace.
Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you
There are lots of women leaders who inspire me to keep growing and never stop. During my career, I have worked with women who have broken barriers by leading teams, even in male-dominated fields, with distinction and excellence. These women have instilled in me a sense of confidence and determination that women can achieve anything they set their hearts and minds to. As a woman, one of the biggest challenges we face is finding a harmonious balance between our careers and personal lives. However, leaders like New Zealand’s ex-Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration, showing us that it is possible to achieve both. She gave birth to her daughter during her first year as Prime Minister, proving that motherhood and leadership are not mutually exclusive. Jacinda Ardern inspires me to strive for excellence in my career while also pursuing my personal life goals with dedication and purpose.
What energises you about work?
- The opportunity to solve challenging problems and find creative solutions
- The chance to collaborate with a diverse group of individuals and learn from them
- The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction from completing tasks and delivering high-quality work.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Believe in yourself – A study by KPMG found that close to 75% of female executives suffer from imposter syndrome, which makes them feel they are not as competent as others perceive them to be. This may happen because historically, management positions are held by men; In 2021, Catalyst reported that men continue to hold 90% of C-level executive roles. As a result, women don’t see many other women at the management level as they grow in their careers. But we should be confident about our capabilities.
Network and build relationships – Building relationships with mentors, peers, and colleagues can provide valuable support and help you navigate challenges.
Mentor and empower other women: Pay it forward by mentoring and supporting other women in their careers and encouraging them to reach their full potential. Be an inspiration for others.
Lead with empathy and inclusivity: Women can bring a unique perspective to leadership that emphasises empathy and inclusivity, which can create a positive and supportive work environment for all.
How has FSMK empowered you to #breakthebias and be the leader you are today?
The leadership team at FSMK actively promotes diversity and inclusion, which has created a positive work culture where everyone feels valued and heard. They encourage open communication and provide opportunities for me to bring my unique perspective to the table and contribute to important decisions.
FSMK also conducted training and sessions for women leaders last year. These programs have boosted my confidence, inspiring me to share my thoughts and ideas and take on new challenges.
How should women support other women in their organisations?
Women can play a very important role in the growth of other women as they understand their situation better than anyone else. Here are some key areas where I believe women leaders can support each other
- Advocating for other women and promoting their achievements in the organisation
- Encouraging and empowering other women to take on leadership roles and pursue their goals
- Building a strong network of women in the organisation to support each other and advocate for change.
What has been the biggest takeaway for you from FSMK’s #makingHERstory – Women in Leadership program? (if applicable)
The most valuable lesson I learned from the Women in Leadership program was the importance of self-belief and overcoming fear. Often, the lack of representation of women in leadership roles can lead us to question our worth and capabilities. However, as women leaders, it’s crucial that we uplift each other while recognising the barriers and biases that each of us faces in our careers and personal lives. By doing so, we can create a more inclusive and empowering environment for women to reach their full potential as leaders. The program also taught me the importance of having a solid support system and network of other women leaders. It showed me the power of coming together and learning from each other’s experiences, challenges, and successes.