LIVE FROM MWC19 SHANGHAI: Speakers at the Women4Tech Summit suggested career opportunities for females are often out there but require taking risks and leading by example.

Amanda Woolverton, VP of marketing and communications at Ericsson (pictured, second left), shared three tips: dare to think big, dare to take risks and dare to lead.

“Dare to do something out of your comfort zone and do something extraordinary everyday. That is so important to your development. If we don’t step up to lead we’re not going to make an impact,” she explained.

Woolverton compared the steps needed to succeed to those taken by China, which was long a follower and is now a leader in 5G. “I think China dared to think big even though it only opened its door to the outside world 30 years ago. It knew it was behind.”

Woolverton said these principles have also been followed by China Mobile and Ericsson China.

Be heard
Grace Chan, SVP of product management at MasterCard (pictured, far right), agreed it’s important to take calculated risks to tackle problems others may not attempt and be willing to go to new places.

“That’s how you get recognised and make yourself heard on driving the corporate strategy.”

She noted success is a combination of internal and external factors. She went to China and was able to take advantage of the fintech boom: at first arrived, China looked to the West for leadership, and now it’s the other way around.

“Nowhere in the world do you get the speed, sophistication and the scale of this market.”

Walk the talk
Huang Yuhong, deputy GM at the China Mobile Research Institute (pictured, far left), said overcoming challenges is about continuous improvement and being a good role model.

“I think people around me are influenced by my work ethic and enthusiasm,” she said.

Asked about the importance of male support and mentoring, Chan encouraged woman to reach out and realise people are open. “The doors are always open, it’s whether you are willing to take that step and knock on their door.”

Woolverton said the biggest challenge for women is to be true to themselves, noting in a male dominated office woman are often too eager to please.

“At the beginning of my career, I thought maybe I should be like them [men], very aggressive, very assertive, very vocal. But I thought is that really me?”

To be yourself, she said, requires having unique insight, unique skills and a unique point-of-view, which will give you the confidence to make yourself heard and be authentic, she said.