Leadership and Crisis Management Discussed at the Dialogue with Women Chief Executives and Mentorship Programme 2020-21
On 8 October 2020, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Business School kicked off another year of meaningful collaboration with an informal group of women chief executives from the financial services industry in Hong Kong. Over 280 CUHK Business School undergraduates, secondary school students and teachers, as well as business executives joined the Dialogue with Women Chief Executives and Mentorship Programme 2020-21 Inauguration held virtually.
Running into its third straight year, in the wake of the pandemic, the theme this year is “Leadership and Crisis Management”. The world has seen unprecedented challenges over the year. From inconvenience of social distancing measures to fear of unemployment and even health threats, people’s lives are overwhelmed by all sort of uncertainties. The women chief executives’ personal journeys and professional experience can shed light on ways of managing crises and overcoming obstacles in the new normal. The testimonies from them come timely, helping to guide students through the challenging times.
During the inaugural dialogue for this year, two current undergraduate students, Tam Hok Yiu Sean (International Business and Chinese Enterprise, Year 4) and Law Kwan Lok Richard (Global Business Studies, Year 4), served as the moderators of the panel session for the first time. The student moderators invited three women chief executives to speak on this year’s theme. They included Ms. Diana Cesar, Chief Executive, Hong Kong, HSBC; Ms. Amy Lo, Country Head and Chief Executive of UBS Hong Kong Branch; and Ms. Sally Wan, Chief Executive Officer of AXA Hong Kong.
From left to right: Tam Hok Yiu Sean, Year 4 student of International Business and Chinese Enterprise programme; Ms. Sally Wan, Chief Executive Officer of AXA Hong Kong; Ms. Diana Cesar, Chief Executive, Hong Kong, HSBC; Ms. Amy Lo, Country Head and Chief Executive of UBS Hong Kong Branch; and Law Kwan Lok Richard, Year 4 student of Global Business Studies programme
“It’s difficult to define success, but at different points in time and junctures in your lives, we are bound to make different decisions and choices that will shape our future,” Diana shared about her definition of success. “I think it’s important that we equip ourselves along the way to ensure that we are well prepared for what we are about to pursue next.”
From sourcing face masks and laptop PCs to encouraging adoption of digital workflows or processes among her colleagues, partners and customers, Sally recounted how she had led her company to maintain business continuity through the COVID-19 crisis. “Whenever there is a crisis, there is always an opportunity that you can grasp to expand.”
Amy cited Richard Branson to share how to spread positivity in times of uncertainty, “‘We only live once.’ The key is to make the best out of your time. You must realise where does your passion lie and have to do something you really like.
Since its inauguration in 2018, over 1,500 secondary school students, teachers and principals from more than 50 secondary schools, as well as female chief executives and professionals participated in the dialogue series. It will provide students with first-hand insights from senior executives through sharing, mentoring and coaching. The thought-leadership platform is supported by the Women Chief Executives group from 16 leading local and international financial services institutions, namely AXA, Asia Insurance, Bank of China (Hong Kong), Bank of Montreal, BNY Mellon, Citi, Citic, HSBC, OCBC Wing Hang, Mastercard, Rabobank, Standard Chartered, TransUnion, UBS, UOB, and Visa.