Welcome the The Glass Hammer’s “Spotlight on Asia” week! We will be highlighting successful women working in Asia all week long!
Teo Lay Lim has been working at Accenture for 26 years, and she loves what she does. One lesson she has learned throughout her experience is the importance of networking which, she finds, women are naturally good at because they collaborate and communicate well.
“For women at all levels of their careers, constantly building your personal network both internally and externally is extremely valuable,” she said. “Building personal networks helps you to draw on others to augment your own insights [and] perspectives,” she added. This is especially important for leaders because they need experience, perspective and insight.
Accenture has more than 85 local women’s networking groups in 32 countries which, as she explained, “help them build strong networks.” Lay Lim added that “our global women’s theme, Defining Success. Your Way., demonstrates our commitment to supporting women’s professional goals and aspirations. It’s all a part of our overall commitment to attracting, retaining and advancing women, which supports our broader commitment to an inclusive and diverse workplace.”
Lay Lim encourages women to look for careers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). “STEM skills are a business imperative and I believe that women are key in this area,” she said. “We need the intelligence, talent and ability of women to help fill the growing number of STEM jobs and this means encouraging young women to pursue careers in these fields and enabling them to succeed.”
“At Accenture, for example, STEM skills are critical. Technology-led innovation is at the heart of our business – a business in which women comprise almost half of the workforce,” she said.
Working in Accenture
She currently works as the geographic unit senior managing director for Accenture’s offices in ASEAN (South East Asia), and she is also the Country Managing Director of Accenture in Singapore. Prior to this position, she worked as the Asia Pacific managing director for the company’s Analytics and Sustainability Services, and during 11 years (two of them spent in Shanghai) she worked as the managing director of Customer Relationship Management in Accenture’s former Management Consulting practice.
Working in the services industry, she has learned about the importance of showing talent and relevance, which she believes “is a challenge because even though our competitors have changed over time, our client and customer expectations are consistent and ongoing.”
Being different helps a company be more successful than its competition and she offers two pieces of advice that can help companies reach this goal: “Be relevant to what [your] clients and customers need, and be a talent magnet for the best people with the right potential to be developed.” These best people, she explained, learn quickly, are committed to the company and their jobs, and have the character and values that the company is looking for.
Improving the Country
“I love what I do at Accenture and the work I take on in my roles, both past and present, has always kept me on my toes,” she said, “but I’m also excited about the work I’m doing externally, to help my country. I am a steering committee member of the Infocom Media Masterplan, led by Singapore’s Ministry of Communications & Information, which aims to spearhead the development of a single, integrated plan to guide Singapore’s Infocomm & Media sectors up to 2025 in a holistic manner.”