How to Grow Your Career in China


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It was a great turn out for IPWS & Lean In Shanghai’s weekend event; “Growing Careers from East & West“, and a well rounded discussion on international career development and talent leadership, seen through the eyes of Chinese and Westerners. IPWS & Lean In coordinated this event together, and have a great partnership covering the various ages of professional women in Shanghai. While sharing mutual values both groups believe in connecting and supporting women.

Close to 100 people heard from a collection of Shanghai’s best talent managers, who shared their experience and personal stories of working in China, and also many had brave questions on some of the challenges Chinese millennials are currently facing in the early stages of their career.

The discussions throughout the event covered topics like ‘how to manage my boss’, ‘how to self promote without being too aggressive’, ‘managing a career AND a life’ and who to deal with not graduating from one of the top universities in Shanghai.

Some of the feedback and advice from panel included:

  • Just do a great job, then you will get noticed automatically
  • Take initiative / be proactive
  • Practice!
  • Find out where your aspirations, qualities, dreams, style are, and change your job if that does not fit with your employer.

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Many attendees expressed a wish to get further involved with IPWS, so if you’d like to start with our organisation, feel free to join as a member or email info@ipwsconnect.com with your full name, phone number, email address and school/organisation/company if you’re interested in volunteering and supporting IPWS!

Thanks to all our speakers, and we appreciate & send a big thank you to our co-event coordinators Lean In Shanghai!

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Chitra Hepburn

Ms Chitra Hepburn has been the Vice President and Head of Corporate Communications & Sustainability for the Bayer Greater China Group since 2014. Prior to this role, she was the Head of the Strategic Planning and Intelligence Hub with Bayer Material Science. Before joining Bayer, Ms Hepburn was heading China Greentech in Shanghai, with a pioneering platform that created insight through reports, thought-leadership and public-private sector collaborations in China’s Greentech industries. She was also formerly an investment banker holding regional roles in APAC, having worked in Hong Kong, Singapore and Jakarta during her career, and has now been based in Shanghai for over a decade. Chitra has a Bachelor’s degree in Business & Finance and subsequently obtained her Master’s in Environmental Economics from the London School of Economics

Christine Wright Bio photoChristine Wright

Christine Wright was appointed as Managing Director of Asia in April 2012 the latest function in her extensive 21-year career with Hays. She is responsible for the day to day operational management and growth of the businesses in Japan, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong and India. Since 2012 the Asia region has doubled in revenue and has grown to 600 staff supplying permanent, executive search, temporary, contract and onsite solutions over 18 specialisms.

Prior to her current role Christine was the Managing Director of Japan from late 2009 and under her management Hays Japan launched four new specialist businesses in Japan (Office Professionals, Supply Chain, Legal and Insurance), doubled its consultant headcount and added a third location in Shinjuku, to complement its offices in Tokyo’s Akasaka business district and central Osaka. Christine has also played key roles in the management of Hays’ business in Australia and in the United Kingdom.

She graduated from the University of Brighton, with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Statistics and Computing, has attended business programs at IMD, Ashridge and De Ruwenburg business schools and is a qualified executive coach. Recently Christine is named in the 2015 International 50 as well as Global Power 100 – Women in Staffing list which recognises the top 50 international women and 100 most influential female leaders in our industry.

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Susan Li

Susan Li, the Co-Founder and Head of Global Business of TouchPal (触宝), started the mobile internet company with 4 other Co-Founders in 2008. The mobile applications, TouchPal Dialer (触宝电话) and TouchPal Keyboard (触宝输入法), are the two primary products of the company, which have over 780 millions of accumulated users all over the world. TouchPal is the Winner of the GSMA 2009 Global Mobile Innovation Award. Both products have been selected by most of the smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, HTC, Sony Mobile and etc. to be pre-integrated on their phones.

Susan got her B.S. degree in the Tsinghua University and then pursued her M.S. degree in the North Carolina State University in U.S.A. She worked in Microsoft as a Program Manager for a couple of years before she started TouchPal.  She is one of the Entrepreneurial Talents of China’s “The Thousand Talents Plan”

Felicia OwFelicia Ow

Ms. Felicia Ow is currently the Strategic Planning Director of Johnson Controls, Power Solutions China. She has over ten years of experience in various roles including Strategic Planning, Market Intelligence, Business Development and Key Account Management. Felicia is Singaporean and has worked in Singapore, China and Germany. She graduated from the National University of Singapore, with a Bachelor degree with honours in Political Science.

MetteMette Bjerrekaer

Mette Bjerrekaer was appointed Director of Business Development in China in June 2016, the latest function in her extensive 21-year long career with Grundfos, a Danish multinational company with 19.000 employees. The Grundfos Group is one of the world’s leading pump manufacturers – circulator pumps for heating and air-conditioning as well as other centrifugal pumps for the industry, water supply, sewage and dosing are the main products. Grundfos is represented by more than 80 companies in more than 55 countries in the world.

She is responsible for short as well as long-term business development of all product and services areas, and thereby future growth in China – centered around securing environmentally friendly and energy efficient solutions that will help China solve its challenges in these areas. Keyfocus areas are driving development of new products and offerings to the Chinese market, setting up strategic partnerships with external partners, and product management in China.

Prior to her current role, Mette was Director of Research &Development for Grundfos in China from late 2012. During her assignment in this position, she established and led a well-functioning team of 100+ employees, with Global responsibility for maintenance as well as new product development. She also played a key role in leveraging management capabilities through building leadership capabilities across her organization. Alsoimproving overall competency levels and team work.

Before moving to China, Mette was based in the Danish headquarters and held several Chief Project Manager roles, leading a number of successful Global Product Development projects with large-scale business impact.

A Danish native, Mette graduated from the University of Aarhus, with a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.