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“I focus on sharing my knowledge with the younger generation and helping young people to grow”

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In our Diversity@NORMA series, we present the diversity of employees who work for NORMA Group. In 2021, the focus of the series is on female employees at NORMA Group. Female staff members from various departments and countries talk about their professional and personal experiences and provide insights into their wishes for the future.

Janey Lim is CFO of the Asia-Pacific region at NORMA Group. In this interview, she talks about her career path, her love for her job, role models, and reconciling family and career.

Janey, what woman has had the greatest impact on you in your life? And why?

That was definitely my mother. She always motivated and pushed me, even when I was a child. It was very important to her that I receive the best education possible so that all doors in the world would be open to me. For example, she more or less forced me to take English courses. Learning English wasn’t easy for me as a child or as a teenager either. But my mother kept at it and always insisted that I continue to take English classes. Today, I am extremely grateful to her for that because I would not be where I am today professionally without my good English skills.

My mother has had a great influence on my life. She is a role model for me and a great support in life. She has also always supported me in raising my own children too. She showed me how important a good education is and that is exactly what I pass on to my daughters. I am very proud of them because both of them are now going to the university.

Do you have a professional role model? And what does your job mean to you?

I worked for Schaeffler before I joined NORMA Group. My supervisor at the time was always a wonderful role model and a great source of inspiration for me. He helped me to develop my expertise in business development, sales and finance. He also taught me to think outside the box and to always look at things from a different perspective. His leadership style was never aggressive or opinionated either, but always open and motivating. For me personally, good leadership means challenging and motivating employees at the same time. Giving them regular feedback and helping them to grow themselves. I learned all this from my boss back then.

My job really means a lot to me. It is my passion. I have the opportunity to gain insights into many different areas. For example, over the last few years, I have been able to gain many impressions in the operational business and have learned a lot about environmental protection. I also love traveling and have always been able to combine this passion with my job. Today, my career is no longer about seeking a promotion; I am already where I want to be. I focus on sharing my knowledge with the younger generation and helping young people to grow.

What challenges have shaped your professional career? And has anything changed socially during your professional career?

Shortly before I got the job at Schaeffler more than 20 years ago, I sought out a recruiter. I was a young mother of a toddler at the time. The recruiter told me that I didn’t have to worry about a great career because there was no way I could do that with a child. He said the market wasn’t very interested in women and especially not in mothers. I am very proud to say today that I proved him wrong. I was given the chance to develop at Schaeffler and then at NORMA Group, and I was also promoted. I have made a career for myself as a woman and a mother of two. So don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t have both – a family and a career.

Twenty years ago, women weren’t expected to have careers. That has fortunately changed. Today, women have many more prospects and opportunities and can realize their professional dreams. There are more and more women at the management level. It is also becoming increasingly accepted, especially here in Singapore, for men to also take care of raising children. The distribution of work between men and women is much more balanced now.

What do you wish for the future? And do you have any advice for women in general?

Of course, like probably almost everyone in the world, I wish that the corona pandemic would finally come to an end. I also wish that technological progress will mean that jobs are no longer so firmly tied to a certain place. The corona pandemic has shown us all that it doesn’t matter so much where we work from.

Women have so many roles to perform. So I can only give advice to all women to not forget themselves, don’t forget to realize your potential, do what you are passionate about and always be yourself. Follow your dreams, because you can make them come true.

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