This Women's History Month, we'll be introducing you to the powerful women on our executive leadership team. In our last installments, we spoke to Amperity's Chief Marketing Officer, Megan McDonagh and Amperity's Chief People Officer, Seema Kumar.
This week, we're having a chat with Amperity's Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Finance, Yuqing Fan.
1. What does International Women’s Day (IWD) mean to you?
IWD is a day where we celebrate, inspire, educate, and commit ourselves to women’s empowerment. It highlights women’s contributions and successes throughout all aspects of society, from feats of engineering, to civic activism, and raises awareness about issues that continue to concern or constrain women’s progress in society. It is also a source of inspiration and a constant reminder that we can and should strive to find fulfillment and meaning in our professional and personal pursuits.
2. What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
To quote Zora Neale Hurston: “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” And you’ll experience both of those years in your career and in your personal life. Sometimes we work and struggle and try very hard with not much to show for it — those are the years where we take root, absorb, and evolve quietly. Then everything changes, all at once, and the lessons reveal themselves in the footsteps we’ve planted. That’s how we know we’ve grown.
3. How important is it to have a mentor to grow as a leader?
I hold gratitude for everyone who’s provided mentorship to me. Mentors are like a secret council of sages. A good mentor can identify issues that you don’t yet have the experience to name, give you that extra push when you can’t quite muster the energy yourself, or just provide perspective or wisdom when you are spinning in circles (which we all sometimes do). I’ve found that leadership, in particular, requires a level of courage and authenticity, and that can be greatly aided by having mentors and their experience in your corner.
4. What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Own your point of view and find power in language: I believe. I observe. I state. I recommend. I agree. I encourage. I appreciate. I assert. I learn. I reflect. I support. I thank. I challenge. I question. I commit. I care.
5. What can men do to support feminism and gender equality?
Offer a platform for women to speak if they don’t otherwise claim the stage. Be mindful of not pigeoning women into high visibility but low authority roles. Encourage women to lead who may hesitate to seek the challenge for themselves. Last but not least, promote high-performing women and make sure people recognize their contributions and success. Seeing what winning looks like is the best encouragement for others to follow.
Fast 5 with Yuqing
1. Best business / career book you have read: MOVE by Patty Azzarello. A super underrated book about what it takes to execute a strategy in real life
2. What is your favorite vacation destination? Anywhere with awesome street food!
3. What was your first concert ever? Arctic Monkeys in Baltimore, still have my t-shirt
4. What piece of technology can you not live without? My phone certainly, but also my earbuds.
5. What is your favorite cause to support? Food security. It’s impossible to lead a productive and fulfilling life when people are anxious about food access for themselves and their families. We are social creatures, so food is part of building a community. I’ve worked with food banks and soup kitchens, and have great admiration for the work they do every day to bring nutrition, as well as human connection, to those who need it the most.
Read more about Amperity's commitment to honoring diversity, equity, and inclusion.