Member Perspective: Speed-Mentoring in Singapore
August 24, 2016
By Pamela Tang and Susan Vaughan
How can women advance in real estate? That was the question on our minds as we participated in a ULI Singapore Women’s Leadership Initiative speed-mentoring event in July, hosted by Lendlease and the CBRE Women’s Network.
The event, patterned after popular speed-dating events where singles meet as many new people as they can, drew about 30 participants, including young professionals as well as seasoned leaders within real estate. Amanda Clack, president of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, said during an opening address that while women represent a small portion of leaders within real estate, networking events hosted by ULI and other groups are paving the way for change.
The mentoring session was organized in a speed-dating format to seek inspiration, get useful tips on career management, and allow participants to speak directly with senior industry experts. Each team of six to eight participants was paired with two mentors for 15 minutes, and given the opportunity to pick their brains on a range of personal and professional themes. We were rotated three more times and were able to meet eight mentors from AXA Investments, Brookfield, CBRE Global Investors, Clifford Chance, Invesco, Lendlease, MDW Consultancy, and PwC.
We found it heartening to hear our mentors speak openly about their experiences, including discussing work/life balance, transitioning into a leadership role, bouncing back from mistakes, and separating feelings from decision making. Surprisingly there were instances of reverse mentoring happening, where the mentors asked for advice and opinions from the mostly younger mentees. Participants came from organizations including CBRE, Colliers, Lendlease, Taus Power, FundPlaces, Cobalt, CDL, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, JLL, and Faithful Gould.
Pamela Tang and Susan Vaughn are with CBRE’s Singapore office.