From The Straits Times    |

They may come from different industries and diverse backgrounds, but the eight mentors with Her World’s inaugural Mentorship Programme have plenty in common: For one, they are keen to lend their insights and advice from their own journeys.

Many of them have also had non-linear career paths, sometimes taking leaps of faith to land their biggest breakthroughs. Others have struggled with being the only woman in the room, or juggling the realities of being a mother, wife, and daughter. We hear from our mentors directly, and learn how the power of mentorship has helped in their own careers.

Sabrina Ho, founder, Half The Sky

Discovering that a female candidate was denied a job because she was pregnant inspired Sabrina to set up Half the Sky in 2019. With her platform, she connects talented women with corporations to ensure that they are offered an equal seat at the table. 

Sabrina’s own journey has been tumultuous. She was retrenched three times during the 2008 financial crisis. “Initially, it was a challenging and emotional experience,” she says. “However, I soon realised that the layoffs were not a reflection of my abilities or worth as a person, but instead a result of the global economic situation. 

“These experiences not only fueled my determination but also built my resilience. I saw it as an opportunity to improve my skills and to keep searching for new job opportunities.” 

She would go on to build a successful career in HR, before recognising the need to build a platform that provides equal opportunities for women, in a society that can often be biased and unfair towards the fairer sex.  

Can you describe your proudest career moment? 

It was when I successfully closed my first deal for my recruitment business and onboarded my first client for my second business, Half the Sky. It taught me that with a positive outlook and the unwavering drive to succeed, even the toughest of challenges can be overcome. This experience will stay with me as a source of inspiration and motivation throughout my career.

How have your personal mentors guided you? 

Duncan Hewett, author of Accelerating Women: The Key to Growth and Innovation, advises working mothers juggling home and work that it is to “drop the ball and be okay with it.” It’s impossible for anyone to do everything perfectly and by prioritising and accepting that some things may not get done, we can reduce our stress levels. and focus on what’s most important.

My husband, who is also the co-founder of Half the Sky, told me that you can’t get ahead in life by being afraid of pursuing your dreams. Pursue your dreams and you will ultimately get ahead in life. 

What are some of the most common career mistakes you’ve seen? 

I believe that one of the biggest mistakes that I’ve seen people make is having a fixed mindset. This limits our growth and prevents us from taking on new challenges and opportunities. To stay competitive for the future of work, we need to embrace a growth mindset. It allows us to learn and grow in our careers and to approach challenges as opportunities for growth and development. By recognising the value of a growth mindset, we are able to unlock new possibilities and achieve greater success in our careers. 

What’s one piece of advice you’d give your mentee, regardless of their ask? 

Feel the fear… but do it anyway! 

About the Her World Mentorship Programme

Whether you’re just starting out or at a crossroads in your career, Her World’s Mentorship Programme connects mentees with influential women who are leaders in their respective fields. Besides professional development, one stands to build valuable connections as well as gain professional insight and female support from this peer community.