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.
Mollie Jean de Dieu, General manager, Longchamp (Singapore and Malaysia)
Mollie started her career with French luxury brand Longchamp in 2006 as an Asia Pacific wholesale director in Hong Kong. She deftly rose up the ranks, and is now the general manager for the brand in Malaysia and Singapore. Having spent the past 18 years of her life in Hong Kong and Singapore, this is where she’s celebrated many milestones, including establishing an NGO called Emotional Inclusion.
The French-American says that starting Emotional Inclusion was a hard decision, but it has been well worth it. “It wasn’t just revving up the courage to do it, but it was also putting in all the hard work to make the work landscape more emotionally inclusive,” she says. “It’s purposeful and meaningful work.” Through her work at Emotional Inclusion, Mollie seeks to make our workplaces more empathetic by setting in place adequate mental health programmes so employees can feel heard and supported.
Apart from her full-time job at Longchamp and the meaningful work she does at Emotional Inclusion, the mother-of-two also hosts the EI (emotional inclusivity) podcast and is currently writing a book under publishing house Penguin Random House, which will be out in August 2023.
“Do not wait on perfect conditions to start something new unless you wish for your dreams to pass you by,” she advises.
What do you hope to achieve as a mentor?
We rise by lifting each other up. Authentic mentorship is what fuels dreams. Sometimes, all it takes is that one person to believe in you to change your life.
How have your own mentors helped you?
My personal mentors, over the course of my career, are people who have reminded me to dream big, to believe in myself and to be bold and brave. The best advice and reminder I get time and time again is to “stay uniquely me”. Our uniqueness comes from within, shown through our actions and behaviours.
What’s been the lowest point of your career, and how did you overcome it?
I am not sure I ever really had a low point in my career per se, so much as my having to face these difficult “crossroad moments” along the way. Trusting our intuition and honouring it during these times is key. We tend to get bogged down with all the ‘what if’s – the fear of the unknown.
My advice is don’t fear failure; instead, fear being in the exact same place next year as you are today. As renowned Harvard Medical School psychologist Susan David puts it so well: “Courage is fear walking”; chasing our dreams and aspirations in life is never comfortable.
What’s your biggest career regret?
Not advocating mental health in the workplace sooner [in my career].
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.
PHOTOGRAPHY Veronica Tay
ART DIRECTION Adeline Eng
STYLING ASSISTANCE Lena Kamaruddin
HAIR & MAKEUP Aung Apichai / Artistry, using Shu Uemura & Kevin Murphy; Benedict Choo, using Laura Mercier