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Gina credits Exyte bosses for making her who she is today

Gina credits Exyte bosses for making her who she is today

 June 13, 2019

“It was my bosses who mentored me and made me who I am today," says Gina Low, Head of Commercial, Singapore, for Exyte. She shares her career journey. 

Gina’s tenure of a little over 20 years with the company has been in equal parts challenging, fulfilling and interesting. Exyte was her third employer and settling into a new culture took a bit of work. "My boss was tough, but a true sponsor,’ she reminisces. ‘She really inspired me. I was exposed to different areas in Finance, Legal and Contracting. She challenged me to stretch, perform and grow. With all of this, came an opportunity to be in Shanghai - and that is where I truly understood what it takes to build and sustain relationships with contractors."

Investing in coaching and mentoring talent

Gina feels that as a company, Exyte is invested in coaching and mentoring talent. She adds: "My bosses kept pushing me, providing me with opportunities and truly shaping what I am today. Managing people issues was initially a challenge for me - I have always found it easier to handle the technical aspects of projects. And so, working with different and diverse stakeholders in Singapore and China was an invaluable experience. It shaped my perspective on team building and today I can confidently state that I have nurtured a strong and close-knit team.’

Balancing work with a busy family life

As the Head of Commercial, Gina’s job is high-touch and high-visibility. So how does she balance her job with the demands of her family?

"My weekdays are busy and they start early, when I drop my nine year old daughter, Bernice, at school. But I take the opportunity of my work commute to plan the day - and that helps me get through the many things I have to do. My weekends are in fact, busier! I have to take my daughter to her classes - hip-hop, taekwondo, piano, ballet and singing! But I enjoy it, because I end up learning new things too," says Gina. 

Gina has found a lot of support in balancing priorities and thereby integrating her work and personal obligations: "In the beginning, I used to travel a fair bit. But after my daughter was born, the company was very accommodative and cut down the travel component in my role. I really appreciated this as I got to spend more time with my family."

She laughs and adds: "A big plus is that nobody at the office calls me on the weekends!"

Sharing the 'secret sauce' to her career

There is no denying that 20 years is a long journey. So what is Gina’s secret sauce? "It is the trust that my boss reposed in me, which I have carried forward and in turn learnt to put in the team members and contractors I work with. It has helped me build long term partnerships and successful relationships."

And what would be her advice to fellow women professionals? “You have to prove you can do it and earn respect. Be patient and learn from your manager, colleagues and stakeholders. When you are at work, focus on your work. When you are at home, focus on your family. Do not bring work home and do not carry your personal issues to office.”

Top advice: take care of your health and be fit

Today, Gina is well regarded as a mentor by many colleagues at Exyte. She advises: "To be successful at work, you need to first take care of your health and be fit. I see a lot of women at work getting stuck with the smaller details. Learn to not be fussy and focus on the big picture, let go when needed. Be open and communicate more with your staff, understand their needs."

And what are her dreams for the next 20 years? "Becoming a freelance interior designer," she chuckles, "and ensuring I have my successor in place before I retire."

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