Mimie Lau, Managing Director, Central China
As the former Managing Director of East China, Mimie Laur came to Guangzhou during the second round of the Senior Executive Rotational Program which launched in 2018 in Greater China. Mimie is now the Managing Director of Central China, overlooking four major offices in Guangzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, and Zhengzhou.
With more than 30 years of industry experience in Greater China and Australia, she is well-versed in real estate transactions, analysis and positioning, marketing, client relationship management, asset management for large-scale retail and office projects. She possesses an impressive track record in leading marketing campaigns, formulating and driving leasing and disposition strategies for reputable landmark projects in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing.
“Work-life balance means a lot to me. I have a son and a daughter, and I make it a priority to finish my work efficiently so I don’t spend any more time away from them than I have to. When they were much younger, I had less time to spend with them, but when I was with them, I made sure to instill in them the importance of being independent and self-reliant. I am proud to say this has shaped who they are today, as they are able to accomplish many things on their own.
I have been in the real estate industry for more than 30 years, and have worked across a wide range of exciting and challenging roles, from real estate developing to investment banking to global services. It’s been so refreshing to witness the industry evolve into such a diverse and inclusive place – welcoming and advocating for more talented women to take the lead in management and leadership positions. When I started my career in commercial real estate, men in management mostly dominated it. Female business executives had to work twice as hard or achieve extraordinary success to prove themselves as worthy.
Thanks to the balanced working environment created by Cushman & Wakefield, I have had the opportunity to lead the East China team in achieving triple revenue growth from 2011 to 2017, helping it become the industry trailblazer it is today. Now, I’m on my way to do the same for Central China, helping it become the international market leader in the region. As we celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, I would like to say, gender balance is important in motivating both our male and female colleagues, it enables everyone’s voice to be heard and ensures we make the right decision to effectively drive the business forward.”
Vicki Shen, Senior Director, Head of Office Agency, China
For more than 20 years, Vicky has led consultants and rental agents in 17 branches across five regions in China, becoming one of the most well-known figures and leading experts in Shanghai’s office industry. Under her leadership, Cushman & Wakefield’s Shanghai and East China office building rentals and sales divisions grew to a leading position in the industry and building a solid reputation among clients. She is also the Director of the CushWoman Club, which works closely with Shanghai’s Jing ’An District Women’s Federation to provide essential services for female employees and their families, including training sessions on women’s leadership, family cohesion activities, and public welfare initiatives.
“If you want to be a leader, don’t expect the company to give you special treatment as a woman, and of course don’t expect it as a man either. In business, men and women are equal, it’s a fair competition. As a woman leader, I believe that there are some feminine qualities that are more advantageous, such as patience and carefulness, the ability to communicate, empathy and inclusivity; all of these can lead to greater women leadership.
As a female leader, how do you balance career and family? In my opinion, I think one of the ways is to clearly define their “roles and responsibilities.” Each of my roles is irreplaceable. At home, I am the mother of two kids and the wife of my husband. In my career, I need to be responsible for leading the department team to reach our targets and create more possibilities. I think as a woman, we should know when to make the right choices at the right time, how to advance and retreat, and how to maintain a balance between career and family as much as possible. Secondly, I think women should manage their life, career and family with a positive and optimistic attitude. Be the best of yourself before taking the mantle of other roles. Try to bring out the best in you in every occasion. Being open-minded can take you far.”
Xiaoduan Zhang, Director, Head of Research, South China and West China, Cushman & Wakefield
Xiaoduan Zhang has served Cushman & Wakefield’s Research Department for more than 13 years, leading the research work of various branches in South China and West China, including as the Deputy Dean of the Cushman & Wakefield Research Institute and Head of Greater China Residential Market Center of Excellence. She also serves as member of the platform for the Greater Bay Area, directing and supervising research in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau.
“As a woman in the professional workforce, it is essential to maintain a work-life balance, whether that’s as an employee, a manager, a daughter, a wife or a mother, it means that we have different responsibilities and obligations for each role. Often times, we are too hard on ourselves when switching roles and it can be overwhelming. We should make adjustments and abandon being overly critical of ourselves, instead tackle the obstacles with a positive attitude.
At the same time, don’t forget to remind yourself that no matter how many roles you take on, you have to stay true to yourself– only when you are your best, can you make the most appropriate choice while in each role. Of course, each role requires us to deal with a different group of people, and don’t beat yourself up if you can’t cater to everyone all the time. You have to pick your battles and have appropriate trade-offs in order to reach a win-win situation between all your responsibilities”