Empowerment, the word is a noun. In the English dictionary, it is define as the state of being granted with or the act of granting someone the power, right or authority to perform various actions or tasks.
Often, it is a concept related to feminist theory, from self-strength to efficiency building. Especially through Social – making decision of own wellbeing, Educational – quality education and notably in terms of assault prevention, Economic - paid maternity leave, day-care services, nursing room nearby, Political – voices in politics and Psychological – increase self-confidence and believing in ourselves. There are more classifications of empowerments though.
In Singapore, women are encouraged to have our voices heard. There are also Women’s Wing setups to provide further support locally.
When Diyana said “Jo, how about do a sharing on women empowerment at work?” Initial thoughts, yeah sure I had ten years of working experience, I was being empowered at work. But, when I sat down and outlined my draft, it seemed that I have a different insight with the word.
Now, I prefer to see Empowerment as the power and ability to take control of what happens to myself and around me. I am empowered instead of being empowered.
I started giving tuition starting at sixteen to earn my pocket money for my polytechnic expenses.
After graduating, I worked as a system analyst in a healthcare industry for almost five years while taking my part-time degree. I remember my exit interview with my department head, he said “Oh, here is the girl whom we do not want to let go.” I would like to thank Ms Geok Eng, MA and TCC for years of guidance. Gather requirements, do project timeline, coding programs, liaising with vendors, testing with users, implementation, post-implementations, change requests, OTM, RMS.
Then, I went to a finance-related industry and very quickly there is an opportunity to join the bank.
I joined the Merchant Service Unit. From business development team to administrative team and handling the operations team. It had quite a lot of manual processes and rigid systems. I had my tears and laughter working in the consumer banking industry. TMY was a scary name in our department, but, it was also him that had given me opportunities to improve and space to grow. Office politics, crazy but fun-loving colleagues, inter-department working relationships, long-working hours.
Do I feel empowered at work at then? Yes, I was being empowered. I was a part of the team, supportive leaders, feedbacks were acknowledged, participated in decision-making processes, given access to the required data and systems, plans and timelines were articulated.
I decided to take a respite. I do not want to miss out on the growing stage of babyK. Blink, ten years past.
Within this ten-years, I had a small start-up selling wooden handicrafts which is now in auto-pilot mode. I also part-time in small local family businesses doing administrative and handling HR matters from home. COVID shifted the paradigm for working style. Now, I have time with babyK, papaL and even do writings for Urban Salvation.
At different stage of life, you will have goals differs with different positions. You may need to change your behaviour, deeper values and understand your strengths and weaknesses to achieve them.
Do I feel empowered at work now? Yes, I still being empowered but also now I am empowered. How about you?
# SuddenLeeFam # babyK # mamaJ # papaE
# AphorismXinLiveBy “Where there's a will, there's a way”
# 芯的人生格言 “有志者事竟成”