Women’s Equality Day is a symbol of women’s continued fight for equal rights and a day to celebrate the achievements of women in their efforts in having those rights acknowledged. We talked with Transformation Manager Lily Ho to learn more about her views on women’s equality in the workplace and in an industry that is traditionally male-dominated.
What is your role at Myrtle Consulting? What do you like most about working at Myrtle?
I am a Transformation Manager at Myrtle. One of the things I like most about this firm is that there are no pretentious hierarchies. The company promotes an open-door policy and a positive culture. I have seen partners sitting at the same table at an annual meeting with junior consultants having a great conversation, making our company feel like a “family.”
What does women’s equality mean to you professionally?
Women’s equality means equal opportunities for growth and development. It also means representation in an often male-dominated industry.
How has another woman lifted you in your career and how have you lifted another woman in hers?
I’ve had the experience of working with many talented women throughout my career that has helped me shape and influence my professional development. When I began consulting 13 years ago, a handful of women were in a 300+ person firm. All the women in the firm at that time were in higher positions than myself, but they welcomed me with open arms, often giving me advice on my career path when I was completely new to management consulting. One female leader became a mentor to me professionally and a very dear friend today. Her mentorship made me realize I had the same duty to mentor other junior consultants who joined this industry and help them succeed.
What advice would you give to women starting their careers in an industry that is male-dominated?
Know your core competencies and your interests and find a subject area that caters to both. Have confidence in both your ability to adapt and build upon past experiences.
On Women’s Equality Day, what is an important message you would want to send out to other women in the industry?
Consulting, unlike other fields, is not dependent on gender but is dependent on your own merit. Females joining consulting can rely on their own talent to build credibility and succeed in this industry. It is important to join a firm that promotes women in leadership roles. Women will help promote other women. I’ve even had some clients request for more gender-balanced teams, and one requested specifically a female project manager. This has been encouraging because it sends a powerful message across the industry – they want to see more females in leadership roles also.
What is the one thing that you would want to do to make or promote a positive impact on gender equality in the workplace?
Annual equality audits to raise awareness to management of how diverse the company is in terms of gender or race. Salary, benefits, and bonuses should be compared between employees to ensure the playing field is level.
Names can be removed from resumes to ensure there are no biases when they are being reviewed.
Who is your inspiration?
My mother is a key inspiration for myself and I am constantly learning from her. She went through numerous hardships to establish a new life over in North America in a time when there were many barriers to her success. I see her inner strength and use this to inspire my own. Her independence and determination have helped me persevere in male-dominated client environments and challenge the norm.
Lily Ho is a project manager with 14 years experience helping clients to reduce costs, improve processes and manage project execution across industries both as a strategy consultant and industry expert. Interested in leveraging her skills to help growing companies maximize their potential through consulting. Have undertaken projects in North America and internationally (Asia, South Africa, Europe).