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How do women achieve career development in today’s globalized business world?

How can women break through the glass ceiling and achieve career development? Heather Smith, United Family Healthcare Shanghai Market General Manager, gave us the answer based on her own experience.
Do you remember gender equality, a hot topic raised at the Cannes Film Festival in May?
In recent years, equality between men and women in the workplace has been widely discussed. According to a report by The Economist on May 26th 2018, the World Bank found that restrictions exist on women’s employment in 104 countries across the world. It is estimated that 270 million women are not afforded the same job opportunities as men. On the other hand, in a globalized environment, female leadership as an invisible force is playing an important role in the world’s leading economies and multinational corporations.
On May 25th, the 2018 Leadership Summit was held by the International Professional Women’s Society (IPWS) at Bellagio Shanghai. Ms. Heather Smith, United Family Healthcare Shanghai Market General Manager, was awarded Business Leader of the Year. Six more awards, including Young Business Leader of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year, were given at the event.
We believe IPWS is not new to women who are concerned about global career development. What kind of organization is IPWS? Founded in Shanghai in 1933, IPWS only took 25 years to grow from a 13-member female community to one of today’s premiere professional women’s societies with diverse membership backgrounds and international influence. The Women Leadership Award (WLA) is the longest running international award in Shanghai for female leaders, and has been the only such award for over a decade. The WLA recognizes professional women who have emerged as leaders in their field. Business Leader of the Year is one of the WLA awards.


What kind of women leaders can win such a prize? Ms. Heather Smith gained her bachelor’s degree in nursing at the Winona State University in Minnesota, and a master’s degree in health management and public health at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Before she came to work in China, she held a variety of leadership positions in healthcare and public health systems across a myriad of countries such as the United States, Britain, Australia, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar where she was actively engaged in the movement and discussion of global feminist leadership. As one of the female Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), she gave insights in interviews conducted by a number of mainstream media including Business Women (Australia), and Tempo.
In February, at the WeForShe conference held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, Ms. Smith delivered a keynote speech, namely, Together We Can: Supporting Female Inclusion and Advancement at Every Stage. How can women break through the glass ceiling and achieve their career development? She delved into the answers and solutions based on the experiences she’d gained throughout her career.
In recent years, China has been advancing healthcare reform, while private healthcare has also been seeing considerable progress. As healthcare in China further aligns with and meets international standards, more people are becoming inclined to the service quality and individualized care provided in high-end private hospitals, and are expressing interest in United Family Healthcare.
Meanwhile, enterprises are also actively seeking leaders with international management experience and multiple management skills to drive innovative development. In her 30 years of leadership, Ms. Smith has demonstrated extraordinary and innovative multi-disciplinary team management in various cultural and political environments, positively affecting countless patients and families. Since joining Shanghai United Family Healthcare, Ms. Smith has led the company in the completion of its JCI accreditation update and the launch of Shanghai United Family Pudong Hospital (SHUPH), which shows how her leadership style has swiftly adapted to the Chinese market and has effectively been integrated into local development.