SOCIAL SKILLS – JOBS OF THE FUTURE?

This morning I read an article about the future of jobs and careers in the USA.

It makes me think how relevant the article is for Australians and New Zealanders as well. For everybody in fact. Of particular interest to me is the article’s emphasis on social and analytical skills for a lot of jobs in the future. Social skills such as commmunication and management spring to my mind. In short, people skills or what is known as” soft skills”. It is no wonder that the article also mentions that women, and not men, are the stars in jobs of the future. Continue reading “SOCIAL SKILLS – JOBS OF THE FUTURE?”

CROSS-CULTURAL ASPECTS OF MENTORING – A PATH FRAUGHT WITH RISKS

Last week I gave a talk on the cross-cultural aspects of mentoring at the Diverse Women Mentorship Association induction workshop. I told the participants that the mentor-mentee relationship is a cross-encounter, and drew their attention to the multi-faceted aspects of diversity. I also told them that a cross-cultural encounter has higher risks than a mono-cultural one. For example, it is easier to offend and do the wrong things, often through ignorance of the other person’s culture. Sometimes, it could be embarrassing, for example, when I was invited to my very first Aussie party back in 1963, I was told to bring a plate so I brought along an empty plate! As a teenager then, I was mortified with my mistake! From where I came from (Malaysia), no one was ever told to bring food when they were invited to a party!

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Search For Xiao Li’s Head: A Chinese Tale of Female Re-Memberment for International Women’s Day

I am writing this editorial on International Women’s Day so appropriately I choose to begin with a story I wrote about female re-memberment a few years ago.

International Women's DayThis magical tale had sprung out of an unconscious need to be whole again. After living in Australia for several decades, I woke up one day and asked myself – who am I?

I wrote The Search for Xiao Li’s Head: A Magical Tale of Female Re-memberment  to remind myself that as a Chinese woman, born in British Malaya and having lived in Australia for the past several decades, my journey is much like Xiao Li’s. In this short story, Xiao Li the young protagonist, had lost her mother, was tortured by a stepmother who chopped her up into little pieces and flung them to the mercies of the elements. Xiao Li’s search for her body parts in order to be whole again, depicts the search for identity, the search for self. In the history of the world, whether Chinese or non Chinese, this tale is told many times over again and again; in fables, poems, ballads and in so
ngs. It is archetypal.

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