Isis Li is an auditor on the APAC Internal Audit team at BlackRock. In her 2021 WiFA Spotlight interview, Isis kindly shared with us how she keeps her competitive edge, advice to her younger self and much more.
- Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am currently an auditor on the APAC Internal Audit team at BlackRock. My primary responsibility is to lead audit reviews of global and regional processes. I also actively participate in initiatives to promote an inclusive and diverse environment at the workplace and in the community.
- How do you stay on top of your professional game? Any tips on how you keep your competitive edge?
Stay curious and keep an open mind. When I have a new idea, I make sure I use my buddies and allies as a sounding board. They offer diverse perspectives as they are from different backgrounds: nationality, race, culture they grew up in, gender, field and industry they work in, family with(out) kids, and the list goes on. I would embrace the diversity by listening to them with an open mind and curiosity, and incorporate those into the implementation.
- Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self?
Be brave. Be patient. And be kind.
Always trust yourself and put your hand up, and then figure out a way to deliver your promise. Be patient and kind to yourself and allow room for mistakes, but make sure you learn from it and do a better job when a second chance is presented. Being kind and authentic to others will build genuine connections, which will go a long way.
- This year has brought tremendous upheaval and disruption to all aspects of our lives. How are you continuing to promote diversity and gender equality despite these massive changes?
I trust that big change is a series of incremental steps. While I’m not sure the exact way to make big changes happen overnight (e.g. close gender pay gaps in all jobs), I focus on my very next ONE step to bring a small change. It could be a 5 minute conversation with a male ally about gender pay gap, unseen labor etc., to bring awareness because acknowledgement is the first step of future changes. Or, send a text to show you care to a friend under stress, maybe do a 10 minute meditation or 30 minute yoga via Zoom calls to support each other.
- Aside from work, what are your other passions?
I enjoy outdoor sports and activities a lot and love to explore the world. So I took a job in the Cayman Islands and stayed for 18 months – picked up scuba diving there. I came back to HK for the hiking trails and now really miss the beach time there, not to mention the turtles and stingrays in the Caribbean waters.