Polly Lee, audit leader, Deloitte Guangzhou, and member of the Women Leadership Committee in Southern Mainland China, shares with WiFA her experience with mentors and volunteering, how she supports female talent, what gives her hope every day, and much more

 Mentors play an important role in the developments of many careers. If you have/had a mentor, what is the one take away message or inspiration that he/she passed on to you?

I have 2 great mentors who have impacted my career development in Deloitte.   One of them is our retired Chairman of Deloitte China and the other one is our existing Chairman.  Both of them led by example and gave me great opportunities to lead some sizeable IPOs and major listed companies in different sectors.  In addition, they have been a great role model to me in serving society.  “Taken from the society, giving back to the society” is one message from them that inspires me as a professional and I will try my best to be a good role model for my mentees in this regard as well!      

The pandemic continues to bring new challenges into our homes and workplace. How are you adapting to these changes in terms of volunteering within your community or workplace? 

Since I need to travel between Hong Kong and Guangzhou for work, like many parents, we created several different parents group chat in WhatsApp and WeChat to exchange news and ask for help.  For example, we will share latest news in the group chat regularly, including the school arrangement, home work issues, arranging kids’ online activities like Google Meet or other teamwork games.  I think it’s great to get in touch with other parents so that we could support and back each other up at different times.    

Please provide an example where you have promoted/supported female talent.

I have had the honor to be the mentor of several talented female university students throughout the years.  Besides providing them guidance and advice on career development and sharing some interesting work experiences, I also encourage them to go after their dreams (both for career and family).  It’s very important for these young women to recognize their own value and self-power at an early stage, and make them believe that we all deserve equal opportunities to shine.  

What gets you out of bed every day, either professionally or personally? What gives you hope? 

I always believe that there are more solutions than questions in our life.  To keep focusing on the questions is not going to get us anywhere.  But rather we should be calm and confident to find solutions.  Also, every one of us will need to go through ups and downs in our life and we must not be afraid to go through difficult times.  “Life consists not in holding good cards but in playing those you hold well,” a famous quote by Josh Bilings speaks out on my personal attitude towards life.  Focus on the things you have on your hands, make good use of them, stay calm and be confident!