Introducing the Vision of Women (VOW) project
‘VOW’ stands for Vision of Women, Value of Women, Voice of Women, Visibility of Women, Vitality of Women, and many more. The word ‘VOW’ itself speaks of the seriousness of the commitment women take in fighting for a world where all members of society, women AND men, support an environment where women have equal opportunities in leadership, in business, in development, and in every aspect of the society.
The ‘VOW’ project is a British government run project that looks at providing a platform to link forward-thinking young Chinese female professionals with British business leaders, with a purpose to exchange experience and establish mutual support to create a strong network for sustaining and developing modern female leadership. This network combines senior members in the British and Chinese governments and businesses, experts and academics in female leadership development, key opinion leaders (KOL), media, and most importantly, young female professionals who are in mid to senior management positions who have a desire to further their leadership vision, skills and practice.
VOW（“誓愿”）代表多种含义：女性的视界，女性的价值观，女性的言语力量，女性的职场可见性，女性的职业生命力等等。“誓愿”就是希望激发出全社会的决心和承诺，无论是男性还是女性，都将致力于给女性创造在职业、商业、经济等社会各个层面获得更平等的发展机会。 “誓 愿”项目是由英国政府发起并实施的一个女性领导力项目，旨在建立一个连接英国商业领军人物与具有前沿思考力的年轻中国职业女性的交流平台。在此平台上，他 们可以彼此交流经验，互相支持，并且成长为一个坚实的网络来进一步鼓励与发展现代女性领导力。这个网络将凝聚中英两国政商界高层，在女性领导力研究方面的 专业人士及学术专家，意见领袖，媒体，以及不可缺少的年轻女性管理者。他们都将以推动女性领导力，提高领导力技能，以及实践女性领导力视为己任。
About ‘VOW’ Round 1
The ‘VOW’ project Round 1 (led by the British Consulate-General Shanghai and implemented by the British Chamber of Commerce Shanghai) saw five young rising female entrepreneurs from Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Anhui Provinces assigned to top Chinese and British business leaders for a 2-and-half-week-in-total work experience in China and the UK. Those leaders included Mr Jack MA, Founder of Alibaba Group (Zhejiang), Ms Huaizhen YANG, President of Sanpower Group (Jiangsu), Ms Xiaoyan ZHENG, Chairwoman of Hefei Department Store Group Co., Ltd., (Anhui), Sir Richard Branson, Founder and Chairman of Virgin Group, Ms Anna Manz, Group Strategy Director of Diageo, Ms Angela Brav, Chief Executive of IHG Europe, Ms Mei Shui, Managing Director of Virgin StartUp, and Ms Jayne-Anne Gadhia, CEO of Virgin Money. As part of the ‘VOW’ project, CCTV1 programme (‘Let’s Talk’) filmed a session featuring female leadership in the UK, which reached an audience of over 100 million. This project sent out a strong message that young females, especially those in the 2nd and 3rd tier cities, can be aspired and supported to leadership positions.
The VOW-ers met Harriet Baldwin MP, former Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Shanghai, Sep 2015. From left to right: Tingting Yang, Project Lead, British Consulate Shanghai, Kasen Xia(Jiangsu), Haiyan Yu (Zhejiang), Yvonne Huang (Jiangsu), Harriet Baldwin MP, Rebecca Shao (Jiangsu), Echo Zhang (Anhui), Angela Lock, Project implementer, British Chamber Shanghai.
Influential speakers spoke of female leadership on CCTV ‘Let’s Talk’(“开讲啦”). From left to right: Mr Jack Ma, Alibaba, Mr Shi Wang, China Vanke and Ms Jayne-Anne Gadhia, Virgin Money, King’s College London, Oct 2015.
About ‘VOW’ Round 2
The project will identify 100 rising female entrepreneurs and mid to senior management level female professionals from Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Anhui and Shanghai. The successful candidates will be assigned to renowned British companies with a strong female leadership scheme. The leaders of these British companies would be ‘VOW Ambassadors’, who would showcase and inspire participants to further their leadership skills and strengthen their unique leadership styles. A two-day leadership programme would be provided in Shanghai, which contains a half-day training course at the British Consulate and a 1.5-day hands-on experience completing a challenging task in the assigned company with one supporting ‘VOW Ambassador’.
By the end of the programme in Shanghai, all 100 participants are required to complete a female-focused project proposal, either to improve female leadership within their own enterprise or to help with women’s development in their communities. Each project should be designed to practice the participant’s learnt leadership skills and have a fund of minimum 50,000 RMB sorted to support the implementation. The project should be backed by the participant’s organisation and its senior management team.
A week-long ‘VOW Plus’ programme in the UK would then be open to eligible candidates amongst the 100 participants with a fantastic agenda to experience the best of Britain: meeting senior government officials in the British government, touring around the Parliament, speaking to inspiration business leaders, and a rare opportunity to be taken outside of London to see UK’s regional cities.
- 25-35 of age (flexible to 40) and passionate about diversity
- Mid to senior level in the organisation
- Familiar with the UK (studied in UK before, or have business dealings with the UK)
- Have a clear desire to aspire to a more senior leadership position
- Interested in developing a more equal environment for women
- Need to have endorsement of the CxO of the organisation
- Good English skills preferred
The application process closes on 16 September 2016 at 5pm, Beijing time.
Please see full details below in English and Chinese together with the application forms.