Kelly Zong is a successful businesswoman in China born in 1982. She is currently the purchasing director at Wahaha. She controls more than 80 percent of the firm of Wahaha group together with her mother and her father who is the third richest person in China. Getting time in her busy schedule was not an easy task. However, with the assistance of a friend, she agreed to squeeze some time in her busy schedule. Dressed in a suit I entered the office where the secretary directed me to her office.
After a warm welcome, I thanked her for squeezing time from her busy schedule to help me develop my studies using the interview. I first assured her that the report of the interview will only be used for the study. In addition, I will not identify her by name unless I have her permission. She considers herself a bold woman who has faced many challenges to become the person she is today. She encouraged me ask any question that would assist me in studies and in the future. Many women face diverse challenges that prevent them from being successful, but here you are a successful woman admired by all. What factors helped you to become successful? It is a question that I asked her to understand her. In her answer, she criticizes that there are many factors ranging from motivation, determination and setting goals. She has always received support from parents and reflected to her mother as a role model. Despite being a woman, she is successful and does great things in life as a mother and as an investor. She taught me how to set a goal and work hard towards fulfilling the goal. Support from the parents made her attend good schools where she attained the skills.
I enquired about the problems or difficulties that she had encountered this far. Up-to-date, many institutions have not accepted the leadership of women. She studied in America and graduated in Pepperdine University. Despite the fact that she has the skills and competent, it was not an easy task to get a good job in an established organization. She thought her origin contributed towards lacking an established job. Therefore, she decided to apply for naturalization a factor that made her a citizen of America.
Nevertheless, things did not change. Another difficulty is the acceptance in the university. Many felt that management courses are meant for men a factor that made them offer her minimal support. She managed to complete education successfully despite the challenges. There were many difficulties during her school time considering that she was an international student studying in a foreign country. Here, lessons were taught in English a language that was foreign to her hence giving her some difficulties.
Families play a great role in shaping someone’s future. I enquired how her family background affected her. She answered that many believe that poverty is the only challenge that can prevent a person from achieving his or her goals, but it is not true. She was brought up in a well up family where she could get anything without struggling. However, she understood that the wealth belonged to her parents, and she needed to do something to ensure that she has something of her own. The background helped her to learn by example through seeing her parents work hard.
There are essential factors that one consider when choosing a career. To her, I needed to understand the factors that she considered when choosing the management as a career. She stated that she liked management since childhood. She was considered as a boss by the employees of her parents. It made her recognize the need to maintain a high position in life. In addition, she always performed well in class and became the best student in the class. Therefore, she felt that management is the best career for a woman who is determined to set an example to other women in the society.
Men have different perception on women in high positions. It raised the necessity to know how men perceive her in the place of work. Since the time she decides to join the management, she has been working with men since most of the managerial positions are held by mean. Many perceive her as an intruder in their career. Others perceive me as a woman who has the responsibility of taking care of them. Therefore, most of them do not take me as a competent manager, but as an office girl who is there to make tea or an office messenger. However, there are a number of men who recognize her competence and abilities. They encourage her and give her the courage to keep moving.
To become a manager, one must be educated. For the reason, I asked about her educational background. She took my primary school course in China and later relocated to US for secondary and bachelor’s degree. Therefore, she has a master’s degree from an international institution recognized world-wide. To supplement the degree, she has taken different management related courses such as a certificate of public accountancy and computer programming. To the top in a career is a long story that starts from childhood. For the reason, I found it necessary to find out the history of her career. Since childhood, she had a dream of becoming a manager. She worked hard during her school days to turn the dream into a reality. After graduation, she secured a job as an assistant manager in the purchasing department of Wahaha Company. Her hard work and efficiency were recognized by the company that promoted her to the managing director of the purchasing department a few years later.
It is important to find out the most significant events in her Career. In her career as a manager, she has made a number of important steps that she cannot forget. Among them is establishing a good purchasing system for the organization that has made the organization minimize losses and maximize profits. Another important event is laying the foundation for upcoming women who have the dream of becoming successful in term of career. Her presence in a management position has made her act as a role model for many women who target to attain such positions in the future.
In every profession, one requires mentors or sponsors who guide them on how different issues are handled. In her case, her teachers have been her mentor, as well as her parents. She followed advice from teachers who always offered assistance and encouragement. Apart from playing the parental role, her parents have always supported her and guided her in management matters during school time and as a career manager. Many argue that careers change their family life to the extent of leading to a failure. In her case, career does not affect her much since she can live with her family the normal family life and attend office as per the requirement.
One of the biggest challenges that she has experienced in her life while attempting to achieve her goal is discouragement from classmates and men in the managerial career. The perception that management is a career for men ruled the mind of many classmates who tried to convince her change the goal and take secretariat since it fitted her more. She ignored the discouragement and worked harder towards achieving her goal. She overcame the challenges through working hard and aiming high. In a number of times, he has encountered ethical problems in areas where she gets into situations where she has the option of doing something unethical to a personal benefit. She always fights such temptations through sticking to the managerial code of ethics in her career.
She has an advice for women who are starting out in the career. Her advice is that no matter the challenges that they encounter they should stick to their goals and ensure that they achieve them in time. She acknowledges that there is sexual harassment in different organizations. As a manager, several harassment cases has been brought to her office by women employee in her department. To discourage such occurrences in the future, she always takes a serious disciplinary action against the offender.
Gender inequality is eminent in many organizations since there is a non-fair ratio of men is to women in organizations employees.
There is need for organization to balance the ratio of gender among employees to minimize sexual harassment cases and gender equity.
To sum up, women can become successful managers and lead other well. They can also achieve the goals of an organization and maximize profit. Many face unlimited challenges to attain high managerial positions but still remain outstanding. Challenges enable a person to become stronger and enlightened. Management is more of a call than a career. These were the wise words from my host have passed through discrimination, sexual harassment and other challenges to reach her current position. Family background and educational background did not affect her but only acted as a path towards success.