Wang Lixin Liz is the third generation of Taiwan's Jiaxin cement company, in a traditional and male-dominated industry in the eyes of others, how can she find her own position and exert influence? At the same time, she is also a mother of three children, and because of her own experience of women's situation, she decided to change the company's relevant policies to promote a diverse and inclusive environment?

When Liz Wang, general manager of Jiaxin Cement, walked into the interview space, she first showed a big smile, and the surroundings suddenly brightened.

She has many labels on her – an elite senior manager, a third-generation company, a mother of three children, and Liz Wang is such a leader who is not afraid of labels, but focuses on what she wants to create for her environment.

The guest of this episode of "Talking to Xuanxuan" is Wang Lixin, general manager of Jiaxin Cement, and in this episode, she talks about her career, children and her own growth process.

Jiaxin Cement was founded in 1954 when Taiwan's economy took off, starting from the beginning, that is, taking "people-oriented" as the core value, serving food, clothing, housing and transportation, etc., and now the third generation of the family takes over the baton, inherits the concept, and also actively promotes the transformation in response to changes in the external situation, extends the business territory, operates the hotel industry, confinement centers, restaurants, etc., and more comprehensively serves the living needs faced by contemporary people.

We wondered what it was about Liz that opened her eyes to so many different things. And how to break through the stereotype of the "third generation" in the outside world? She cited her favorite actor Bruce Lee as an example - as an Asian man, he can become world-famous, practice himself every day with his own philosophy, every minute is full of vitality, and he has never changed.

So in the past few decades, she has used Bruce Lee's story as a guide, hoping that she will do everything she believes in.

Use time to prove that you do what you say and break gender and age stereotypes

As a successor to the company, Liz laughs that she grew up eating cement rice, and even if she has been running and jumping in the company since she was a child, she still needs to effectively gain the trust of her colleagues when she actually participates in the company's operations. Liz says she knows that everyone is starting out with a wait-and-see attitude, and that all she can do is prove more with time.

Liz shared that what really changed everyone's perception was probably after she went to China, "because it was really going to expand the frontier." When we go to the factory over there, we have to take the Yangtze River water to precipitate three times, and the clothes will be washed yellow, and the body will smell of earth. After all this, you will see that I didn't have any complaints, or wanted to escape back to Taiwan, and also helped the company to grow until the company was listed in Hong Kong." That's why Liz believes that time will tell if she does what she says.

Caption: Liz Wang Lixin once went to Zhenjiang, China to participate in the expansion of the factory|Source: Jiaxin Enterprise Group

However, there is also experience that when she was in her twenties, when she went to an outside meeting, she also met someone who subconsciously regarded her as a little sister and directly said, "Go and pour me a cup of coffee." Because she is a girl and young, she is associated with the role of pouring tea.

Liz wasn't annoyed either, she knew that the other party didn't think she would sit at the conference table and talk about things together, "I didn't say no, I just poured him a cup of coffee, sat down across from him, and started talking."

That's Liz's coping strategy. Elegant, clear, direct, express yourself with action. Through her own silent efforts, she breaks the stereotypes of gender and age in the outside world.

"It would be nice if I could do it, and I could also make a person a little more aware in disguise."

Liz said that she wants to prove herself, and that kind of proof is not to show others, but to explain to herself, I can really do it, no matter what kind of environment I am in, I will not be worse than others.

Wei Xuan nodded while listening, feeling that this is the character of an entrepreneur, "As long as we want to, we will definitely be able to achieve it."

In fact, each of us is also creating our own business, and each of us is creating the way we want to live.

Be a sincere and courageous leader: "I apologize to my employees in public"

We asked Liz to describe herself in three key words, which she says: energetic, direct, and then transparent.

During a supervisor meeting, a colleague had important information to report, and Liz skipped the briefing because he was in a hurry: "He came to me the next day and told me that I did this yesterday and made him feel very uncomfortable and that I didn't value him."

As a result, in addition to apologizing to his colleagues at the moment, Liz also publicly apologized to him again at the next executive meeting.

When Wei Xuan heard this, he couldn't help but feedback: "I found that you are a person who can think about what you have done, instead of denying it first, or admitting it first; You think about what happened, you confirm your intention, 'Actually, I'm really just in a hurry,' but you empathize with the other person's feelings, and then you can say publicly what happened and apologize publicly." Acknowledging Liz's ability to lead with sincerity, candor, and courage.

Liz shared that she has always wanted to create a style where employees can tell her what is not doing well in a very direct way, and at the same time, she also hopes to serve as a model for other supervisors to open up and accept other people's opinions about themselves: "Because I found that Taiwanese culture is not very receptive to criticism or feedback, whether you are kind or malicious."

In this regard, Wei Xuan couldn't agree more, and couldn't help asking: "Jiaxin has many partners of different ages and seniorities, each generation has its own habitual way of communication, and the development of life context, what method do you have, or what kind of mentality do you use to deal with team communication?"

"I don't think it's out of my personality, it's just transparent communication. At first, I encouraged them to communicate more, and then I gave them different tools as well."

For example, since 2018, Jiaxin has held many workshops, such as cross-generational communication, cross-industry communication, business-to-business, business-to-consumer, and public-to-private communication: "Start with understanding, 'It turns out that you are different from me', 'It turns out that you urge me to reply within 24 hours because customers won't wait for you'."

Caption: Jiaxin held a communication workshop internally|Source: Jiaxin Enterprise Group

Being open and understanding was the first step in breaking down the walls, and Liz then invited her colleagues to adjust the way they spoke. She believes that when we are more and more and everyone has a different background, you can't beat the world in one move.

Perhaps, true diversity starts with understanding each other.

"In the face of a new life, I once had no joy in my heart" found the days of postpartum depression

 At the end of her career, Liz chose to have children, and by now, she is a mother of three. Wei Xuan asked curiously, we don't seem to see such examples in women with successful careers, why did Liz make such a choice?

"Actually, I like children very much, so I always knew that I could not get married, but I had to have children. Later, now that we got married, we started trying, but we kept failing......."

In order to get pregnant, Liz underwent IVF, which failed six times. Talking about that painstaking process, she said that all women who want to get pregnant should go through, she has probably experienced: "I wanted to do it in one go, and I did it for six months in a row, taking my temperature, taking medicine, and taking injections every day, and when the time came, I called my husband home, and if I failed, I would do it all over again."

In the long run, hormonal influences, mood ups and downs, and the relationship between husband and wife is also chaotic. It wasn't until both of them were about to lose their grip that they gave up. It's just that I didn't expect that as soon as I relaxed, the baby came.

But for Liz, it's not over yet.

"My husband is very busy with work and is often abroad, and I remember that he went on a business trip the day after I gave birth, and I was alone during the confinement. Later, when I got home, I realized that I was not happy, and I didn't have so much love when I saw my children."

"Why is there no joy in the life that we have been looking forward to? Why is it not well cared for? Why do you start to shed tears at every turn?" Liz asked herself. She never had a long low ebb in her life until she realized that she might be suffering from postpartum depression.

Caption: Liz Wang Lixin and her three sons|Source: Liz Wang Lixin

Wei Xuan added that postpartum blues are currently a medical challenge, as it is neither an obstetrics and gynecology field nor a psychiatric field; It has a short cycle, few opportunities to be understood, and it is easy to be seen as just emotionally feminine.

However, it was also because of this turning point that Liz, as a supervisor at the company, began to pay more attention to issues and policies related to the physical and mental health of employees: "We have an EAP employee assistance program, where you have a free consultation service when you feel that you have no one to talk to. Actually, sometimes it's good to talk about it. Admit it, and then it's ok, it's not your problem."

Liz leads by example and understands the real pain points of the team, and she goes on to talk about how she "admits herself": "When I was my third child, I didn't have a strong helper at all, so I stayed at home without pay for three months. Because there's no way, it's really hard to hit three."

In fact, the company already had a policy of leave without pay at that time, but no one had ever used it, so Liz decided to be the first to use the policy without pay. I also hope that through this move, everyone will be encouraged to apply the policy directly, and there is no need to be afraid.

Start by yourself, so that the organization is not empty of policies, but can really help employees. Of course, most importantly, she also encouraged her husband to take a leave of absence: "Because taking care of children is not a wife's business, we should work as a team!"

Only love for children is to learn to let go

Until now, Liz's oldest child is 16 years old, and she still hugs her every day when she comes home. No matter how busy she is at work, Liz always sends her children to school every day and chats with them before bedtime.

She said that that was the greatest happiness and joy as a mother.

Like the keywords mentioned at the beginning, Liz is a very transparent person, and of course in front of children.

From an early age, she let her children know that their mothers would go to work and could not be with them all the time, and hoped that they would learn to be independent: "For example, I will tell them that homework is your responsibility, and that if you get a score of 0, you will face the teacher yourself. I said that's your homework, not mine, I have my job, and my work is hard."

If she is in a bad mood and tired sometimes, she will also let her children know that her mother is not a saint, but a person who lives hard and wants to create happiness together.

"But if there is an event at school, and there are classmates' mothers who make cute bento, they will want to do that. But we're just going to 7-Eleven to see if it's going to be a balloon or a sandwich. The most I have in my time is to fry rice, or cook dumplings. I told my kids that I was 24 hours a day, and they said, "Okay, then we don't have cute bento."

Like many working mothers, Liz is faced with a trade-off between career and family, and she will admit to her children that her mother's time is limited.

But on the other hand, children will also be proud of their mother, "They will think, today, my mother is the director of the school, and they will say, 'Mommy, did I hear that you were the first female boss in the cement industry?'" He said it was his friend's mother who told him." At this point, Liz smiles with relief.

Caption: Liz Wang Lixin and her three sons|Source: Liz Wang Lixin

Wei Xuan felt that being Liz's child is very happy, especially in the Asian environment - letting children know what their mother really looks like may be a source of more security for them.

When mom has her own world to explore, so do kids, Liz says of the "swimming pool" metaphor: "I tell my kids, like you swim in a pool, I want you to swim as far as you can, and mom is the 'shore', when you're tired, scared, and your feet cramp, you can swim to the shore and rest."

She'll let them know that I'm not always there for you, but when you need me, I'll be there. Although this shore will be farther and farther away from the child, it will never leave.

When Liz said this, his eyes were hot, and he said that in this world, there is only love for children, and it is necessary to learn to let go and love to let them be free.

Husband and wife are long-term together, friends are two ribs and knives, love for children, is I want to love you, you can rest assured, leave me without looking back.

Wang Lixin, general manager of Jiaxin Cement

But when asked, can you let it go? Liz only said that it was really hard, and the emotions were complicated, but always, there was more joy than reluctance.

In Liz, we see a different facet and richness of a female leader, who is brave, gentle, and always transparent. In the face of life and career, full of vitality, talking about family, but can't help but be soft.

Perhaps, just like the Bruce Lee philosophy that Liz and Wei Xuan both love, she also uses every minute of her life, focused and passionate, to create her own life.

And this spirit is also combined with the core concepts of family and business management - direct, transparent, and people-oriented, and integrated into the culture and atmosphere of Jiaxin Enterprise Group.

Liz has used her life to create an inclusive workplace where everyone can choose with confidence, where every team member can find their place, support each other, and grow together.

Liz Wang Lixin, host of "Talking with Xuanxuan" Zhang Weixuan