Trip.com Group CEO Jane Sun spoke with Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO David M. Solomon as part of the recent Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women event held at Tsinghua University.
The Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women initiative aims to foster economic growth by providing female entrepreneurs with education, mentoring, and funding. Since its founding in 2008, the program has provided training and support to thousands of female business owners across 56 countries, with over 1940 female entrepreneurs in China taking part in the program. “Empowering women in business is critical for the success of Goldman Sachs,” said Mr. Solomon. “Inspired by research from the World Bank and our Global Markets Institute, the 10,000 Women initiative aimed to prove that educating and empowering women could boost GDP and support growth.”
The Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO noted that Jane Sun’s work as the CEO of Trip.com Group was an example of the sort of leadership that the program set out to nurture. “Jane has done incredible work leading Trip.com, and is an incredibly inspirational leader,” he said.
Speaking to an audience of up-and-coming female entrepreneurs, Ms. Sun made no understatement of the challenges she has faced throughout her successful career. “Being a working mother means taking on two full-time jobs, and being the CEO of an Internet company is another 24-hour job”, she said.
As one of a small number of female CEOs in the Chinese Internet industry, and having recently received an Asia Game Changer Award for her efforts in promoting gender equality in business, Ms. Sun took the opportunity to outline the practical side of her efforts. “Women face unique challenges in their career, but also bring a unique set of strengths to the table,” she said.
According to Sun, female leaders contribute strengths in communication, compassion, and multitasking, and with the company’s support, help to form a stronger, more diverse team. “I feel a great responsibility to support each and every one of our staff to reach their full potential. That’s why we’ve implemented policies that support our female staff so that they don’t have to choose between a career and a family.”
Under Sun, Trip.com Group has implemented generous policies such as flexible working hours for new mothers, benefits for pregnant employees, and oocyte preservation for women who choose to focus on their careers. The policy has paid off, with Trip.com Group having achieved an overall female representation of over 50%, or more than double the average of Silicon Valley Internet companies. According to Sun, supporting her staff has both diversified the workforce, and contributed to employee morale, nurturing positive and productive company culture. “When we support our staff through significant life events like childbirth, we see great returns in terms of commitment and loyalty,” she said. “I hope that over the coming years, businesses will gradually recognize the unique merits of female staff and that our experiences might help to guide others in empowering their staff to reach their full potential.”