2018 Senior Women Leaders – A Trade Mission with A Difference

Listen – Learn – Connect  

Senior Women Leaders –  A Trade Mission with a difference

 Friday 26 October to Saturday 3 November 2018

Hosting Organisation: China Australia Trade and Investment Council

Mission Leaders: Alice Tay and Donna Hardman

Gold SponsorVilla World 

Supporting organisation:

If you are a female Australian business leader looking for international business exposure and personal development, we would love to hear your story.

To tell us about yourself and explain why joining this mission is important to you and your sponsor organisation


Deep experience in Asia and supreme confidence discussing Australian trade opportunities is not required.
We are here to help

For information please click Villa World, Donna Hardman , Alice Tay, and Pan White, CATIC

This trade mission to China is an opportunity for senior Australian business women to gain experience and insights in to one of the world’s fastest growing and most influential trade zones while building relationships and connections to supercharge career progression and personal growth goals.

Why China?

China is an important region for an Australian Trade Mission.

China is Australia’s largest trading partner. China is also the world’s second largest economy by nominal GDP and the largest by purchasing power parity. In 2016 the Chinese Government recognised that its traditional economy was on the wane.  It needed a new industrial revolution to drive growth and jobs.  This “new economy” goes beyond e-commerce, cloud and the internet of things to smart manufacturing and scaled up operations in primary production.  All businesses from micro, small to large were encouraged to innovate.

“The campaign of mass entrepreneurship and innovation is to put in place a platform for the development of various types of companies and research institutions, and to create a broad space for crowd funding, crowd innovation and crowd sourcing.”

2016 Premier Li Keqiang Meets the Press

China is now a world leader in innovation.  The explosive growth of the start-up scene in China is as much a cultural breakthrough as it is a great leap forward in tech expertise. Australian entrepreneurs and innovators compete for the scarce investor dollar therefore understanding China’s innovation ecosystem is fundamental business knowledge in today’s global economy.  China is growing at triple the rate of most European nations. China has also opened its doors.  The China International Import Expo in Shanghai this November is an invitation to the world to show its wares.  The total economy of Asia surpassed all of the Americas back in 2016.  Clearly, the “Asian Century” has arrived and Australians live in this region.

Why Women?

女能 “Women hold up half the sky”. Mao Zedong 

“When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all.” Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General 2015.  

Like many change champions, the leaders of this mission – Alice Tay and Donna Hardman –  have been working for over a decade to increase the number of women in senior leadership roles in Australia.

They observe a global awakening to the value of gender equality feeling that the momentum for change is building.  However, increasingly complex social and organisational structures mean that in order to make the difference – new thinking and courage – is required when women get there.

Through a women only mission we aim to ‘unleash the power’ of our delegates.  We offer an educative, supportive and safe environment for all to ‘have a go’ whenever you feel compelled to do so.  Welcome addresses and messages of thanks, daily debriefing facilitation, media exposure and 1:1 cross-cultural, multi-language conversations will be on offer.  Opportunities to get involved begin as soon as you are offered a place.

When delegates return home insights can be leverage to improve our delegates thought-leadership positioning and new relationships may become referents and connectors to assist with future opportunities.

Three key Goals – Outcomes

Gain knowledge, insight and ideas – Play a leadership role in strategic conversations and decisions

To be a senior business leader in Australia without a deep understanding of China is a significant knowledge gap. That is why the first goal of this mission to provide knowledge, insight and ideas that delegates can employ immediately to enrich strategic conversations, drive better decisions and spark ideas.

Gain empathy for the Chinese people – Build stronger, more productive relationships  

Understanding another’s perspective is a key leadership skill.  You don’t have to agree on every point but recognising different perspectives in conversations enables us to hear and react to things very differently. One of my close friends often says: “If I understand your perspective, my perspective changes.”  This is why understanding what is important to China and the Chinese people is a key goal of this mission. An added benefit is the chance to build relationships with others on the mission with you.

Deal with difference – Be future ready

This mission aims to help you work out your own beliefs, values and personal biases. It might be confronting at times causing reflection about how you approach and understand difference. In today’s VUCA world (volatile, unclear, complex, ambiguous) breakthrough ideas are discovered by diverse teams. Broad perspectives, experience and problem-solving methods are needed. A key goal therefore is to open you up to new possibilities and experiences encouraging a more open mind when it comes to who you include and how you approach things.

The Program

Listen – Learn – Connect 

Our vision is to create a trade mission with a difference.  We encourage you not to begin with a product pitch but instead to Listen, Learn and Connect.

Listen – Rather than talk. The aim is to inform – perhaps change – your current thinking, perspectives and bias.

Learn – Don’t teach. The aim is to return home with breakthrough insights and ideas.

Connect – More than observe.  This is experiential learning not rote. It is as much about how you feel as what you see.

Day 1 Arrive in Beijing and get connected.

Make that disconnect from the West and connect to China.  You will be disconnected from your usual social media and communication tools – LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google. They will be gone for the duration of the mission (although we can show you ways to stay connected if you need to).  WeChat will be the way for the next week and a half.   After settling in, you will catch up with other delegates and the mission support team. Noting that you will already know each other thanks to Pre-mission Information Sessions that we will run August to September.

Days 2&3 – We start with the foundational trade skills and the ancient mysteries of China.

We travel to the Great Wall and picturesque town of Gubei. We will stay overnight and experience the miracle of the Great Wall of China at day break.

Day 4 – Experience the Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square and connect with China’s senior women leaders and Government officials.

We will Learn this morning about some of the key policies and government directives shaping the business of today. For example, we will Learn about the One Belt One Road initiative and how it affects trade and political influence in our region. We will meet with Chinese business leaders and entrepreneurs to gain personal insight into similarities and differences. We will Learn about building an innovation culture in a socialist market economy and how the education of children is changing as a consequence.

Visits to the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square will be a time for quiet reflection taken at a pace of your choosing.  In the evening, we visit the famous Laoshe Tea House to understand the cultural importance of tea and how tea has shaped international trade.

Day 5 – Its all about modern China and the innovations and obstacles that shape daily life in Beijing.

Local University students will spend this day with us Mobike cycling the futuristic-looking CBD, learning the latest in electric transport at NIO and paying for our lunch without the need for a Bank’s payment system on Alipay and Wechat Pay

In the evening we will share observations and lessons learned with local entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Day 6 Off to Shenzhen

A special economic zone established between 1980 and 1984 as part of the Central Government’s economic reforms and policy of opening to the world. Our hosts for the next 3 days is Invest Shenzhen, a municipal government organisation whose role is to help international trade partners and investors with information, advice and introductions.

We will visit Luohu Hospital to experience “home-based care for the elderly and family beds”.  Perhaps we can Learn why Australian age care operators have not been successful in China.

In the evening there will be time to join locals in a community ‘square’ dance. This Chinese public entertainment and recreation aims to improve wellbeing and grow a sense of community. It’s not square dancing as Australians know it.

Day 7 – We go big

In preparation for a big day, we start with optional Taichi. Feeling relaxed and centered, we visit our host Invest Shenzhen to learn of ways in which the Shenzhen Government supports foreign entrepreneurs entering the China market.

The scale of business in China is best experienced in Shenzhen with a visit to Shenzhen Galaxy World who create civic spaces that are meaningful, memorable, and timeless. Galaxy is a property developer with a difference.  It builds whole suburbs where you can work, live and play.  It’s  strategy is based on “ real estate business as the base, strategic development as the guide, innovation as the soul, financial business as the support”.

We will also visit BYD short for “Build your dreams”.  BYD is a pioneer for battery technology and non petroleum based transportation systems. BYD is a high-tech enterprise dedicated to “using technological innovation to satisfy people’s desire for a better life.” BYD was established in 1995 with 20 employees and now operates with 220,000 employees from 30 industrial parks in six continents. It is listed in Hong Kong and Shenzhen with a turnover exceeding 100 billion yuan.

Day 8 High Speed Rail and Tencent

We will be ready to brave China’s High Speed Rail (HSR) credited with transforming Chinese society and economy. We will visit Tencent at its headquarters in Guangzhou; one the biggest and best technology companies in the world. It will be a chance to observe the scale and structure of the Tencent ‘ecosystem’ and to gain insight into the things that shaped Tencent into the company it is today.

Our final evening will be spent with Austrade to share insights, ideas and agree target actions.  A keynote will be provided by China Merchant Bank; a property, bank and technology company that achieved a Banking license from APRA and launched wholesale banking services in Australia this year.

Day 9 – Travel safely back to Australia

Travel safely back to Australia.

Cost: $5,500