Leading Women series, Sophia Lim, CEO, WWF Malaysia, conversation, sustainability, environment

As part of our Leading Women series, we want to highlight the professional challenges and career aspirations of women we work with here in Asia.  

In this feature, Sophia Lim, CEO of WWF Malaysia, shares leadership learnings during the pandemic as an NGO, and how individuals and corporations can do their part to integrate sustainability into their business goals.

Q: What leadership lessons did you learn when managing the organisation during the pandemic?

These three years have passed by so fast. Like everybody else, the pandemic came out of nowhere. Nobody expected it. When the pandemic hit, one of the key learnings was taking stock. How do we continue to do our job in a landscape that has changed? 

The key thing is, being an NGO, we still have to work on conservation on the ground. At the same time, the challenge is keeping our donors engaged and funds coming in, so we can carry out conservation work. So, the keyword for us is pivoting.

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We had to be very quick on our feet. First, we must be able to communicate digitally, drive our fundraising programs digitally, and constantly engage with our staff. The way we pivoted and at the speed that we did were vital. However, pivoting on my own was not enough. I had a good team supporting me in navigating the pandemic. Also, our staff were aligned with the same purpose and values. 

I'm very proud to say that despite the pandemic and having to work from home, we improved our engagements twofold. This is in ways of reaching out to all our stakeholders, our webinars, and direct communication online with our donors and network offices. So, I hope that gives you a perspective on what the two years meant to us, and I'm very proud. 

This is an abridged version of the full interview with Sophia Lim. For the full version of the interview, click here

Read more:
11 traits you need to be a highly effective leader
How to hire to improve gender diversity in the workplace
How to be more confident at work according to Asia's female leaders


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