Kellie Twigge is the vice-president of people & culture at bp. Since 2019, Kellie has been on the board of the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce in Singapore, recently stepping into the role of secretary. She is an active member of MĀIA, a key part of the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce’s network that supports NZ women working in Asia. The New Zealand Chamber of Commerce (Singapore) is a non-profit organization established in 1983 with the purpose to “connect, promote, and grow” opportunities for their members both in Singapore and regionally by extending their networks and promoting business relationships.
KrASIA (Kr): What does MĀIA mean? And what does the network do in Singapore?
Kellie Twigge (KT): MĀIA in Maori is an adjective meaning “brave, bold, capable, and confident.” It’s our network for New Zealand women to connect and receive support. We do this by bringing together professional, like-minded women operating in Singapore and across Asia. It’s supported by the NZ Chamber Singapore and the NZ ASEAN Business Alliance.
Kr: What are some of the most common challenges women in MĀIA face when coming to Singapore?
KT: Some women arrive in different countries without any support. MĀIA provides a network to counter that. Sometimes women in leadership positions require others for support. Understanding how business and culture work in Singapore can be a daunting experience, even if exciting. Having people to reach out to can be helpful.
Kr: How have you personally grown by being part of MĀIA yourself?
KT: Access to professional women, especially in leadership roles, has been excellent. The diversity of experience, backgrounds, age, and ethnicity has been really helpful for me. I have really benefited from being able to learn from the others, have their assurance, support, and seek their input and ideas.
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