To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re championing our incredible women across our global studios who we admire on a daily basis. Throughout March we will be sharing their personal stories, inspirations and career challenges. Next up is Lily Li, Managing Director, Shanghai.

With over 20 years of experience, Lily joined Technicolor as Head of Production in 2012, soon after she launched the MPC studio in Shanghai and now leads a team of talented artists who have delivered high-end VFX work for the likes of Nike, Apple, Vasen, Nestle, Coca-Cola, BMW and more.

Can you share your story with us – where did you get your start? How did you get to where you are today and what has your journey been like as a woman in both work and life? 

I started as a production assistant at a production house when I was 20. As a girl in Shanghai, over the years I have worked with lots of different people from different places and backgrounds. I feel extremely lucky to have received a great deal of support during my time in the industry. It took some time, but I have finally found the work/life balance, as a working mom with two boys.

How has your industry changed culturally since you started your career? What support / knowledge / collaboration within the industry would help to make positive change?
The production industry within advertising in China has always been fairly challenging but rewarding. Luckily, we now have an established reputation and very strong clients and teams, which gives us a unique position this market.

The theme of this month is ‘Women in Leadership’ what women in leadership inspires you? And who in your life are you being inspirational for?
It’s really hard to say. I try not to focus on gender, I admire many leaders both female and male. I learned a lot working with Mark Benson and the global MD’s at MPC.

If you could go back, what one piece of advice would you give to your younger self? 
To be braver and more confident.

What challenges do you see for equality in society today?
I live in Shanghai, in general it’s an quite equal society.

What have been some of biggest struggles and triumphs as a woman in business?
When I work long hours, I miss out on a great deal of family time, especially since having children. As a woman in business, it’s important to find a good balance between life and work.

Describe the 3 characteristics about yourself that you believe led to your success in business.
Straight and direct communication

How does your work positively impact women of [your city] and/or women of the world?
We have lots of women employees in the Shanghai office, I hope I inspire them daily.

Can you tell us about previous projects you’ve worked on and link to your work?
I worked on a video (The China city video for Beijing Olympics) as line producer. I was responsible for the parts of China including Shanghai, JiangSu and ZheJiang Province. Where I learned a lot about the culture and people around the fish and rice hometown of China.

What woman has positively impacted/inspired you in your career, and what’s one lesson she taught you?
My teacher Miss Wu, from my 1st – 3rd grade in my primary school. She taught me how to publicly speak and present to large groups of people – I am forever grateful to her!

What’s something interesting you’re currently working on?
Family and work balence. In my professional life I want to bring MPC Shanghai to the next level.