On the 20th of October, Vietnam celebrated their Women’s Day and we as a company celebrated along with them. In this issue of #MakingHERStory we sat down with one of our incredible Finance Operations Managers, Kate Nguyen, from our Vietnam team. Read on to find out what you can do with your seat at the table, and how to use it to be a great leader.
Influence and inspiration
Tell us about a leadership lesson that you’ve learnt that’s unique to being a female leader?
I don’t have a lesson, but I would like to share that young females very often find themselves being stuck between choosing a career or child care.
I see many female managers in my acquaintance circle who have to give up on a professional career or any promotion opportunities to give birth. On top of that, they face many obstacles when coming back to work after having a baby. And according to research, women are significantly less likely than men to be offered a promotion at work after having children.
That is why I truly admire any bossmum: Managing their team, overcoming obstacles, and getting promotions while keeping a balance between her career and her children. I am amazed by their willingness and energy. We should all be!
Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you
My favourite book is “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg (former COO of Meta Platforms) which inspired me a lot about Leadership in Women. Specifically, the most inspirational chapter for me is “Sit at the table”.
When joining any meeting, the female members usually choose to sit in chairs placed near the wall, not right at the table, in comparison to the other male members. This is something you can see at some workplaces.
Sheryl spoke it well in this chapter, women often lack confidence. And so do I sometimes. That is why I found it really interesting and touching to read her story and learn from her.
What energizes you about work?
- The possibility to create an impact: I spent 3 years working in an NGO environment and 4 following years working for an agricultural company, both of which pursued the vision to strengthen communities. This is why a company’s vision to make an impact is crucial for me to decide to join an organization.
- Working with great people in a great culture: I would hope to learn from my leaders and colleagues in an open working environment where employees can strive for excellence and challenge their limits.
- Sense of belonging: My commitment to the organization will depend significantly on how much I feel I belong to the organization. I want to become a part of the organization, engage with my team and make my team feel the same.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
- Sit at the table. We all deserve it.
How should women support other women in their organizations?
- I will go first with the advice I mentioned above, women need to be confident to sit at the table. We have to be a role model first and then always sit in the front and speak louder to make sure that our ideas are always heard. And of course, encourage other women to do the same.
- Secondly, don’t keep your compliments to yourself. When you see other women’s accomplishments, congratulate them and share this with other people if possible
- Last but not least, women should understand the difficulties that women face along their career path, so don’t be afraid to share your experience and lessons learnt with others. Take the opportunity to be a mentor to other women!
Women supporting women, it’s a beautiful thing to see, but everyone supports each other, and now that is the ultimate goal of society. If you take away anything from this series, it’s that you should be a leader that uses their voice to open doors and create opportunities for every person that comes after you