In today’s edition of Groundup Features, we speak to Chor Yi and Vanessa from TechLadies, as they share more on what inspired them to take on a leadership role and how they hope to continue empowering ladies in the tech industry.
1. Hi Chor Yi and Vanessa! Please share with us more about yourself!
Vanessa: I'm a software engineer in Zendesk. We build professional customer service softwares and I love working with my talented colleagues. I like to run in my spare time and paced the Sundown Marathon last year.
Chor Yi: I'm currently a Product Manager at SOL-X, a tech company offering safety & risk management solutions with location tracking information. I'm also a NVPC Company of Good Fellow (Intake 2!) and went to work in Europe for 1 year before coming back to Singapore at the end of 2019.
2. What inspired you to contribute and lead through TechLadies?
Vanessa: There is a long pipeline to have more gals in the tech world. TechLadies is at the early stage of the pipeline to help more females to understand the industry, find their passion and make their choice. I have very good coaches in my life. I hope I can connect those ladies who are in doubt with more people in the tech field.
Chor Yi: In my transition and career as a Product Manager, I had some seniors who were mentoring me and guiding me in my role as a Product Manager. As I greatly benefited from these experiences, I was looking to pay it forward and join an organization that allowed me to reach out to people who are new to tech or early in their career. In addition, having just come back to Singapore, I wanted to find a group of women that I could identify with and learn from.
3. Could you share more on how it has been during this COVID-19 period, both for you and TechLadies?
Vanessa: It was challenging at the beginning, but it helps us become more creative and it also changes the way we usually interact with each other. We are all working from home and zoom meetings can be efficient, but I do miss the face-to-face talks with my colleagues. For TechLadies, we host all our events (brunch with TechLadies, Bootcamp Series, Softskills Panel discussions) virtually online. It turned out to be great as well.
Chor Yi: I quite enjoyed the focus that Circuit Breaker brought about. Having to be at home without a choice, was not ideal but was really conducive for me to focus on things I'd like to spend more time on. As a result, we were able to launch the TechLadies mentorship program after Phase 2 started. We actually did the recruitment and marketing for the program during Phase 1 and had 120 applications which was unexpected given that it was only the 2nd batch!
4. Lastly, how do you hope your initiative builds a city of good?
Vanessa: I hope our work can help more ladies understand the tech industry better and transit to the role they want to be. It will eventually help build a better inclusive and empathetic working environment and city.
Chor Yi: I hope that through our efforts, we can reduce the barriers preventing women from transitioning to a career in tech and enable them to progress in their relevant jobs and companies. Through our work, we encourage inclusive employment and reduce the stigma for women who want to enter and progress in the tech industry. We also hope to break views on traditional gender roles and empower women to seek the compensation that they deserve. Personally, I also hope to be able to reach out to different groups in our society, not just women, in order to really encourage inclusivity and diversity in employment across the tech industry.