Chia Chia graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration, and now she has been in the IT industry for close to 30 years, mainly covering Malaysia Large Enterprise and Commercial Markets.
We are honoured to have Chia Chia to share with our readers her experiences and journey to be one of the Women in Tech, especially in South East Asia.
Here is our dialogue with her.
#1 How did you end up in this Tech World?
I graduated from a local university in Business Administration. I never imagined I could engage and stick to the IT industry for almost the entirety of my career since I graduated. I’ve been working mainly with IT infrastructure, services, and software principals. It has been a fantastic journey from the beginning, and if I choose to turn back the clock, I will still choose IT as my career path as it continues to enrich my life after almost three decades.
I love the IT industry and the ecosystem that has given me a great and exciting platform to get to know many successful mentors and IT icons. Tech World is the industry that continues to provide you with surprises, challenge the norms, and push you to learn and adopt new knowledge every day. You will never feel bored and stagnant in this industry!
#2 What kind of challenge(s) have you faced throughout your career journey?
I am very fortunate to have a smooth career journey with good mentors and tribes that have supported me along the way. To be honest, I do not give myself an aggressive goal to whom I would like to be in the Tech World. As I believe in doing what I love, success will follow. Passion is the fuel behind a successful career. My definition of a career woman in IT is a woman that can enjoy the work-life at its fullest, work-life balance and yet maintain my family by allocating enough time and effort to it.
I believe we don’t demand respect through our titles and positions; rather, we earn respect through our actions and the positive impact we have created in this community. Hence, believe in what you are doing, be confident and bold, we can mark our success in our way in our definition. Victory belongs to someone that is ever ready and always prepared. Treating people with pure heart, you’re already winning half of the battle.
#3 What is the biggest mistake you have ever made?
As a leader, one must appreciate every team member’s strengths, bring out the best from them and guide them to achieve their business and personal goals. In this case, we embrace diversity from them with their unique character and yet lead them towards achieving the business goal.
Many years ago, when I was a young manager, I tended to pre-assume and judge a person by thinking certain characters and personalities will determine how good and how far they can excel.
Now, I believe a good leader should be able to coach and bring out the best of the individual to improve and accelerate. This is more meaningful than what I accomplished in my life, as it is about what I inspire others to do and help them grow.
#4 How do you manage your career and family?
Time management is critical, and career women must manage this well, or it will be hard to sustain over time. Set priority with big rocks and small rocks methodology and empower and delegate to the team members, taking charge and being accountable for their tasks and goals. In this case, they can grow faster, and we have the breather room.
Career women must build the “supporting unit” at home to reduce the workload for being a mum, spouse, or caretaker at home to allocate equal time to focus on the career. When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you will figure out how to excel.
Follow your heart and be bold to take up the challenges. You will be surprised how women nowadays can cope with multitasks!
#5 What is your advice to fellow Women Leaders?
Women are generally perceived as micromanaged managers and not delegating tasks and trust to the subordinates. In my view, we should trust our subsidiaries and empower them to carry out specific tasks. We could attend to the details but not overall manage in a micro way until we lose sight of the macro picture.
Get a mentor and seek help should we face any challenges. Building the network and community is essential to help each other be more competent and ready to take up a more significant role if opportunities arise.
We can never be 100% ready to pursue a leadership role. Sometimes, we just have to walk out of our comfort zone to try something new. Never be afraid to fail, and we can always climb up from where we fell.
We don’t demand the leader role position just because we are “women” and fill the “quota” to reach the target. Instead, we are there because of our capability, and we don’t demand any privilege because we are women. Let the result say the word.
#6 What do you think about cybersecurity?
The Cybersecurity industry is booming in the new era, and it is a new wave that drives the IT infrastructure and solutions to a new height. Whether you are working in cybersecurity-related companies or as a “target” for cyberattackers, we need to upgrade our knowledge and take necessary prevention steps in minimising the risk.
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