IWD 2022: Building The Next Generation Of Leaders
Welcome back to an all-new Head’s Up. As we continue to feature more women leaders this week, today we are bringing you our chat with Assoc Prof. Ts. Dr Angela Lee Siew Hoong, Head of Department Computing and Information Systems, Sunway University.
She shares her thoughts on her personal journey as a woman on getting to where she is, challenges faced by women in the workspace and what organisations should strive to do more.
But just before you head on to read our chat, here are some news and events to lookout for.
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International Women’s Day 2022 : Sunway University’s Female Scientists are Leading the Way in Science in Malaysia
For centuries, women around the world have made important contributions to the sciences and advancement of technologies. However, their efforts and achievements were often not highlighted as much as they deserved.
The International Women’s Day is celebrated globally to commemorate the achievements of women while recognising their contribution towards building a sustainable future.
In conjunction with International Women’s Day, Sunway University is celebrating its female scientists who have contributed significantly in propelling the University towards being among the top cited research universities in Malaysia.
Calling all pre-seed & seed-stage startups who are contributing to Malaysia’s Islamic Finance and Insurtech industry, we are pleased to announce our Alpha Startups Pre-Accelerator for Insurtech Cohort 3 organized by 1337 Ventures & FWD Start-up Studio!
The Insurtech Cohort 3 Programme will provide participants with the following:
RM150K capital investment from 1337 Ventures
A top-notch mentor team
Market access with regulators
A cohort of like-minded entrepreneurs who can share in their experiences and motivate them to achieve their goals.
Learn more and apply at https://bit.ly/fwdpre-accelerator.
Want to start a startup but don't know how? Already have a product but sales are slow? Or perhaps you already have traction and are looking to scale? Sign up for our upcoming Alpha Startups™️ Digital Accelerator (C41), kicking off 18 March 2022.
Go from idea to minimum viable product (MVP) in 6 weeks
Top team will receive RM50K pre-seed investment to kick start your startup
10-hours of mentorship by industry experts & seasoned mentors
Learn more about this accelerator & if you're interested register by 14 March 2022 on https://1337.ventures/asda.
What has your journey been like to where you are now?
My journey began after I completed my bachelor's degree, when I was asked to fill in for a staff member who was on maternity leave. At the time, I was probably the youngest academic staff member employed. Slowly, my enthusiasm in what I do developed, and I've always wanted to enhance my education, so I pursued a Master's degree, and after completing it, I was elevated to Head of Program, overseeing five undergraduate computing degree programmes, in my early twenties.
Then I opted to pursue my PHD at Sunway University, where I was already employed, and I was fortunate for the scholarship that allowed me to complete my studies here.
While pursuing my PhD, I worked as a programme coordinator. I'd say juggling employment and part-time school is difficult, but perseverance and commitment have gotten me through to finish my studies on time. In 2016, I became the first PHD graduate from Sunway University.
What inspires you to keep growing?
My students! Each student has their own personality and set of qualities. Even if you are teaching the same material, each class and semester is unique. However, the diversity of my students, who come from a range of cultural and educational backgrounds, makes a difference and impacts my teaching approaches, which keeps me evolving by requiring me to always improve myself and ensure that I bring out the best in them.
What more can companies do to keep encouraging more women to step into bigger roles?
Companies and organisations should aggressively support, develop, and cultivate women in leadership roles. Because having a diverse workforce is helpful to businesses, companies should actively encourage, develop, and grow women in leadership roles.
When it comes to expressing their personal successes, women are typically cautious. As a result, businesses should aggressively acknowledge female achievements, give excellent training and support, promote mentor-mentee relationships, and actively encourage women to pursue leadership positions and larger roles, which can help women gain self-confidence.
Having more female role models in top positions, on the other hand, will build a more positive support network, inspiring more young women to advance in the corporate sector.
Speaking of challenges faced by women in corporate. Any particular challenge you have faced?
Work-life balance is important. Many women, I believe, have this issue of balancing work and life, and this is especially true for women with families and children, who must spend time with their families while still meeting the demands of work.
As a result, balancing obligations is difficult. I am pleased that working at Sunway University does not provide me with many obstacles because we are provided with appropriate assistance, encouragement, and freedom in making decisions with many good female leaders as role models that keep inspiring us to be better.
What future do you envision for women in the workforce?
Women in the workforce, in my opinion, should have faith in themselves and be confident in their decisions. To be heard equally, to be regarded and appreciated equally, and to be given equal opportunity to grow and flourish.
Are you doing anything actively to mentor young women?
Often being invited as a guest speaker to discuss my data science skills at SHELOVESDATA, a non-profit social company that encourages women all over the world to participate actively in the data driven world.
In addition, I am the founding member of the Malaysia R Ladies Group, which promotes female interest in the R programming language and data science applications.
I also work closely with industry projects to supervise numerous undergraduate and postgraduate female students, bringing them closer to the corporate world. I hope that by participating in these events, I can continue to inspire more young women to pursue careers in computers and data science as well as promote gender equality and women in science.
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