TAIPEI (Taiwan) – The Taiwanese Engineering and Science Association of North America (NATEA) held its second annual Women’s Summit on Saturday morning (March 26), during which speakers share leadership advice for women and personal experiences for charting a meaningful course in their lives.
Speakers and panelists included Yumay Chang (張郁梅), former CTO of Google and Microsoft, Janet Kuo, CTO and Head of Google Cloud, Justine Kao, Senior CTO of Meta AI Data Science, Jossy Lee (李楓真), founding member of New England Innovation Academy, product of KLA Corporation. Karis Lee, marketing manager, and Jiali, former senior product manager at Amazon.
In a keynote, Chang shared that she made a conscious decision to leave the tech field “because I realized that writing code is great, but that alone isn’t going to make or break the business”. She said she spent the next part of her career exploring various “operational roles” in companies because she was interested in knowing what people cared about.
One piece of advice she gave to the public was that to achieve financial freedom, you had to be able to choose to leave your job, as well as your relationships and marriage. She said that is why it is also important to invest.
Chang said that as a child growing up in Taiwan, she lived with a sense of non-conformity and refused to follow rules that didn’t make sense to her. This helped her avoid the trap of “playing too safe,” which she says prevents her from becoming a leader.
She added that excelling at work means producing results rather than working overtime, emphasizing the importance of knowing when to say no. “I think a lot of times Asians have a hard time setting boundaries, have a hard time saying no. I suffered from it in my youth. »
Saying no is also about preserving your own energy for better productivity and health as well as a matter of respect, according to Chang. If someone allows others to cross the limits of their personal time, it signals that “my time is worthless”.
Asked about prejudice in the workplace and how she has navigated her career as an Asian woman, Chang said, “I don’t really consider myself an Asian woman… What I’m thinking about is what are the ways I can contribute. However, she recalls observing subtle biases in her workplace in the United States, such as a manager who would speak differently to women, or Asians being typecast as people who do a lot of work but lack strategy and potential to work. leadership.
After Chang’s keynote, Kuo and Kao discussed the journeys that led them to their current leadership roles at Google and Meta, as well as the principles they follow as managers. They stressed the importance of communicating clearly, having confidence and managing time when taking on the added responsibilities that come with being managers.
Jossy Lee, Karis Lee and Jiali also talked about building a life outside of work and tips on managing different aspects of life. Jossy Lee said that instead of calling it a “work-life balance”, she prefers to see the concept as a “blending” of various parts of life so that the focus isn’t so much on “the precarious balance of things and as being immersed in the moment.
Janet Kuo and Justine Kao discuss their experiences as managers at Google and Meta. (Facebook, NATEA screenshot)
Jossy Lee, Jiali and Karis Lee talk about the “mix” of work, family and personal time. (Facebook, NATEA screenshot)