Top trumps alert! What are the three cards you’ve played to help you get where you are in your career?  


Resilience and a lot of grit. Once, before moving to the States to open an office, a board member offered some parting words, 'the streets of New York are paved with the corpses of dead British businesses.' Nothing fueled my resolve to succeed more than those words. Being able to handle setbacks and staying focused on long-term goals has helped me maintain a resilient mindset. 

Growth mindset. The world of marketing is ever-evolving - consumer behaviours, tech and platforms change constantly, so continuous learning is key. Industry reads, podcast listens, even talking to my Gen Alpha daughter about the stuff kids discuss in WhatsApp groups. I'm a nerd for future trend reports and really rate Emma Chiu and Marie Stafford's VML Future 100 reports (out every Feb).

Get stuck in. Whatever roles I've had in the past, the attitude is pretty much the same - show up, dive headfirst into challenges and engage in problem-solving. Being proactive and avoiding complacency can set you apart and has always opened doors for me. 


Ballsiness, being the bossy boots, Machiavellian ruthlessness - why do many women feel that they need to act tough to succeed? What are the real hallmark signs of good female leaders?  


Why do many women feel that they need to act tough to succeed? It's due to longstanding workplace biases. Women feel they can be taken seriously in leadership because they're often stepping into roles where men have set the tone for what a 'leader' should be like. As an Asian female leader, there's this extra layer of smashing through stereotypes - gender and cultural - and it can be empowering when you realise you can help reshape leadership narratives.

You don't have to be the loudest in the room. Having heaps of emotional intelligence - understanding people and knowing how to bring everyone together - is way more important. 


Who has inspired you in your career? Why?  


I'm fortunate to have had some strong female bosses throughout my career. They've shown me the ropes, opened up their networks, offered shoulders to lean on and have been incredible supportive over the years. How could you not aspire to that? I'm also inspired by colleagues I've worked with who've achieved the Holy Grail of balancing work, life and purpose. 


If you could wave your magic wand and right one wrong in the workplace, what would it be and what would you do?  


Banishing outdated views and stereotypes that pigeonhole employees based on their age, gender, race or other characteristics. I work for a B Corp, so we do a lot around fostering a diverse and inclusive culture. I'd love to see more businesses go this way. 


The route to success is never smooth. What tips, professional, personal, and left field, would you give rising stars, if you were starting out today? 


Embrace imperfection. Behind every success story is a leader who's made mistakes. Take this as an opportunity to learn. Success is often a result of trial and error. 

Celebrate small wins, not just the big ones. Recognise all your achievements can help build confidence and combat any feelings of being a fraud (let's face it, we've all experienced imposter syndrome!).  

Don't try to do everything. Too often people feel the pressure to achieve. I get it, we're all time-pressed, but it's ok to have limitations. Prioritise meaningfully for the sake of your mental health, and focus on the things that align with your values and long-term goals. I recommend the book Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, it'll make you re-think your relationship with time.