Today happens to be the International Women's Day. It is the day to celebrate the success of women in all walks of life. Ladies, I take my hat off to you! As a mother, wife, friend, teacher, professional, IT professional, and so on, I don't think you have any parallel!
I have been very lucky to have several female bosses and also interacted with them during my career. The first name that comes to my mind is that of Ms Sarah Benecke at Global Sources, Hong Kong. According to a Forbes' listing she has been a director since April 2000, and, since 1993, was a director of Trade Media. Sarah was principal executive officer from Jan. 1994 through Aug. 1999.
I do remember the tenure when Global Sources went from strength to strength under her leadership. I had the opportunity of rolling out online specification tables for Telecom Products during 1998-99, an exercise that was also conducted by Electronic Components. I did interact very briefly with Sarah, for a project, Reverse Auction, probably shelved later. Nevertheless, it was an experience where I learned a lot!
I had a set of great colleagues as well, notably, Cindy Fung, Helen Lam, Denice Lai, Pauley Wong, Joyce Wong, Jex Balde, Lou Corpuz, Jo Kent, Vanessa, Sue Pace, Mick Lee-Pollack, Len Sangalang, Jen Tuason, Christo Leung, Jesse Ng, Kitty Wong, Phyllis Ng, Gal Roma, Sylvia Gilkes, Jen Calubad, Reche Cuyco, Georgina, Kennis Kwok, Sylvia, Georgia Zhuang, Catherine Yu, Canis Ho, Camelia So, Bertha, Kennis Kwok, Karmei Tse, Michelle Beck, Pamela Yu, to name a few! Of all the editors, Len is still around at Global Sources, and going great guns.
During my later stint at Global Sources, I again worked with several top-notch journalists and other colleagues -- notably, Melanie Victoriano, Doris Yu, Yuri Chon, Amber Ip, Emper Mendoza, Evelyn Berdera, Marianne Carandang, Esther, Jo Kuo, Sofy Weng, Sammy Lee, Allyn Baldemor, Cecile De Veyra, Nina Villena, Lynn Cacha, Rech Tangcangco and Rose Raguindin -- 'murderers' of my beauty sleep ;).
Janice Poon, co-proprietor, Sharper-I, Hong Kong, remains a good friend till date! Holly Au at Fook Tin, is another great manager that comes to mind!
Among other great colleagues at Global Sources, there's Frances Tai, Rosa Chan, Zoe Lam, Agnes Yim, Agatha Chan, Mayo Leung, Elsa Zheng, Deepa Paul, Jacy, Lillian, Maggie Luo, Melinda Hui, etc. I am in touch with all these great folks and cherish their friendship.
Moving on to Singapore, for Wireless Week, US, brought me in contact with Debbie Denton, and Judith Lockwood Purcell, besides my immediate boss, Margeret Liu. Again, it was a delight to work with them. I had several outstanding colleagues too -- Monica Alleven, who is now Editor-in-Chief, Wireless Week, as well as Peggy Albright, Sue Marek, Heidi Jeter -- all outstanding journalists. Am still in touch with Monica, Judy and Debbie after all these years!
At Reed, I cultivated close ties with a lot of women professionals, notably, Selina Teo, Rajika Mitra, Iris Kwan, Serene Teo, Joy Lee, Geraldine Lek, June Tan, Grace Wong, Pauline, Cynthia, etc.
Interestingly, most of these women were/have been in leadership positions! And, what a great job they all did and continue to do!
Closer to home, a talented journalist, who I think can go a long way, is Geetanjali. Keep up the good work! Priya Ramachandran was another great colleague, and remains a friend till today!
At CIOL, I've had the pleasure of working with great folks such as Latha Chandradeep, Sigi Achappa, Priya Padhmanabhan, Usha Prasad, Radhika Nallayam, Ambika Prakash, Deepa Damodaran, to name a few. All hugely talented, with the capability of doing really great in their careers, should they choose to pursue it.
Last year, I came in touch with Aude Borliataux, who is now Chef de Project at Webdesign International Festival, Limousin, France. I've seen the great work she has done and is capable of! Kaye Lim, formerly of Infineon, Shih-ying Tan of Siemens, Genevieve Haldeman of Symantec and Mohd Sidi Norazah at Dumex, Malaysia would fall in the same category.
I interact regularly with India Semiconductor Association's president, Poornima Shenoy! Then, there's Michelle Prunty at SEMICO and Debra Jaramilla at iSuppli, USA.
In the PR community in India and elsewhere, there are lots of names, especially, Pravin Rikhy, Tarana Uthayya, Poornima Chikkananjaiah, Lakeri Raut, Saswati Panigrahi, Shaili Jani, Sharmita, Bipasha, Shakambari, Sanjana, Aditi, Priyanka Kalia, Edna, Iwin, Farah, Gargi, Suhana Basu (the BBS), Deepa I. and Kauser, and so on and so forth! This list is endless! There are so many names I haven't even added!!
There's Puja Bhattacharya at TI, and Angela and Pooja Bhalla at ST, who interact closely with me. Karen Bartleson from Synonpsys, US, is another great friend and a leader. Can't forget Caan Chui from Hong Kong, either!
In fact, when people tell me, hey, women don't make good managers, or when I find them not getting pushed up to leadership positions, I just look back on my career and find all of these names staring right back at me! If only others could know or see these people, and their potential along with the achievements, they'd be compelled to eat their words!
Well done ladies! It has indeed been a pleasure working with and knowing you! Hope you too feel the same.