What advice would you give your younger self?
As you navigate life, I believe it’s very important to be kind to yourself. This is not something I understood the value of when I was younger, but as I’ve grown—both personally and professionally—I’ve come to realize that “a happy you” is the best metric for success. I find that I am now happiest when I try my best to be kind to myself as I navigate my goals. This allows me to be more mindful and enjoy my journey versus just racing to the endpoint.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
I started my career at Nielsen in the Philippines, where I was born, and moved to Singapore in my mid-20s to take on greater responsibility at the company. At the time, it was considered very rare to leave the country and your family and home behind. Leaving the safety net of my family and friends to step into a new role that required managing a team of over 20 people was a significant risk for me. Despite the challenges, I now view this risk as one of my biggest opportunities as it propelled a global career in research and insights.
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing and why?
I would be teaching and mentoring future leaders in marketing and research. I have a lot of respect for the knowledge base required in this industry and believe that teaching others and helping them on their path to success is one of the most impactful ways to shape the outcomes we want to see in our society. I find great joy in learning diverse points of view from others, and love sharing the lessons I have learned from navigating a global career—about research, but also about leadership and different cultures. Also, I would have loved to play professional golf!
What should the industry do to encourage more women and people of color into its ranks?
This is such an important topic and one I am very passionate about. I would like to see an increase in blind interviews so that people are judged on their merits and accomplishments regardless of what they look like on the outside. Engineering for diversity is also important, whether through employers having diversity quotas as part of their hiring process or required pools of diverse candidates. Last but definitely not least is that challenging the norm should be encouraged in the hiring process. The best candidates don’t always come from the usual places or schools; rather, companies should seek talent from a broader range of sources to create opportunities that these individuals wouldn’t otherwise have.