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Women of Vision
Celebrating SG Women

In the Year of Celebrating SG Women, we present stories which showcase and celebrate women’s multi-faceted contributions and progress at SNEC and SERI.

Join us to honour and acknowledge our team of amazing women who have made impact in the field of Ophthalmology, inspiring those around them with their brand of ethos in life.

SNEC has many female HODs. How does it feel to be part of this leadership team?
Being part of the leadership team in SNEC has been a challenging yet fulfilling experience, due in no small part to like-minded female leaders in the team. We work together well, are respectful and kind to each other, and understand one another’s needs. We find ourselves advocating for similar things, such as support for working mothers and work-life balance. We believe that work satisfaction is strongly related to employee engagement and productivity.

When you pursued a STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) career, did you foresee yourself in this role?
When I was a young clinician, many patients did not realise that I was their attending doctor. Usually elderly folks, these patients addressed me as ‘missy’, meaning ‘nurse’. This made me realise that I did not meet some people’s perception of what doctors looked like, and that more was needed from women in STEM to overcome such mindsets. So I challenged myself to break barriers in and outside of work. In those early years, I did not particularly foresee myself in a leadership role; but as I moved up the ranks, leadership opportunities presented themselves, so here I am!

Which female role models inspired you?
When I was studying in an all-girls’ school, we had a lady principal who often told us at assembly, “What the boys can do, you girls can do just as well, if not better!” This mantra is now deeply ingrained in me, and has shaped my approach to all aspects of life. I also have strong and capable girlfriends, some of whom are also working in STEM; we constantly bounce ideas and share experiences among ourselves.

How did you balance personal life and career in your path towards HOD at SNEC?
I am grateful for strong family backup. My in-laws help care for my young kids, and my husband is very supportive of whatever I choose to do. Without them, it would be difficult to juggle family and career! Good time management helps — I am deliberate about setting aside time for work, family, as well as self-care and reflection. I believe there is no substitute for hard work. As HOD, I encourage young women and mothers to manage their time sensibly, bravely ask for support where needed, and put their best effort into both work and personal life. Some women strive for perfection, then beat themselves up when they fall short. To me, perfection does not exist. Get one job done reasonably well, then move on to the next. This enables you to multitask effectively, and gives you enough bandwidth to juggle family and career well.

Click here to check out the Women of Vision  series.