By Puja Chandra Nanda
As International Women’s Day marks its 110 th year in 2020, Parents World joins the international community in celebrating Women Entrepreneurs around the globe including in Singapore. These bold, enterprising and ambitious women set goals for themselves and achieve them with elan! These successful women epitomize the modern day female who whilst managing her home and family, uses her innate power to shine bright and inspire other fellow women!
Dr. Karen Soh
Dr. Karen Soh is Founder and Medical Director of Privé Clinic, a leading medical aesthetics clinic located at Orchard, Singapore. Dr. Soh is trained in surgery, intensive care, obstetrics, gynecology, ophthalmology and anesthesia. Through her specialized expertise in medical aesthetics, Dr. Karen helps women achieve the look they desire in turn giving them the confidence to conquer the world!
Dr. Karen is also a devoted mother of four lovely children and despite her grueling work schedule makes it a point to cook for them. Read more about Dr. Karen Soh and Privé Clinic here.
Ms. Yvon Bock
Ms. Yvon Bock 41, is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hegen, Singapore’s leading home-grown mother and baby care brand with an international presence in over 15 markets. As a mother to 4 beautiful children herself, Hegen is Ms. Bock’s gift to nursing mothers who struggle with multiple products to pump, feed and store breastmilk. Hegen’s highly awarded innovative, all-in-one integrated Express-Store-Feed system is designed to support and enhance a mother’s breastfeeding experience.
Read more about Ms. Yvon Bock and Hegen here
Ms. Lily Kew
Ms. Lily Kew, Founder of Kew Organics & Sugar K Facial Bar is a multi-accomplished aesthetician. With the help of her organic skin care line and facial salons across the island; Ms. Lily Kew is redefining beauty and spearheading her make-up free mission. She is also her company’s brand ambassador as she proudly showcases her flawless, no-makeup skin – thanks to her own line of specially formulated products and services.
Ms. Lily Kew is also a mother to two adorable girls. Read more about Ms. Lily Kew and Kew Organics here
To learn more about our Mum-Entrepreneurs journey of grit and determination, we asked them a few questions.
Q. What or Who Has Inspired Your Entrepreneurial Journey?
A. Karen Soh: To Love What You Do & To Do the Best You Can!
“I believe in doing my best in what I do and loving what I do – combined with a strong sense of ethics and hard work.” -Dr. Karen Soh
A. Yvon Bock: To Create a Positive Difference in People’s Lives!
“I am surrounded by a family of entrepreneurs from my parents to my in-laws and my husband. My father in particular inspires me a lot as a business leader. He always emphasises the importance of selflessness and putting other’s well-being first, especially our end users. He reminds us that whatever we do must add value to people’s lives from his team to his clients, upholding integrity and loyalty. This is probably the greatest motivation as to why I started Hegen – to create a positive difference to breastfeeding mothers all around the world.” – Ms. Yvon Bock
A. Lily Kew: To Feel Empowered to Transform Lives!
“I formulated my organic skincare with a goal in mind ie. Less is more. You only really need a few but great skincare products with minimal steps and you’re good to go.
My life went from down to up, from darkness to brightness. I felt really good! I thought to myself, “Hey, if I can change my life through the transformation of my skin and feel so empowered, there must be many out there who are like me. I want to help them transform their skin and their lives too! This was what inspired me as an entrepreneur. This is also what keeps me going when the going gets tough.” -Ms. Lily Kew
The IWD theme for this year is “#EachforEqual” We asked our featured entrepreneurs to share their thoughts on the theme and how as per them, Singapore fared in terms of gender equality.
Q.What is your take on gender equality in the professional domain, especially in Singapore?
A. Karen Soh: Singapore Is Taking Steps Towards a Gender-Balanced Society
“Research has shown that Singapore ranks relatively high on the scale of gender parity. I genuine(ly) believe that the country is taking baby steps towards a more gender-balanced society, which in turn works in our favour.
In the professional domain, us women should embrace entrepreneurship and innovation, and tolerate failure as a necessary concomitant of such pursuits. I always believe my personal opinions and how I can make a change starts within myself. I choose to contribute to my personal health and well-being, with a sense of dignity, pride and self-worth – all of which are valuable in my own right. ” – Dr. Karen Soh
A. Yvon Bock: Gender Equality is Well Respected in Singapore
“As a female in Singapore, we are generally very blessed and privileged when it comes to equality. To be honest, I have never felt any discrimination or less because I am a female in the professional domain. Singapore has taken a proactive approach on creating equality for its people. In a melting pot of culture, race, religion, language, I am proud to say gender equality is quite well-respected here.” – Ms. Yvon Bock
A. Lily Kew: It’s all about the Right Person, not the Right Gender
“To me, it’s all about the right person, not the right gender. Everyone should be treated equally and judged based on merit. If we can put aside all prejudice, we will achieve greater things more efficiently and effectively – building an open, honest and equal place for everyone.
Being in the beauty business also gives me an edge to help each and every client boost their confidence, so they can in turn, perform better in the workplace. Our goal has always been to not only deliver the best facial treatments and products, but most importantly, to transform skin and empower lives.”- Ms. Lily Kew
Q. As a woman, what competitive advantage/disadvantage did you experience in your professional journey?
A. Karen Soh: A Woman Can Empathize with Challenges Faced by Other Women
“In my work I think being a woman is an advantage! I am sensitive to the needs of women and understand what they need. I empathise with their challenges in work, family and life and identify what they are really seeking to do and achieve when they come for treatments”. – Dr. Karen Soh
A. Yvon Bock: A Woman Can Bring Balance to the Gender Equation in Business
” There are industries where it is predominantly males eg Precision Engineering, Industrial Design industries. It was a culture shock to me when I first joined the family business when I had to handle mostly male suppliers, engineers and designers. I worked alongside them, learning as fast as I could humbly, and help to mitigate business discussions, as it could get really heated up. Being a female in the meetings brought a much needed balance to the equation. I saw that as a competitive advantage and I eventually gained the respect of my fellow male colleagues.
I feel #eachforequal is to allow equal opportunities in an inclusive manner. We need to build on one another’s strengths and capabilities. Being emotional is not being vulnerable but actually bringing a touch of humility and empathy to the table.” – Ms. Yvon Bock
A. Lily Kew: A Woman Works towards Group Goals, Benefiting All, Not One
“Perhaps due to our ability to multi-task, women often try to work together to benefit everyone and realize group goals instead of individual achievements. I have personally benefitted from the help of some great mentors who have guided me on my journey, and I am thrilled to be able to share what I have learned with young female entrepreneurs.
The need to take care of others is a surprising strength in the business world. Whether as customers or employees, people still want to work with someone who understands them as a person and cares about how they feel. In a world which seems to get more impersonal every day, prospective customers look harder for companies that care.”- Ms. Lily Kew