Through the event “Code for Gender, Code for Growth (CFG)” held by Womany, Tina Lin, the general manager of Google Taiwan and Shulem Chang, Co-founder of Womany shared some of the most insightful experiences through their journey in the blistering pace of the digital transformation world.
A three step guide to become a better superior in the work field. “Learning, Zeroing, Re-Learning” - General Manager, Taiwan Google.
With fully booked openings within the first 3 days during the registration week, the CFG event was officially launched on the 18th of April, 2021. Led by the elites in the tech industry, Tina Lin, General Manager of Google Taiwan,Joy Hsu, Google Software engineer and Richard Lee, Co-founder/Chief Technology Officer of icook as panel speakers, CFG embodies the concepts of technology and diversity, aiming to not only shape a D&I (Diversity & Inclusion) but also a D&L (Diversity & Leadership) workplace culture.
Differ from other L&G (Learn and Growth) events Womany has held in the past, with a limit of 100 participants and a partnership with Google, CFG provides a series of workshops and events such as self growth courses, community discussion and a Hackathon for over a span of 6 months. In addition, participants with full attendance will receive a Certification of Completion and a further in-depth discussion with team members from both Google and Womany.
“The idea for holding the CFG has been to take the initiative to create an All-Inclusive future”- Shelum Chang, Founder of Womany
In a world where individuals are required to be fast learners, Womany and Google are determined to build a community that interacts and cultivates by supporting participants ranging from fresh graduates to individuals who wish to transfer into a new field of work.
As CFG launched, Shulem, the founder of CFG and Womany, opened the ceremony by reintroducing the history and the intention behind CFG. “When I first decided to establish Womany, technology was one of the biggest drive factors since I knew technology should be utilized as a solution to gender inequality. I had to voice out and I knew each one of our opinions does hold a certain weight. I am very honored to be joined by Google as a part of this event.” says Shulem.
What Shulem says further reflects the importance of CFG as this is the second CFG held by Womany since 2016. Womany was the pioneer company that utilized the combination of technology and gender awareness in Asia. Not to mention that the CFG event was also nominated for the 2019 WSIS Prizes by the United Nation Geneva Project.
“ During school, many often conclude the opportunities and resources you are granted as a mere gender based bias” - 2016 CFG winning participant
Shulem mentions that she has never felt more proud when she embraced the first place winner at the end of the 2016 CFG. During the winning speech, the winning participant detailed the possible ways for one to experience gender based violence & abuse. In addition, despite her effort in the competition, she still believes that a portion of the society will continue to presume that her triumph is still largely attributed to gender bias.
“As we journey into the event, I hope the program could serve as a tool for each and every individual to better learn and adapt into a new environment. We will be implementing the workshop content into our work and believing that the result will be shown by the end of the event”.
According to statistics, nearly 65% of workers are dissatisfied with their current job. In addition to being confused about their career status and hesitation in life choices, many are restrained by the role given based on their gender and our society. What lies beyond the uncertainty for one’s career planning is in actuality a series of conflicts intertwined within our society.
To better understand the motive behind each participant as well as the difficulties they are facing in life, Womany did a survey prior to the event. Below are the concluded fundamentals that CFG participants intend to comprehend.
- To diversify one’s social networks in order to learn from workers in various career fields.
- The desire for job transfer.
- An in-depth understanding of the effort that Google contributed in D&I (Diversity and Inclusion)
- Accumulate both hard and soft skills through the CFG event.
“Work is a combination of tasks and people. To think systematically and critically amid the myriad of tasks and deadlines is what we need to prepare for the next 10 years.'' - Shulem Chang, Founder of Womany
Whether it is the growth and improvement at one’s current stage, or the desire of a career path that allows one to be more competitive in the future market, preparation in advance should always serve as the bedrock for career planning. “Despite the importance of past experience, it is imperative to be focused on the present”, says Shulem.
Keynote CFG guest speaker Tina Lin, Google Taiwan General Manager
“We need to grasp the growth momentum of the workplace talents for the next 10 years” - Tina Lin, Google Taiwan General Manager
As Tina, dressed in a white suit paired with jeans, walked on stage confidently with her professional and confident charm, she smiled and started reminiscing her story…
“To be honest, It is barely possible to predict the future. I have never thought about myself being in Google as a student.” Tina smiles. As a student who used to major in business management, the idea of stepping foot into the tech industry and working her way up to where she is today sounded absurd.
However, despite the impossibility of predicting the future, it is still viable to track and analyze one’s growth trajectory. Tina continues, “since one’s purpose and goal are often interlocked, it is important to understand the “Whys” before executing a task. Often I have mentioned to my colleagues the importance of understanding the motive behind their job while allowing themselves to be financially independent”.
Take herself as an example, Tina has always wanted to work at a job where she could not only obtain a global outlook but also allow Taiwan to be seen and known by the world. Therefore, the focal point of working should be prioritized as self fulfillment. However, she says, “self fulfillment should not be reflected through your success nor failure but your improvements and the understanding of your own needs”.
Self fulfillment is about getting better at knowing your needs everyday.
“Even if things are going your way now, it doesn’t mean that problems don’t exist “ - Tina Lin, Google Taiwan General Manager
“I personally believe that an individual’s growth should prevail over success. In other words, to nurture workplace talents is a lifelong lesson while success is merely an ephemeral moment.”
In fact, many in the workplace felt restricted or kidnapped by their past experience as well as their current tasks. Take Tina as an example, being in the tech industry where the population of males are in general higher than females, Tina often chose to neglect her gender as a female. However, at times, she is still compelled to re-identify her gender during work. Tina then used this as an example to re-elaborate the fact that problems do exist despite things are going as per normal. “Of course, such problems are not only restricted within the topic of gender diversity”, she reminds us.
“I personally believe that an individual’s growth should prevail over success. In other words, to nurture workplace talents is a lifelong lesson while success is merely an ephemeral moment.” - Tina Lin, Google Taiwan General Manager
Currently, four generations are sharing the same workplace which induces conflicts such as the disparity in values and beliefs. To have generations come together as a team hence becomes a challenge. “This is where D&I should come in and serve a pivotal role in workplace culture since D&I not only include topics about gender but also the dissimilarity among generations”, Tina says.
Ke Zhou Qiu Jian  is an idiom Tina often uses to describe the culture in the current workplace. Tina feels like many forget that not only are they situated on a boat but also on a stream, meaning the workplace environment and the market are constantly changing. In other words, besides having an acute sense towards diversity related topics, as a workplace talent, being able to observe the cultural environment is equally as important.
Tina then further elaborates on how the stream within the idiom is often referred to as “The whirlwind development of technology” since emerging industries are ceaselessly learning to adapt and adopt. Through aiding companies that have yet to adapt into the avant-garde market, implementing technology as part of the solution has become an irrefutable reality. As a result, Tina believes that talents who equip the ability to discern new trends and ideas will therefore be able to stand out in the competitive market.
Diversity should be reflected through one’s understanding of Global outlook.
Apropos of Taiwan’s future development in human resources, population plays a vital role.
According to the 2021 Taiwan population from The Ministry of the Interior, Taiwan is officially experiencing negative population growth. This issue is further exacerbated by a declining labor force and the increasing expenditure of LTC (long-term care). The challenges that stem from this issue will negatively impact Taiwan’s economy and industries. This means that sourcing local talent pools for labor will become an increasingly inefficient practice. As a result, an individual's exceptional traits and attributes will eventually become an indispensable factor for human resourcing in the next 10 years since the hiring process is becoming more challenging.
“The industries in Taiwan have definitely taken a toll due to the global pandemic in 2020,” says Tina, the General Manager of Google Taiwan. Tina further elaborates on how digitalisation of consumption has already become the norm for both consumers and enterprise in the midst of a global pandemic. New digital industries, such as cyber security, serve to placate some of the problems that society faces in these uncertain times.
Interestingly, both new opportunities and challenges are posted to industries and workplace talents. Industries are now compelled to transform in order to adapt to digital business models while workplace talents are now required to equip themselves with the latest skill sets. Traditional industries need to recognize that they are capable of breaking into technology related industries. In addition, it is necessary for human resources to take other attributes into consideration to prevent squandering a potential talented employee. In conclusion, It boils down to whether an individual can transform and adapt to the blistering pace of digital transformation.
Trend is often referred to as torrent so is international relation. As the political landscape between the Chinese and the US government shifted, the geopolitical situation is now in instability. This further posts key decisions making to many enterprises. If workplace talents are not capable of identifying chain effects induced by the shift in geopolitical landscape, naturally the industry won't be able to adapt into the new market.
Diversity should be reflected through one’s understanding of Global outlook
Tina believes that global outlook consists of three aspects and these should be equipped as the bedrock for each individual workplace talents.
- To have the basic knowledge and understanding towards geopolitical, world economy as well as culture.
- To have the courage to take risks while facing unknown cross-international partnership.
- Embracing diversity inclusion while socializing internationally.
Becoming a better superior in the work field. “Learning, Zeroing, Re-learning” - Tina Lin, Google Taiwan General Manager
Tina mentions that a superior in the work field is defined as a worker who not only can excel in the workplace whilst simultaneously having a well-balanced personal life. “The word talent should not be merely defined by the experience and knowledge individuals provide to the workfield but also how individuals define and value themselves holistically”, says Tina.
By the end of the CFG speech, Tina has presented herself rather as a peer than of a general manager. Through sharing her personal experience, Tina managed to reach out to each and every participant with the utmost humility.
The illiteracy of the 21st century is not defined by the inability to read and write but the inability to learn, zeroing and re-learning.
Lastly, Tina says she is often bombarded with questions related to having a successful career path such as the most popular jobs or the jobs with the most openings. However, her answers are often ambiguous which could be referenced to a quote that she previously mentioned. “Learning is a lifelong lesson while success is merely an ephemeral moment.”
Before she leaves, she presents her final piece of advice to the participants by saying, “Learning is the foundation, zeroing is for you to find new methods while re-learning is how you strengthen the knowledge you have received while exploring additional knowledge within the existing context. Always remember to be in sync with the world while reminding yourself to not be stagnant as there will never be an absolute for every question. In other words, it is okay to be a nomad sometimes but remember to keep trusting, learning and exploring during the process of wandering”.