Movers & Shakers
Gain Insights from the industry's Best and Brightest
Ever wonder how the leaders of the Infocomm industry got where they are today? Watch this space and hear from the luminaries themselves what inspired them to join the Infocomm industry and what inspired them to join the Infocomm industry and what continues to drive them to excel.
Lum Seow Khun
Director of Sales and Transformation, IBM Singapore
I took the job out of necessity, but I grew to enjoy it when I saw how technology could improve so many areas of our lives.
When Lum Seow Khun graduated from university in the aftermath of Singapore’s first post-independence recession in the 1980s, she took up her first job in the IT industry.
While it wasn’t a conscious decision to join the ranks of women in technology at that time, she soon fell in love with the job at a Singapore-based government-linked company. “I took the job out of necessity, but I grew to enjoy it when I saw how technology could improve so many areas of our lives,” she said.
Having a woman mentor helped too.
“My first manager was a lady who gave me a lot of support and guided me throughout my career. At the same time, she was fair and didn’t side with either women or men in the company,” she said.
Like many of her peers across the world, Lum – who is IBM Singapore’s director of sales and transformation, as well as council member of Singapore Computer Society (SCS) and co-chair of its student chapter – is part of a growing number of women who have made their mark in a male-dominated field.
In Singapore, female representation in the IT sector has been hovering around the 30% mark since 2000, even as more have climbed the ranks and taken on senior leadership positions in the industry.
Chong Yoke Sin
Chief, Enterprise Business Group, StarHub
Fewer women choose IT today compared to men, but those who choose IT and stay in it do well.
IT training was tough
Despite the glamour of a career with an IT giant, the initial years were rough. As with most in-house IT training programmes at that time, rookies like Chong went through a baptism of fire.
“We were trained on marketing, sales and engineering, and had to produce proposals for our clients very quickly, which meant we often had to work overnight. That was the beginning of life at an IT company,” she says.
The training Chong received mirrored the thinking of leading tech firms such as IBM then – that the best sales people were engineers who understood and solved a customer’s problems, she says.
Time to shine
Chong’s experience at Big Blue was a stepping stone to an illustrious career dotted with stints at Hitachi, Singtel-owned systems integrator NCS, as well as Integrated Health Information Systems (IHiS), a Singapore government-linked healthcare IT supplier.
Attention to detail
Chong attributes the growing number of women IT leaders to their innate attention to detail – an attribute required in application development, which “tends to have more women because you need to deal with logic and lots of details”.
Stay Ahead at the Cutting Edge
Wondering what is the next wave of changes or breakthroughs in the ever-dynamic Infocomm industry. Get the first-hand insights and knowledge from leading companies and thought leaders and stay ahead!
Changing career is always a worrying time. Are we all equipped to cope with today’s votive, uncertain, complex and ambiguous digital environment?
While there is no one answer to the above questions, we can possibly look for solutions by first studying the environment and then searching within ourselves. Chances are, many probabilities and possibilities discovered along the way will translate into valuable opportunities.
THE WORLD IS CHANGING – SO CAN WE!
If a lily leaf in a pond doubles itself each day (1, 2, 4...), and the pond is full of leaves on Day 30. The pond is half filled with leaves on Day 29. If the leaf is an opportunity, by the time people realise it on Day 29, they will have only one day to react. The world today is characterised by exponential changes like the growth of a lily leaf. What we see now as mere handful of jobs or assignments or gig will become mainstream sooner than we think. Therefore, sensing early and responding swiftly is key to success in career transition.
We’ve always been told that to achieve success, we must persist – no matter how bad the situation is – because success may be just around the corner.
Let me pose a question to the mid-career folks who are affected by restructuring or retrenchment: How long should one try to find a job before giving up? Is it after 500 unsuccessful job applications? Or 12 months of fruitless search?
No one knows. But a sobering fact is: Many of these folks become more and more disillusioned as the situation drags out. Concurrently, prospective employers also increasingly deem them to be unemployable as days go by.
Truth is many of these people possess skills of good economic value. Therefore, it is a waste of talent and resources for them to be out of the workforce at the national level! On the personal level, the loss of regular income also has adverse repercussions on household and personal consumption expenditure – there goes all the talk about economic revitalisation.
Technology Revolution, Empowerment 'N' Development Series
Engage your contemporaries on the newest developments! Listen to industry stalwarts and leading technical experts and get first-hand insights and knowledge of the next trending scene in the ever-dynamic Infocomm industry.
Making IT Posible for Women
It is no secret that the tech industry is male dominated. But surely more can be done to attract women to join the tech industry.
REALISING WOMEN’S FULL POTENTIAL
At IBM, we always have leadership development programmes specially designed to help women IBMers create our leadership journey as well as build relationship and influence. These programmes are central to enabling women to take the stage and be the vanguard of our area of expertise. In addition, our new personalised learning platform, “Your Learning”, allows easy access to hot learning topics, many of which are in the form of e-learning and virtual classroom lessons. The result is women IBMers can upgrade, stay relevant and advance our skills 24/7.
PROVIDING SUPPORT BEYOND WORK
Besides career and developmental programmes, there are also specific initiatives that support women employees at the workplace. For example, our medical benefits cover prenatal consultations/medications and support in vitro fertilisation. At the same time, each office locale has nursing room facilities and milk delivery services, which proves to be a boon for our female colleagues in larger geographical areas like the Philippines and US. In Singapore, we frequently see news and social media emphasising the importance of fair employment practices. In IBM, embracing diversity is fundamental to our values. That is why, all women IBMers have ready access to programmes and materials which help us uncover unconscious bias in the workplace.
In Singapore, we frequently see news and social media emphasising the importance of fair employment practices. In IBM, embracing diversity is fundamental to our values. That is why, all women IBMers have ready access to programmes and materials which help us uncover unconscious bias in the workplace.
Survey & Resources
A Plethora of Resources
Access insightful surveys and analytical reports to better understand the local ICT landscape.
Driving the brightest ideas in town
Looking for a marketplace spotlighting the best student IT projects and potential networks to link up with investors? Here could be the next virtual Silicon Valley transforming breakthrough ideas into useful products or services.
Time to get your innovation engine started!
Splash Awards 2016 Champions Show Flair in Advancing Cyber Wellness
As more and more Singaporeans look to social media platforms to connect and stay in communication, cyber etiquette becomes increasingly essential for the maintenance of a civil and prosperous cyber space. SCS showed support for the cause with the SCS Splash Awards 2016.
Jointly organised by the SCS Student Chapter and Interactive Digital Media Chapter, the 13th edition of the SCS Splash Awards took on the theme, "Cyber Wellness", and saw participation from close to 300 secondary school and tertiary institution students.
The students learnt the importance of fostering a healthy cyber community through coming out with original ideas which contribute towards the creation of a more responsible cyber community for Singapore. Notably, "SocialShield" from Dunman High impressed the judging panel with their submission and won the top spot for the Pre-tertiary Category while "Keyboard Warriors" from Singapore Institute of Technology bagged the award for the Tertiary Category. Dr Janil Puthucheary, Minister of State, Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education graced the award ceremony.
"SocialShield" from Dunman High was shortlisted for the National Infocomm Competition Face-Off (App Development). In addition, the students also represented Singapore for the Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA Awards) in Taipei.
IT Professionals at Work and Play
Missed an event? View the highlights of the events here and be sure to join us at the next upcoming event!
Top 10 Best Tech Companies to Work For Unveiled!
In the age of widespread digital disruptions, corporate culture can make or break a company. While state- of-the-art workspaces can reinforce the culture of a workplace, it is ultimately the culture that impacts the engagement level of the employees.
The winners of SCS Best Tech Company to Work For Award have perfected the formula to keeping their people happy and their culture healthy. Their relentless efforts to create a dynamic and thriving community for tech professionals based on five criteria – inspiring people culture, spirit of innovation, financial sustainability, people management and human resource policy – have set them apart from their peers.