Hanh Le - Country representative, Global Green Growth Institute in Vietnam
In April 2020, I took on the role of country representative for the Global Green Growth Institute in Vietnam. It was a time of fear for our health, of uncertainty for the economy, of loss in our normal way of life, of separation from our loved ones. I took on the role with the extra weight on my shoulders to ensure safety for our staff and ensure business goes on uninterrupted.
Strategic considerations have to be balanced with practical reality. In the midst of the crisis, the three golden principles that I adopted as my guiding posts have really helped me get through these challenging times.
First, staff safety and wellbeing is always the number one criteria in my decision-making. Second, being open to accept help from others is a sign of strength, not weakness. Third, “making it count” is at the core of everything I do.
In a time of crisis, we no longer have the luxury to be complacent. I want my actions to be as impactful as possible. And as a result, our team and business have grown over the pandemic crisis, and is expected to even triple in size this year.
I strongly believe that Vietnamese women can be successful in any situation we are put in. For the post-pandemic era, the key messages I would like to send to young girls and women in our country are to be yourself: be authentic. Keep your hopes alive and never give up your dreams.
Support other women, especially in a difficult time like this, and above all, be grateful. As author Amy Collette said, “Gratitude is a powerful catalyst for happiness”
And remember, you cannot and should not try to please everyone – keep in mind my first advice and find a way to be true to yourself.
Thai Van Linh - Shark Tank Vietnam
One of the biggest lessons that I have learned over the years is that it is very important to surround yourself with people who are supportive and who are very talented. Once you have built a support network, it is even more important to practice how to ask for help.
I think many of us think that we have to do everything on our own. If we work hard enough, we can do everything. We think that we have to be the perfect colleague, the perfect mum, and the perfect friend – but the reality is that nobody is perfect.
Especially in difficult times like the past year, it is especially important to know when to help others and when to ask for help. I always think of one of my favorite quotes, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
COVID-19 has created a lot of changes in the business environment. Some of these changes are particularly advantageous for women.
The first is the acceptance of work from home by many companies. So for women who chose to opt out of an office job because of children, now is the time to consider joining the workforce again. The new normal has created an environment that makes it easier to work from home and therefore, easier for women to balance taking care of children, taking care of the home, as well as having a thriving career.
The changes in the workforce have also forced many people to learn new skills. So if you find that your skills are outdated, or that you do not have the right skills to pursue a job in the new economy, then now is the perfect time to start learning because everybody else is also learning something new.
So when you apply for a job, the people you are competing against could likely be people who are new to the field or do not have as many years of experience. So it is a great time for anybody who wants to upskill or get back into the workforce.