On March 8 every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated all around the world to recognize the contributions and achievements of women across various communities while calling for greater equality. This year, the theme “Make It Happen” aims to encourage effective action for advancing and recognizing women. In conjunction with this occasion, Microsoft Asia Pacific will be featuring female leaders from around the region, sharing their inspirations as well as words of advice for women hoping to #MakeItHappen in the technology industry and beyond.
Customer Service and Support Lead, Microsoft Taiwan
Flora Chen is the lead for the Customer Service and Support (CSS) business in Taiwan and is responsible for setting up the CSS strategy and ensuring delivery quality to drive perfect customer experience, operation excellence and people growth. She is also the chairlady of the Diversity and Inclusive community in Microsoft Taiwan. Flora is passionate about helping customers, business partners and Microsoft employees realize their potential and has spent the last 11 years at Microsoft pursuing this passion. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2003, she was the operations group manager of Telecom Operator Company and was the Total Quality Management consultant in Hewlett Packard before that.
What empowers you to Make It Happen at work and at home?
My personal motto is “Always do my best in my life!”. I remembered the first time I read the book “7 habits of Highly Effective People”. One question from the book that got my attention was: “What do you want people to say about you at your funeral?” Without much thought, the answer that came to me was “This woman does her best in her entire life, she never misses any opportunity to be better and to help others become better.” Since then, this statement has become my personal mantra. With that, I am empowered to do more, love myself and others more and the sense of accomplishment makes me happy.
Who are the women who inspire you the most, and why?
Aung San Suu Kyi is an inspiring role model who fights for her country’s peace through non-violent means and sheer perseverance. I also like Hillary Clinton who knows how to play her different roles well and remain persistent to pursue her dream.
Recently, I was touched by the sharing from Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg who talked about how women should shift their thinking from “I am not ready to do that” to “I want to do that and I’ll learn by doing it” in her book. She also said that “feeling confident” or pretending that you’re confident is necessary for one to reach for opportunities.
All these women share a common personality trait: persistence, confidence, courage, and being true to themselves.
What advice would you give to girls who are thinking about working in the technology field?
Be confident and live a balanced life! Being yourself is the most important thing, that’s what makes you a charming person that people like to work with. I believe that God made women unique. Women should be who they are rather than try to be like men.
How does being a female leader help you make a difference?
Women have the “soft power” advantage. Women are good at helping colleagues to grow professionally and personally. As a female leader, I often tell myself to lead by example. Life is a long journey. Sometimes it is important to give yourself a short break to listen to your heart. This help you feel recharged to keep moving on.
At Microsoft, we strive to create an environment that helps us capitalize on the diversity of our people and the inclusion of ideas and solutions to meet the needs of our global and diverse customer base.
Find out more about our global diversity and inclusion programs here.
Read more about the experiences and inspirations from these female leaders in Microsoft Asia Pacific:
- Rukmani Subramanian – Chief Marketing & Operations Officer, Microsoft Malaysia
- Jan Ferguson – Director of Customer & Partner Experience, Microsoft New Zealand
- Mira Fitria Soetjipto – Human Resource Director, Microsoft Indonesia
- Jessica Tan – Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore
- Sunny J. Park – Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, Microsoft Korea
- Pip Marlow – Managing Director, Microsoft Australia
- Siriporn Pajharawat – Director of Developer Experience & Platform Evangelism (DX) Group, Microsoft Thailand
- Duong Thi Kim Anh – Human Resource Manager, Microsoft Vietnam
- Serena Cheung – Director of Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners Group (SMS&P), Microsoft Hong Kong
- Karrie C. Ilagan – Country General Manager, Microsoft Philippines