PHD Malaysia’s Managing Director, Eileen Ooi recently took part in a panel conversation at Google’s Womenwill Leadership Workshop, discussing the topics of gender equality in the marketing communications industry and sharing personal experiences on how women professionals can overcome barriers to achieve success in their careers.

Eileen Ooi, Managing Director of PHD Malaysia, speaks at Google’s Womenwill Leadership Workshop

Designed by women for women, Womenwill Leadership Workshop is a leadership program to address gender disparity faced by women in their work and business. The program’s ambition is to provide concrete tools to enable participants to be more successful and become the leaders of tomorrow.

“Our world does not have enough women leaders, so initiatives like Google’s Womenwill are great for nurturing and mentoring the new waves of talent in our industry,” says Ooi. “As a young woman leader myself, I deal with biases and cultural nuances in my role every single day, which is why it is so important that women support, come together, empower and edify one another in order to overcome the issues we face. Whilst many often say that women are too emotional to be good leaders, I actually believe that is our biggest strength in what makes an effective leader. They are what make us empathetic, and what allow us to understand individuals’ weaknesses and look for solutions to overcome them. So I say, ‘Embrace it!’

“My biggest advice to women out there is that the barriers are often in our own mind, and so if we are able to consciously remove them, we can achieve many things while balancing our family roles. And when we do reach leadership positions, never let anyone undermine and question our ability to lead with our heart, and act with our head.”