Speaker: Theresa Woo, IS Manager - Systems for Marketing Enablement, TELUS
Why is International Women’s Day important to you? How are you celebrating?
Theresa Woo: International Women's Day gives me the opportunity to reflect and share with my daughters how far the women in my family have come, From my grandmother, who raised 10 children in Hong Kong, to my mom, who immigrated to Canada for new opportunities. Being a mother reminds me every day how important it is to celebrate women and their achievements to show my daughters that every door is open to them and to encourage them to grow in whatever direction they choose. My two daughters are young, so we're celebrating International Women's Day by reading some stories out of their favorite book, "The Girl Who Rode a Shark: And Other Stories of Daring Women by Ailsa Ross.
2022's International Women's Day theme is #BreakTheBias. Can you speak to biases we can work to break in our communities and/or workplaces?
Theresa Woo: I'm really proud to work at TELUS where women are breaking the bias every day. I'm connected with more women in the technology market as contributors and leaders than ever before and seeing more girls and women enroll in STEM programs. Despite all these advancements, I often see women needing to soften their assertiveness when suggesting ideas and that's after they find the courage to speak up. We can all help remove this unspoken burden with simple acts by just applauding and acknowledging women for their willingness to be present and by giving them that opportunity to provide input. Many times these small actions will give them the confidence they need to share their ideas and suggestions without fear of judgment.
What advice would you give to the next generation of women as they begin their careers?
Theresa Woo: Believe in yourself and your capabilities. When I first started my career after university, I felt the need to prove my skills and my commitment to the point where I sacrificed my emotional and mental health. Once I started to share how burdened I felt with my leaders and mentors, I realized that my community was there to help me without judgment. Ever since I've always been mindful to see each new initiative or feedback as a learning opportunity. These experiences are coming your way because there is a group of people that believe in your growth and potential, so you should believe in yourself as well.