Welcome back to the Making HerStory interview series! If you haven’t read Part 1 and Part 2, be sure to check them out!

 

While it’s hardly the case for women across different professions to experience the same hardships, the triumph we feel from conquering our hurdles is universal and deserving of celebration.

 

Read on to learn about the stories of women who overcame their odds and flourished in their respective fields.

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As a woman, what are the kinds of struggles you faced in your everyday life or career?

 

I would say that my main struggle is people not believing in me. Growing up in a patriarchal household, my family didn’t believe in my passion or hobby. They chose not to support what I do.

 

My other issue is that because I dress differently and have a distinct sense of style, people tend to look at me as if I’m a weirdo and not take me seriously.

 

 

How did you overcome it? Were there specific moments or decisions that helped you?

 

In my last three job interviews, the interviewers told me that I’m not capable of taking the position due to my lack of working experience, that I don’t know enough to be part of their company, and that I don’t fit in.

 

I realised if people refused to accept me for who I am, then I should do something on my own. That’s why I started my own media company with my sister and my mom the following month.

 

Ever since then, we’ve been very lucky to receive plenty of opportunities: getting to work with various clients, brands, artists, and finally getting recognition from people in the industry. In that same year, I’ve also started becoming more active in doing commercials.

 

My biggest ads so far are for UMobile Malaysia and GoPay Indonesia which I’m extremely proud of, to this day.

 

 

What advice would you tell your younger self and the young women who are reading this?

 

What makes you different, makes you special. You don’t have to conform to society to fit in. It’s okay to be yourself, no one is you and that is your power. Be you, do you, for you!

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As a woman, what are the kinds of struggles you faced in your everyday life or career?

 

I find safety to be one of the more important things that I personally struggle with.

 

When meeting clients, it’s usually initiated from our interaction on the internet/social media, so you don’t really know who you are meeting with until the moment comes.

 

My job requires me to meet a lot of strangers and go to many places I am not necessarily familiar with, and that can mean some very quiet and isolated areas.

 

Sometimes it can be a little intimidating for me, but that comes with the job. Just like any other profession, there’s an occupational hazard that comes with it.

 

 

How did you overcome it? Were there specific moments or decisions that helped you?

 

Now, I usually go to meetings with my partner which makes sense in our case because they can assist me with on-site measurements and other tasks at hand.

 

If I have to go on my own I will definitely let my friends and family know where I’m going and forward them the address just in case. I have also learnt to be safer online.

 

I don’t post any information when I am still at the location. I will either do my social media postings after I leave or when I’m home.

 

When I moved to my studio, I got a little more conscious about my safety and surroundings and that has in turn made me make smarter decisions.

 

 

What advice would you tell your younger self and the young women who are reading this?

 

Trust your instincts. That feeling you get at the pit of your stomach, don’t ignore it.

 

When it involves your safety, or your business dealings, or anything for that matter there is a reason why you’re feeling what you’re feeling.

 

Do what you feel good doing and don’t let anyone pressure you into doing things you’re not up for.

 

Confidence comes with being comfortable and at peace with your decisions, and I find that this is one of the many ways that have helped me build my self-confidence.

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As a woman, what are the kinds of struggles you faced in your everyday life or career?

 

A woman’s ability to lead is often undermined. In my experience of holding several positions of responsibility, I have had to prove my ability to take charge whereas my male colleagues were perceived to be able to do so without working twice as hard.

 

 

How did you overcome it? Were there specific moments or decisions that helped you?

 

Although it was difficult at times, I remained confident when my opinions were simply dismissed for merely being a woman’s word. I work hard and ensure that in everything I do, I am doing my best.

 

There were times I managed to advise people against gender stereotyping, and some of whom came to realise its significance.

 

I believe it is important for each of us to help one another to foster positive change!

 

 

What advice would you tell your younger self and the young women who are reading this?

 

Always believe in yourself and your ability to achieve anything. Reach for the stars and take obstacles as a challenge.

 

Your beauty is not limited to your reflection but also in your confidence to succeed!

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As a woman, what are the kinds of struggles you faced in your everyday life or career?

 

I've had my fair share of facing gender discrimination in my career. I've had clients/ customers looking down on my profession, just because I'm a woman in my 20s. I was called the 'little girl' and received very little respect, especially from male figures.

 

 

How did you overcome it? Were there specific moments or decisions that helped you?

 

I got stronger (mentally). I also handled conversations professionally and set boundaries. I speak up when boundaries were crossed. So far I haven't had any terrible encounters, thank god.

 

 

What advice would you tell your younger self and the young women who are reading this?

 

It's okay to show people that we're not comfortable in gender discriminatory settings. Some may pass this off as a 'joke' as an excuse to bring us down.

 

We need to educate everyone about what we feel is not okay, and we need to speak up more often. Let people know we have a voice too.

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Thank you to all the women who answered our questions!

 

While there’s still a ways to go before we achieve equality, it feels hopeful to know that many women, while also standing up for themselves, have stood up for recognition, rights, and respect for all.

 

As Making HerStory concludes itself, and we hope that you feel encouraged to break out into the best version of yourself, and live an amazing story that is yours to tell. 

 

Do you have an inspiring story you’d like to share? Tell us in the comments below!

 

Thank you to Chee Zhen for the writeup!

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