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In our Diversity@NORMA series, we present the diversity of employees who work for NORMA Group. In 2021, the focus of the series is on female employees at NORMA Group. Female staff members from various departments and countries talk about their professional and personal experiences and provide insights into their wishes for the future.
KweeHua Tan is Vice President of HR for the Asia-Pacific region at NORMA Group. In this interview, she talks about her passion for her job, professional and private role models, and the importance of taking time for yourself.
KweeHua, which woman has had the greatest impact on you in your life?
My mother is the woman who has had the greatest influence on me in my life. She stopped working after her children were born and took care of us full time. She was very caring and raised us with a lot of love and warmth while my dad worked long hours to support the family. She gave us a wonderful childhood and now a very closely knitted family. And even today, she is an important pillar in my life. When my own children were still very small, she supported me in taking care of them. This allowed me to focus on my career without worrying about my young children.
Do you have professional role models?
My very first boss has always been a professional role model for me. She was my manager for 14 years in various roles, I learned so much from her which gave me a strong foundation as a HR professional. She was passionate about her job, set high standard for herself and her team. She shared her knowledge with me, provided opportunities for me to learn and develop in my career. I adopted many of her management practices and hope that my staff will also benefit from it. Today she is no longer my boss, but I am lucky to count her as one of my best friends. That is something I value very much: colleagues can become friends for life.
How important is your job to you and has anything changed socially during your professional career?
My job satisfies me personally as an individual. I enjoy working with people and being in HR gives me the opportunities to do so. I really appreciate the fact that I can influence the people agenda in my job and thus help the company move forward. Even after so many years, I get up every morning and look forward to getting to work and meeting my colleagues. I think that’s very important. We all spend so much time on our job. If at some point you no longer feel any enthusiasm for your job, if you have to struggle out of bed every morning to get to work, then it’s time to review if a change is needed to rejuvenate yourself. Life is too short to be unhappy.
A lot has changed socially around the world over the past few decades. Today we can talk openly about many things that only a few years ago were not discussed in public. I personally have never been discriminated against in my professional career because of my gender, my background, my race or my age. My goal is to make that possible for all of our employees. Diversity is not a disadvantage, but an advantage. We should make use of it and use our diversity to drive our company forward together.
What do you wish for the future?
My main wish is that the corona pandemic will end and that we can all return to a certain normality worldwide. But this crisis has also shown me what is really important in life: my family and all of us staying healthy. The pandemic has made me appreciate what I have in life even more. Professionally, I look forward to working with my colleagues to further advance the Asia-Pacific region and at the same time see them grow in their career together with the company.
Do you have any advice for women in general?
Yes. Don’t compare yourself to others because everyone has their own challenges to overcome. Be yourself, always do your best and don’t let anyone bring you down. We can achieve great things together. We women play so many roles – we are daughters, wives, mothers, subordinates and superiors – but we should not forget ourselves. We must take care of ourselves if we want to take care of others. Do what is good for you and enjoy your “me-time.”