International Women’s Day 2020 – Sheryl Ong

International Women’s Day, on the 8 March, provides Global Marine Group with the opportunity to celebrate the brilliant women who work for us through sharing their stories, while calling for greater equality.  Therefore we asked a series of questions to give us an insight into their challenges and achievements.

Sheryl is the Commercial Manager for Global Marine in Singapore. She started work for the business in April 2016 as a Proposal Engineer before being promoted to Commercial Manager. 

What were your challenges?

There are certain societal expectations and beliefs about women’s leadership/working abilities that exist since decades ago. However, I have come to realise that we need to be confident and assertive when dealing with matters, in order to gain recognition. The more a woman tries to shy away from a problem or confrontation, the more unlikely a woman gets anywhere. Challenges should be embraced with open arms and personally, the way I deal with such situations, is to always think from others’ points of views. Whilst balancing family and work is a challenge, it is not a challenge AT work. It is important to keep family and work matters separate, in order to achieve a favourable outcome.

What opportunities were you given, or made for yourself, and who helped you on your journey?

Thankfully, I had been given the opportunity to learn throughout my journey in my current company. Having a supportive line manager is extremely crucial and I am proud to say that my line manager is always there to mentor me when needed. At the same time, it is important to ensure our voices are heard. When asked for opinion, speak up. When not much guidance is given, do not just wait for things to happen. We need to be proactive and propose ideas. One thing I have learnt is to always try to come up with an answer for every problem.

What was your greatest achievement?

To be honest, what can be the greatest achievement for a woman with children? The fact that we gave birth to little humans is no mean feat. From here on, it is a juggling act at its best. My greatest achievement is to forge a strong bond with the people who work together with me. Only with a great team, can we achieve great things.

What do you hope for yourself and other women in the workplace in the future?

There are certain stereotypes of women that exists in this society. I wish for anyone out there to try and think that not all women act and behave the same. It always takes two hands to clap. Once anyone receives a positive feedback, one will automatically generate a positive response.