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‘Passion and contribution’ key for sustainable career note top businesswomen

Pang Socheneath

Some of Cambodia’s top businesswomen have stressed passion, empowerment, and contribution to society are driving elements to a fulfilling and sustainable career journey.

The six guest speakers and moderator participated in the roundtable discussion all from various backgrounds and sectors including education, telecommunication, legal firm, agriculture, technology, and marketing. 

Women & Leadership: How to Choose the Right Career and Become a Leader in Your Field was hosted by American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia (AmCham) and held at The Atom.

The event aimed to provide useful insights from competent leaders to fellow entrepreneurs including how to prepare the soon-to-be high school and university graduates for major and career selection.

Passion and dream awareness were commonly raised in the discussion with younger women especially encouraged to listen to what they feel for the energy and passion required to keep going through their career paths. 

Lenen Mar Porras, Head of Marketing and Creative, Mega Asset Management and OCIC, stated that her passion has kept her courageous in her adventurous career journey.

Adding, that an expat she initially had to develop her support network as she first came to Cambodia without an already established community.

“The opportunities in your career are limitless, as long as you master courage and listen to what your heart tells you,” Lenen said. 

“We should all listen and take advice but we should not let others decide what we want,” Lenen added.

Lenen also mentioned a song titled “Your heart wants what it wants” to illustrate that people will eventually stick to their genuine passion and dreams.

Thida Sok, Campus Manager, Australian Centre of Education, described the fulfilling time in her career path from university lecturer to a manager in the educational institution, which was led by her passion for being an educator.

“My passion is to train up young people and teachers building more human resources for the society, so I feel like if I move further in the career ladder, I am going to stick with the field of education,” Thida said.

Another speaker, Nitikar Nith, Associate, Tilleke & Gibbins (Cambodia) talked about her discovering her early passion in the field of law after helping her father type complaint letters from a young age.

“I was passionate each time he [her father] had clients to visit him at home while I was sitting down to type a complaint letter and the clients asked me how much would I charge for that” Nitikar said.

Nitikar considered the question a compliment and was delighted by the remarks, responding to the clients, “Whatever you give me I would be happy to have since I was just helping my dad’s works”.

Pisey Sovan Tlang, CEO, Khmer Organic Cooperative also described her passion for doing business, despite her family background in the medical field and after enrolling in different sectors.

“It is important that you know what you want. To make it possible you need to keep drilling for that until you become specialized and competent in what you are doing.” Pisey added.

On top of being passionate, the willingness to support and contribute regardless of any particular field helps a business to grow inclusively and successfully.

Pisey decided to choose agriculture due to her passion for business and observation of the huge number of local farmers, cooperatives, and natural resources in supporting organic agriculture growth. 

“I see the opportunity that we can grow organically while there are fewer resources in neighboring countries. I would like to make it possible by introducing my business and financial management skills to bring family businesses to the next level.” Pisey added.

In addition, another two guest speakers, Rotha Chea and SreyMao Meanm have been helping the community by not just expanding business but by bringing and leveraging technology to the sector.

Ratha Chea, CEO & founder of Khmum Technology described that the main factor that has been motivating her career, is her passion and contribution to society.

“I love to solve other people’s problems using technology, especially women’s problems I wake up every day to be able to solve someone else’s problem,” Ratha said.

SreyMao Mean, Senior Payment Manager, Wing Bank Plc, stated her dream of developing an e-commerce platform in Cambodia and is now proud of how her company’s services can contribute to the community. 

“What I am doing motivates me because I think I can contribute something to my society,” Srey Mao said.

The services her company has been providing include the free-of-charge order and delivery service platform for sellers to run their business during the pandemic and direct money collection from suppliers.

Kim Tol Tan, Treasurer, AmCham Cambodia, has also mentioned the inclusive business model of not only for generating profits but to empower people in the community.

This year the AmCham is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Cambodia with over 150 members to date. 

Early this year, the chamber signed a joint work plan with the US Embassy of Phnom Penh as one of the fourth pillars of the joint work plan is supporting Cambodia’s female business in the community including increasing awareness and addressing gender disparity faced by women in businesses.

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