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KPMG hosts discussion on career choices for business women in Cambodia

Pang Socheneath

Audit, tax, corporate and advisory services firm KPMG Cambodia, the British Chamber of Commerce, and the Australian Chamber of Commerce have hosted a discussion centered on exploring career opportunities for business women in Cambodia.

The panel discussion featured three prominent women in Cambodia’s business community and included Managing Director of Seeva Capital Ms. Tean Ly, Partner at KPMG Cambodia Ms. So Dary and Co-Founder of Nom Nom Health Meals Ms. Irish Balute.

The event was moderated by Emerging Market Consulting Ms. Lisa Cheong and centered on showcasing the story each woman panelist had gone through to achieve their current career position.

Finding satisfaction in your career

Speaking to the audience which consisted of many leading women entrepreneurs and business leaders So Dary explained that while she had risen to Partner in a big four accounting firm – this had not always been her first choice of career.

“Being an author was originally my dream job – however after realizing my natural talent for mathematics and being convinced by my mother that accountancy would be a good fit I decided to look into the career,” Dary said.

“The more I have now been exposed to the world of accountancy the more it has become my dream job and I get genuine satisfaction from helping clients achieve their desired outcome – this is now my passion,” she added.

KPMG first entered the Cambodian market more than 27 years and recently inaugurated its new office at GIA Tower in Koh Pich.

Take risks and make mistakes

Ly Tean spoke about the need for young women in Cambodia to take risks and make mistakes before they fully commit to their chosen career explaining: “Take risks even when you make mistakes, because it will be the same mistakes you will make the next five years, so why not make and learn them now”.

Seeva Capital works with organizations to increase the level of women in business as well as push young female entrepreneurs, encouraging them to keep innovating and helping to break down biases and discrimination that they will face as women to reach their full potential.

Tean added that the first phase of running own business can be quite challenging as there can be many tasks and responsibilities to take. “Challenges and hardships are common at first when starting something new. Entry and first impressions are always hard,” she said.

Work 10 times harder

Irish Balute spoke about the need to work 10 times harder after being declined multiple times. “The biggest challenge I have found is that I am the only female Asian and I always get neglected; therefore, I need to work 10 times harder than my partner”, Irish said.

Nom Nom Phnom Penh is a healthy daily meal plan service in Phnom Penh. We offer a selection of low calorie, low carbs, high protein, paleo and keto meals.

Irish detailed three factors that she has learned throughout her career explained: “First, we cannot go anywhere without a good relationship, second is grit and third is passion.” In summary: “Life is short, just do what you love.”

The Cambodian government has earmarked the promotion of women entrepreneurs and leaders as part of achieving its national economic development goals.

Under the government’s fourth phase of the Rectangular Strategy for Employment Growth, Equity and Efficiency, the National Strategic Development Plan 2019-2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals of Cambodia aim to promote gender equality and empowerment of women in leadership roles.

Pang Socheneath is a Prince Foundation Young Business Journalist

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