Society Pass Reports That Its Women Leaders Are Accomplishing Big Things And Breaking Down Old Boundaries In Southeast Asia's Technology Sector

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In a traditionally male-dominated industry, one Singapore-based internet holding company says it looks to stand apart. 

More than 50% of Society Pass Inc.’s SOPA employees are women — including half of its senior executives, said Dennis Nguyen, the company’s Founder, Chairman and CEO.

Society Pass (SoPa) is a progressive company that values women’s contributions, Chief Operating Officer Pamela Aw-Young said. 

“It doesn’t feel any different to be a woman,” said Aw-Young, whose duties include managing the company’s human resources department, supply chain and vendor contracts. “We’re assessed based on our qualifications and contributions to the company. We’re not judged because of our gender.”

SoPa says its goal is to be the Inc. AMZN of Southeast Asia, where e-commerce is expected to total $89.67 billion in 2022 — an increase of $15.31 billion over last year. The region is expected to top the $100 billion mark by 2023, according to a report by Insider Intelligence.

With the acquisitions of Pushkart and Handycart, SoPa reports having more than 1.6 million registered consumers and 5,500 registered merchants and brands in its ecosystem.

Society Pass states that it leverages technology to tailor a more personalized experience for customers in Southeast Asia. The company offers six business-to-consumer e-commerce verticals: lifestyle, food and beverage delivery, travel, digital marketing, telecoms and food and beverage ordering.

Tech companies in Southeast Asia recently have a strong track record of hiring women — even better than many companies in developed countries. A 2020 study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority found that companies with more women in their workforces and leadership teams can often perform better than those that do not. 

Words Of Wisdom?

Arbie Pagdanganan, SoPa’s general manager in the Philippines and group vice president of product development, has words of wisdom for young women just embarking on their careers. 

First, find a community of women you can turn to for inspiration and advice. She also encourages women to be problem solvers — one of the most important skills anyone can have. She also says it’s important to view failures as a gift, learn from them and adjust your actions for the next time the situation arises. 

Most important, Pagdanganan said, is to speak up. 

“You’ve already earned a seat at the table, so if you have a point of view, speak up,” said Pagdanganan, who is responsible for the UI/UX design work of all business units’ websites and apps. 

Ngo Thi Cham, SoPa’s Vietnam general manager and Leflair chief operating officer, said the key to success is to find a career you’re passionate about and keep learning everything you can. 

“Never stop learning — from college, your boss or from books,” she said. “Always ask questions.”

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