Update: Watch the FB Live replay here.
I’ll be sharing the virtual stage this coming Monday, International Women’s Day with Ahila Ganesan to talk about our own stories of overcoming challenges and how we chose to challenge norms, stereotypes and perceptions. Thank you to Lean In Penang Network for the kind invitation.
This won’t be about work or business; instead it will be about the women that we are, the issues we face as women and also the ways we’ve helped ourselves get better. Ahila and I found out that we studied at USM around the same time and we also uncovered a mutual friend who now resides in Germany. Having a common thread like coming from the same alma mater means we instantaneously understand where we come from, the perspective we are taking on.
And yet, I wouldn’t be so bold as to say that we share the same stories even if we did go to the same university. Ahila said that she was the only female Indian in her undergraduate architecture course and years later when she was asked to speak in USM, a young female Indian came up to her and said that she was also the sole female Indian in the present architecture course! And this was, as Ahila described, after a span of more than 20 years since she graduated? Did things remain unchanged?
So who is Ahila Ganesan? She is the Special Projects Lead in Think City with two decades of experience as a consultant architect as well as a leader in property development for Malaysian and International projects.
She is a professional architect by training, helming the northern regional office for some of the most prominent property developers in Malaysia; Sunway Property and Mah Sing Property. Her vast expertise includes strategic planning, business development, project management, marketing strategy and business strategy for multi-billion-dollar projects. Her current role leverages the close network built over the years to head the business and strategic planning for the Penang Bay project to develop a new economic zone for the Malaysian state of Penang.
She is a member of Lead Women whose mission to increase women representation on the boards of corporate Malaysia. She is also a member of the Institute of Corporate Directors Malaysia and a mentor for Lean In Penang. Most importantly, she is a mother of two young children and is struggling with the demands of online schooling and full-time work during this pandemic.
As for me, I’ll be talking about how I took last year’s pandemic as a challenge for me to get out of my comfort zone. For the longest time, I did a few videos here and there but I really didn’t feel that video was my platform. It came down to fear and how people would judge me. And yet last year, I told myself that I wanted to create something to help our clients get visible and that was how I started our Redbox Studio FB Live series, a twice a month live stream that is now very well-received!
Not only is it video but it is also live. These two factors shock a lot of people because they can’t see themselves doing either. I’m going to share how I overcame this fear and went ahead anyway.
While starting the FB Live series, I also started my podcast! And yet both are complementary forms of sharing stories and knowledge. But the podcast was technically more challenging as it wasn’t as easy as FB Live where a platform (FB) already existed.
So if this conversation intrigues you, join me and Ahila on this page as we get asked questions by Sarah Green. Sarah, who hails from the United Kingdom, is a member of Lean in for many years and helped to launch the Circles in Penang. She is married to a Penangite and lives here with her husband and son. Sarah is passionate about using technology to help enhance education and has recently been appointed as a Google Innovator. After being a teacher at St Christopher’s Primary International School for 7 years, Sarah took on the challenge of being Head of Juniors, a role she thoroughly enjoys.
Update: Watch the FB Live replay here.