The physical and emotional effects of a miscarriage, advocating for paternity leave to become a norm, and having an empathetic and vulnerable leadership style. I talk to Sandra Ernst about being a working mum and responding to the challenges of pregnancy and motherhood.
Sandra Ernst has been working in C-level roles in fintech since 2016. Prior, she worked in finance roles across Central Europe and Malaysia. Now, she is a COO at Igloo, an insurtech company in Southeast Asia. Sandra opens up about the miscarriage she suffered from a few years back and how she bounced back. Today, she's a proud mom of a daughter, aged 21 months old.
Opening up to share with others about her miscarriage was tough on Sandra, as she originally believed in carrying a work-only personality. However, that changed when she decided to talk about her miscarriage at the workplace - what she calls “one of the best decisions”. The conversation was an encouragement to her colleagues, as much as they were an encouragement to her, enabling a more empathetic and vulnerable leadership style to take form.
Sandra believes that paternity leaves should become a norm. Working dads should be free to take paternity leave without fear of penalization or being questioned - it is after all, a step towards an equal footing between men and women in the workplace.
To get in touch with Sandra Ernst, find her on LinkedIn: https://sg.linkedin.com/in/sandraernst.
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Thanks for listening to the Parents in Tech podcast with me, your host, Qin En. We hope you were inspired on how to raise kids and build companies. To catch up on earlier episodes or stay updated with upcoming ones, head over to www. to join our community of parents in tech. There, you can also drop me a question, idea, feedback or suggestion. See you next time!
Qin En 0:07
Hi, I am Qin En. And this is the Parents in Tech podcast.
Welcome to Season One, where we interview moms, who are technology company leaders based in Southeast Asia. We want to hear stories, hopes, challenges, and tips from moms who are raising kids while pursuing their career aspirations. In this episode, we speak to Sandra, Chief Operating Officer at Igloo, an insurtech company. Sandra has been working in C-level roles in fintech since 2016. Prior, she worked in finance in Central Europe and Malaysia. Sandra opens up about her miscarriage she suffered from a few years back, and how she bounced back. Today, she is a proud mum of a daughter aged 21 months old.
Qin En 1:04
Hey, Sandra, welcome to the Parents in Tech podcast. To begin with, could you tell us a bit more about your family?
Hi there. Thanks a lot for having me. So my family is currently me, my husband, Ashwin, and our daughter Anoki, who is 20 months old now.
Qin En 1:22
That's wonderful. So, tell us a bit more about what you do at work and when your daughter, let's say grows up in the next couple of years, how would you explain your job to her?
So I'm a COO at eClincher, which is an InsureTech company based in Singapore with offices across the region. So we're currently in most of the Southeast Asian markets and also in China.
How would I explain it to my daughter? So right now the good thing is I just have to say I have to work and she sees me on my computer and she wants to see me sometimes when I have meetings, but I don't have to explain more.
I guess I would explain it to her is aiming to provide protection and peace of mind to people across Southeast Asia. But the moment I say that I think she wouldn't understand that. Probably have a couple of more years to figure that out.
Qin En 2:22
Yes, this is like a dry rehearsal and then not to worry, you still have plenty of time.
So maybe Sandra, take us back to the time when you and your husband were thinking about having children. When was that? What do conversations look like?
So, we met when we were both in our twenties still. And I think for me, it was always something that I was considering in my thirties and I was feeling, I had plenty of time, nothing to worry about. Nothing to rush.
I think for him, it was interesting. He was always very different, he would have started sooner rather than later, but I guess that's also where the difference comes in. I was really worried about, you know, how it will affect my career. I didn't feel like I was in a position yet to take time to have a family, I was very worried about that.
And for him, it was a bit like we will wing it. Don't worry. All good. So we waited about five or six years after we met, 'til we settled down, till I started to seriously consider it. I mean I also thought. " Okay. Now, when you work in startups when you work in tech companies, that will ultimately never be the right time."
Qin En 3:26
Like, he will never be like, "Hey, if you want to have both a career and a family, now is a perfect time. It's likely not going to happen." So at some point, I was just, okay, we will figure it out. We are both in a place in our careers that at least we are more comfortable with who we are very awry, know a bit more what we want, so let's do it.
So, we started trying about three years ago, I think? A bit less, maybe initially, also immediately happened. Okay. Now let's figure out how we do it.
Qin En 4:15
Got it. Got it. So that sounds like something very interesting because when you're younger earlier in your career, there's always that ambition to want to achieve something.
So maybe talk me through a bit about what were the thoughts you had at that point, the trade-off, the thoughts of waiting a bit longer before you started a family then, and also what changed that led you to that realization that it's not going to slow down.
When I started working, when I was very young, I went through the German etiquette vocational training system, which means I started working in banking when I had just turned 16.
And I think throughout that whole time, it was always very obvious that at entry-level, there were the same amount of women as men. Like there was no question that, you know, none of us felt discriminated against. So it was just like, "Hey, we are all young and smart and we want to work and we are good at school and our job."
And the more you looked up, the senior management team, the more or less, what is changing what's happening. And one of the key changes that happened in the bank in whichever org, but then also when I looked around and I looked at other companies was the moment the women got pregnant, they would take time out.
And then when they came back, suddenly they had boring roles. Like in Germany, you can't, there's some legal protection around it. So you have a job when you come back, but you don't have the job. You probably won't have anymore. Get fell a bit like women after that were sidelined. I think that was 20 plus years ago, moving fast forward to now, some things have changed.
I think also the fact that we are having this conversation is great and shows that things are changing, but a lot of us still are facing that or have dealt with it in our previous careers. And it's often something that some companies are probably amazing at offering. Helping parents, fathers, and moms to have it both, but most companies I think are still struggling.
And when you go to events, which are about women at work, a lot of it is about work-life balance. It's not so much about work-life balance. It's also about enabling women when they're back in the office to feel like they're welcome. And I don't want to always ask about flexible work, fortunately, with COVID it is a given now.
So we don't have to even worry about that anymore, but it's about much more. So I think that was always a worry, and then it was also working in jobs in which you have a lot of business meetings. You're working a lot with clients, with customers that once you are pregnant, it's obvious that you're pregnant.
You can only hide it for a couple of months. What if they perceive me as the pregnant one going forward, it's always very obvious. If you're a guy, you never have to worry about that. One potentially knows that you're going to be a father until you're tired at work, you show up. But there was always that worry.
So I can't point it to something more of a failure was just like those surroundings and how it seemed to have influenced other women in the past.
Qin En 7:32
Absolutely. And I think that's the real struggle. So, perhaps from the time that you were in college or university until now, can you describe one change that has happened that you think is worth celebrating and perhaps one change that has yet to happen and we need to start to make it happen?
So, I think one change worth celebrating is probably that you do have much more role models in the industries and also through social media. You can see them. Like they don't have to live next to you or be in the same town for you to know them, but they might be on LinkedIn. They might be at conferences, you attend, or you bump into them at work.
So I feel like they're still rare. It's still, especially when you work in FinTech and insure tech, the majority of meetings are likely you're going to be the only woman. It's not uncommon, but it's happening much more now. So I think that, and then also, it is okay to talk about being a working mom or a working parent.
And I think also fathers talking about that, which is why I love your podcast, because I think that's a big change, right? It's not only about women talking about being moms and how great it is, how they're combining it, but it's also about dads talking about equally how they are doing it.
Qin En 8:54
Gotcha. So that's one thing that I think has changed, the increase in conversations, the increase in awareness.
Now, what is one change that hasn't happened, but needs to happen?
I think just the fact that it's still something that you shall do, that you are still celebrating like international women's day, like yesterday, this big celebration. And then a lot of companies are posting a lot of LinkedIn posts. And like I said, I think some companies walk the talk. And then a lot of companies are probably like, it's just that one great day. And the nice event, some flowers,
Qin En 9:30
Yeah. But you look at the senior management team or you look at them the rest of the year and you just don't feel like they are serious about it. And still, like I said when I go to panels of, when I attended previous events on that topic, what frustrated me most of the time was companies talking about how important it was to them.
But then in most cases, not a senior male management team member had taken paternity leave. And it's like, it will always be that man versus women, it'll always be that women who want kids will at some point be out for a couple of months, men won't. So as a company or as a manager, it will be in the back of your head, unconscious bias, if I hire a woman who might potentially get pregnant while she leaves for a couple of months. And I think that's something that I've recently seen at, not sure, one of the big consulting companies, the CEOs I think posted a post on how he wished he had taken that paternity leave when his kids were born and how you would do it now.
And this acknowledgment is how you can lead and how you can show that parenting is both parents. It's not only a woman's thing.
Qin En 10:47
A hundred percent agree. And I sort of even went through the journey myself less than two years ago when I was getting ready to welcome a daughter into the world. The first thing that came to mind was maybe I shouldn't take my paternity leave so that I can show that I'm committed to being a better president at work. I ended up taking debt and more so that would be the best decision ever, but I think, yeah, essentially you touched on something that's really, I think on the point that there's one set of companies or practices that rather say that, "Oh, you know, we support working moms" and of course, the laws protected such that, you can penalize them.
But then if you come back, do you think about the opportunities that are given how promotions are done? Almost like the softer stuff, the stuff that the knock-on cover. Yeah. There are still many companies that I think still need to cross that gap and walk the talk. So yeah, I think absolutely. You're right. So I'm curious, what are some ideas on what can be done to really stir this change and accelerate it faster for our daughters, hopefully when they grow up, enter the workplace, this is less of a problem.
Yeah. So I mean very personal opinion, but also from what I felt would have helped myself colleagues that I've worked within the past. But I think that paternity leave thing, companies standardizing some minimum paternity leave. It's just something basic. And it's just something that if you do that, it's fewer men versus women.
So for me, paternity leave and enabling it and also, having a culture where it's then also kind of expected. You shouldn't have even questioned. Should I take it or not? Because hopefully in 5 or 10 years, there will be some senior team members and you will be that person, but you are already sorry, but the young people will even look up to more to be okay.
Who has taken it? And then as, Hey, some people have taken it and brilliant, and they have not been penalized for it. And they showed that this is how it should be. And I think that's important because right now, it's not done in a lot of cases. So that is one thing than allowing women to– I think I listened to one of your previous podcasts of one of her ex-colleagues at McKinsey, digital, sorry, at BCG digital ventures. Having a consultant who helps you figure out how to leave for a couple of months and then how to come back.
And of course, you could say, if you want kids, figure it out, but then if you offer that as a company, it just shows that you're committed to helping. And it's ultimately probably not a big expense for a company, but a massive difference for perception and for a woman in that situation. And it's always hard to admit that you are vulnerable or that you're scared about something or that you're not 100% sure how to manage things, but having a kid is a massive change in your life, especially if, so far, you have never had to compromise. You could just take on any work assignment, you could travel anywhere. You never had to think about that. It was like, okay, there's more work coming in. I just take it on. And then suddenly you become a parent, and there are opportunity costs to that. Should I do that? Is it worth it?
And which is also great because you're starting to question things. So that helping moment to ease out and ease back in and then just unconscious bias. I think that's one of the great things that have happened to more and more companies offering it. You can read about it, but there's still so much, every single one, including myself, I sometimes feel like, oh, did I just think that? And I'm like, all of us have grown up in a world where it was not normal and we probably all had some kind of thoughts of, "Yeah. But it's also a women's thing to figure it out. We have to figure it out. So training on that awareness around that and being open at the senior management team needs to understand that.
You need to become more sensitive to it and understand that this is happening on a day-to-day basis.
Qin En 14:50
Yeah, absolutely. I think all these points that you mentioned, Sandra, I think it's so pertinent and hopefully, we'll see that becoming a lot more widespread. I think there are leaders and the early adopters were in technology so there's the life cycle curve, but hopefully, it can get to the majority quickly.
Now, I'm going to shift gears a bit back because as I came across, one of your LinkedIn posts that you previously opened up and shared about the challenging pregnancy that you have, perhaps, could you tell us a bit more about that experience and what happened?
Yeah, so, as I said, in our twenties, I always saw like of all the time in the world. It doesn't have to be now. And then maybe when we were in our thirties and we decided to try for a kid and then it initially happened very, very quickly and then we were happy and it was okay. Let's prepare for it. And great. And you assume that I assumed, everything is going to be all right.
I never had many people in my inner circle of friends or also people that I knew that had experienced a miscarriage. So it was just something that I didn't worry about. And then I had a miscarriage and it came quite unexpected and I had not prepared for it at all, because I just assumed that everything would be okay with the pregnancy.
And I realized what, not only is it mentally really tough, but it's also physically tough. So I had to decide, okay, I need a reason at work. Because I can't go to the office. The doctor also said it's going to take a week or so. No office pre-COVID. So it's not home office was normal and you could just be working from home for a bed.
So it was the choice between coming up with a reason or lie or being open about it and saying, "Listen, guys, this has happened. I'm not well." I mean, I continued working at home because I was also like, "I need to show that I'm working." And it also helped me because otherwise, I would have obsessed about things because I started Googling and I was like, "Oh God, what is going to happen? And what does that mean for how easy it will be to have kids?"
So I then decided to open up at work and to tell my team. And it was one of the best decisions of my career, probably because I started to accept as well that I always believed in that idea of having a kind of a work personality. And then you have your private things and you'll keep them separate because you shouldn't be too vulnerable at work.
I'm glad I did it because a couple of colleagues reached out to me and they shared similar experiences that were also very tragic and much more tragic probably than my own. And I realized that I never knew that. And I don't know, they probably also never told me. Didn't feel comfortable. I always thought it wasn't something to talk about at work.
So I felt bad that they couldn't share that. And they had a really hard time in their personal life. So it was a good decision that I did.
Qin En 17:54
And thanks for sharing that. But Sandra, could we go back to also talk a bit more about how you've dealt with the mental and emotional challenges of going through a miscarriage? It's something that we all know it's there, but I think perhaps if you could give a bit of color as to what the struggles were, and of course, how you eventually overcame and dealt with them.
Yeah. The first thing, which hit me hard was that it was in, I think the end of week eight or the beginning of week nine that I miscarried. So when you are a parent, you know how tiny babies at that point are, and I never assumed that physically it would be that would be contractions or a painful process, but it was actually, and it hit me hard that for a week, there were contractions that I had to go through.
Everything hurts every time I move. Everything just seemed to be sore. So that was unexpected. And that's what I'm saying. A lot of women, probably pre-COVID. I don't know if they just went to the office. Or if there are made up excuses, when that happened, I'm like, this is so terrible because it was really bad, which is why we need to speak about these things because no one should have to drag themselves to an office, or if they don't work in an office even worse, if they have some job where they can't sit down at a desk at least. So that was tough.
I had the advantage when I was at home. I was in my bed. I was on the sofa. My husband was there, so I was taken care of, and that helped a lot mentally. Then I started to wonder suddenly it was okay. Did we wait too long? Is it an age thing? And then I Googled statistics and I was okay, what is the percentage of miscarriages in general? What is it when you are past your twenties and your thirties? What is the risk? Does it affect the second pregnancy? And that's also not a very healthy initiative. Sometimes it's better to not Google because then you start obsessing. But then suddenly I became worried.
Right. And my doctor, fortunately, he was very doesn't mean anything that happens. Just try it.
Qin En 20:01
And it's not your fault. Sorry. I just got to ask that. Did you go through that phase where you started to analyze everything that happened?
Sandra 20:07 Yeah, of course, of course. I mean, I had taken a flight home. It was Christmas time, so I was on two long-haul flights.
I just got back the next day, the pain started and then the bleeding started another day after that I was, oh my God, what if? So yeah. So you try to find a reason to try to analyze everything. Was it because I was working so much? Was it because of the stress? Was it because of something I did? And then, like I said, was it generally because of age?
So you get into that unhealthy cycle of just questioning everything. And then my doctor always said he was like, just relax and it's all good. And it can happen again next month or so, but then for the next couple of months, I was being very relaxed about all of it. I mean, like I have all the time in the world and I've seen it with other women who are older than me, no issue, whatever to, oh my God.
And then my husband was sent to Germany for work. Berlin, two different continents. And I started flying to Germany once a month, which was also great because it was summertime and Munich. And Oktoberfest time in the end. And then a couple of months later, it happened again and I got pregnant again, and fortunately, everything was great and our daughter is healthy and I'm back to, okay, it's all-natural.
It's like our bodies are meant to go through it. Of course, there are cases where it's harder and we were also lucky, but I'm glad that that level of stress has subsided then.
Qin En 21:44
That's wonderful. And I'm so glad to hear. So perhaps just going back a bit also, after going through that very difficult experience, looking back, what was perhaps one thing that you did, or someone helped that made a difference?
Essentially, if there's a piece of advice that you can go through with, let's say a parent who unfortunately is going through that very same challenge of a miscarriage. What would you say to both the husband and the wife?
I think what helped are friends or colleagues who have sent their wishes. We have your back, take your time and let us know in case we can help or they came over and hugged you. But then I also didn't question too much unless I started talking about it, and they were just there. And then I think very often it's meant in a good way, but what didn't help in that situation were people who were like, "It wasn't probably meant to be. Probably for the best. It's okay, you can try again. And that I was, I know they mean well, but just at that moment, it doesn't help.
Qin En 22:55
Right? Wait. So, Sandra, this is impactful and powerful. And even as for me to learn how to support people who might be going through that process, whether it's our partners or even friends who go through.
So what was the difference between the more helpful friends versus those who had the same intentions, but I didn't come across in the right way?
I think that the more helpful ones, really they were just the ones that showed that they were there, but without saying too much, right?
Unless you have been through it, you just don't know. And it's one of these things, which it's like, I would never have understood it. Yeah, it was always the first trimester. How close can you be to that baby? It has only been in your belly for a couple of weeks. Yeah. That's the normal kind of like once I read the statistics, then I realized that's what a lot of people think.
But at the moment you are pregnant, your life changes. You're preparing to have a baby. You just want to protect this tiny human being inside you. And it doesn't matter whether you were, or it does matter of course, whether it's a week or five weeks or five months, that you have prepared for that. But a couple of weeks of bonding with that and preparing for it is already enough.
So I would never have before I went through it, I just said no idea. This is how it is. So I think the ones that just didn't presume too much and just, we are there, it's clear to us what we can do, they were the most helpful.
Qin En 23:32
Got it, got it. Thank you for that, Sandra. I think this is extremely, extremely powerful coming from you.
And I hope that also this benefits our audience, learning how we can be there as a friend, as a family member of someone who might have been through that challenge. So, how did this whole experience shape when you entered your second pregnancy? And that led to, of course, a much positive outcome, but how did it shape you as a parent-to-be and a parent?
Then? When will I get pregnant again? I think the first time we started trying and it was just, okay, let's start trying and then got pregnant. And you immediately, as I said, he looked forward to it and you're excited, but at the same time, I was always like, whoa, so fast. Okay. Let me get used to all of that.
I think then after the miscarriage, I was like, no, this is really what I wanted. And I wanted to, now there's no out. So when I got pregnant again, it was just absolute joy and just like that. Okay. Let me relax now again, I looked at the statistics, but I also sent it to my doctor a lot and he was like, “Just relax.”
There's nothing that indicates that anything medically is wrong, everything looks great, and don't worry. And I also had, at that point, then pretty severe pregnancy nausea. So I also felt like, okay, it was as annoying as it is as terrible as it is for a couple of months because you feel like you're hungover for months. And there's nothing that helps, but at the same time, it also was something, it looks like the baby is going strong and very healthy.
So then basically it just felt like it's right. And I will figure it out. And strangely, I think I've worried, but I still worried a lot in the first trimester because I was counting weeks and I was like, okay, last time I had the miscarriage, it wasn't week nine.
So let me get through that. And then I had a because a couple of colleagues had shared a similar situation. So I had their date in mind, which was also worrying on the one hand. But on the other hand, strangely, I felt like the general worry was less. And I can't pinpoint why.
Qin En 26:39
Got it, interesting. Wow, thanks for sharing that.
I am so glad to hear that that brought out that resilience in you. It sounded like you weren't held back by that setback or having a miscarriage, but it was embracing the second pregnancy with excitement, with joy. Then of course, ultimately welcoming a wonderful girl into this world. So it's been 20 months, Sandra?
How have the past 20 months been as a mom? So maybe let me ask a more specific question. What's the best part about the past 20 months of being a mom?
Ah, let me think. So I think just seeing a human being that you are shaping or seeing like a completely dependent little human being grows into a little person and develops a character and humor.
Then also my husband is Indian and German, seeing who she is. Is there one that is coming after more or like she's constantly changing a bit? So we are always trying to figure it out. My husband always says, she's looking more like him. I always thought she's a complete mix. So just that joy of seeing her develop a character.
Qin En 27:47
Yeah, especially now she's probably starting to form sentences or at least speak words and be a lot more interactive. I think I remember the first six months. So for me, it was very much, just caregiving. I didn't feel like a parent. It's just, you just got to tend to the needs of feeding, changing diapers and all, but as they start to learn and interact, it's a lot more, sorry, you mentioned an interesting point.
So this whole idea of cross-cultural parenting. So over the past 20 years, what were some of the differences in parenting styles that you and your husband realized that you had?
I think quite a few, but I'm just trying to, okay. So I think the first one is I'm very specific when it comes to certain things that I read about, like in terms of how long she should be purely breastfed and then start solids.
And then what about giving her sugar or no sugar and these things. The first time when he has ice creams, I was like, can I give her some, some of this, some of that, and no, I don't know circumstances, but he is very particular even now that she's 20 months old, which is interesting about starting to think about schooling and I'm like, "She's 20 months, we will put in a nursery soon," but my preference, it has to be close.
Ideally, some of her friends are there. It should be like a relaxed nursery, but it's more around her playing and being a child. And I think the husband is thinking about all the best schools that Singapore has to offer and should be trying to sign our study, sign up for it now. And it's already too late.
She's already 20 months old. Some of our friends are telling us, you should have signed up years ago.
Qin En 29:24
Get on those waiting lists or something.
So my husband is like, oh my God. And I'm like, if you care about it, that's on you. You do it. For me as a chairman, it's fine. She will be fine. She will get so much support from us as well. And we will find something, the right schooling for her, but she's just so young. Like I just don't think it will make a big difference right now.
That's my open end, but I know that my one is a very different month, but then at the same time, I do care tremendously about health insurance. The moment she was born, I signed up for proper health insurance like years ago. And my husband was, was one of the first few years of our relationship. One of the key points of concern where I was, are we on the same page in terms of risk-taking and whatever, because he just didn't have proper health insurance. It was all like, oh, I have my health insurance with my employers and I'm like, yeah, but if you leave, then you're switching health insurance. If you ever develop a chronic disease, you're not covered.
So I signed up for health insurance, the moment she was born or before already. And I was like, okay, a baby is coming in. What's the process? And that's very important for me covering space X and then the day-to-day, I think both of us are sometimes stricter and sometimes more relaxed. I love that she's wild and she's a bit of a rascal and so it's quite funny.
And both of us love that about her. So I think these are.
Qin En 30:51 Wow. I see the joy on your face. And it's something that I guess our audience can't see in the voice, but it's evident. So Sandra one child, are you got to stop there? What's the plan?
I grew up with two sisters. My husband is a single child, so we have had a lot of discussions about, for me, single child, no way.
So there has to be a second one. I think my husband would be okay with one, but yeah, I think so much work, but also so much fun.
Qin En 31:26
Absolutely. I think parenting it's one of those things that, as you said, one, it's hard to describe it when you aren't one, you hear stories about it. I feel like more horror stories than anything, but it brings such an unspeakable joy that it's so different from work or career, right?
So over the past 20 months of being a parent, Sandra, how has parenthood also shaped the way you work and shaped the way you lead your teams at work?
Yeah, I think the first thing is being much more personal or being much more comfortable with having a more personal and vulnerable leadership style. Before I was always, not everyone likes that.
I think some people are like, you're oversharing. That's not something for work. Why is she talking about that? But I think what I realized was, it makes me much more authentic and I want to be able also to understand what my team is going through, because only if I know what they're going through, can I have their backs when needed?
And I can't expect them to share if they don't know anything about myself, then I think another lesson as well. And that was actually what I learned from someone in my team who had a baby much earlier than myself when she was still in her twenties. And she joined us being a new mom, or like, at that point, I think her daughter was one year old, but about radical prioritization.
She was great. And she was a motivator, but then she was also saying, Hey guys, is that meeting in the evening required? Or that additional work that you gave me, what is the priority versus all the other 5 or 10 things that I have? And I was like, I shouldn't have just winged it, just having so many different things.
And one thing I learned was it's one of them, the most productive person among everyone. All of us probably. And because she prioritized and she was voted by everyone in the company in year two or so, when she was with us as the best employee in the company, she was doing amazing work and everyone recognized that, but she also did not hesitate to push back.
And that was amazing. And that is what I learned from her. When I was looking at everything that I was working on, there were so many tasks I found, do they have an impact or should I do them? Or could we just hire a more junior person to take care of them, which would free up a lot of my time?
And then the tasks that didn't have an impact that we were just like, oh, we need to work on this or that question more, right? Like, why are we trying to do this? What is the outcome that we expect? So radical prioritization. And a more human or empathetic, authentic leadership style.
Qin En 34:17
Yeah. Wow. It sounds like that was quite a transformational shift.
And it's learning from other parents who have gone through that process. That's beautiful. Well, you've shared a lot of wisdom with us, Sandra, right? If I can just push and challenge to kind of wrap up today's conversation, what is one lesson you have learned as a parent in tech?
I think also radical prioritization and also that there will be times when you feel like you can do it all and everything is going amazing. And you feel like I'm a great mother and I'm great at work at what I'm doing. And then it's okay that you sometimes have times where the balance is a bit off or where you just feel like you need to rely more on your support network.
In Singapore, fortunately, most of us, a lot of us have our helpers, our nannies at home, which we have one that our daughter loves and she has so much fun with her and we trust her and I'm very happy that she's there. And the times I rely on her much more than I thought initially I bought when in the first couple of months I was like, everything has to be me because I'm the best person to know what she needs.
And now I'm like, it's totally fine that he has more people around her that she's comfortable with. So that as well, rely on your network, on your support network.
Qin En 35:38
That's beautiful. Build a team and rely on them and trust and empower them to do it. So very much at work and as a back at home. It's such a joy to talk to you today, Sandra, if some of our audience, especially moms would love to connect with you, how can they best do so?
I think LinkedIn is a great place to connect. I usually read messages, so just reach out.
Qin En 36:00
Sure. We'll do that. Well, thank you so much, Sandra, for joining us today at Parents in Tech. Such a pleasure to speak with you.
Thanks so much for having me. Thanks a lot.
Qin En 36:09
Thanks for listening to the Parents in Tech Podcast with me, your host, Qin En. We hope you were inspired on how to raise kids and build companies. To catch up on earlier episodes or stay updated with upcoming ones, head over to www.parents.fm to join a community of parents in tech. There, you can also drop me a question idea, feedback, or suggestion. Once again, the website it's www.parents.fm.
That's all for this episode, folks. See you next time.