This International Woman’s Day (IWD), we speak to three women behind Storefriendly regarding their thoughts on embracing equity (theme for IWD 2023), their impetuses in overcoming challenges and juggling between work and family commitments.
Meet Siti (ST), Wuan Yee (WY) and Celestyn (CT).
Q: Tell us a little about yourself
SY: Hello! My name is Siti Ali, Assistant Site Manager overseeing the branches in Storefriendly Singapore within the western region. I have a 13 year old son.
WY: My name is Wuan Yee and I am a single mother of 2 lovely children – 3 and 6 years old. I have been with Storefriendly for almost 2 years as a Senior Operations Executive.
CT: My name is Celestyn, mother of a 6 year-old playful boy. I’m also a Sales Executive at Storefriendly.
Q: What do you do on a daily basis at work?
ST: My job entails keeping the branches in the west region running well, ensuring that basic facilities (lights, air-conditions are maintained and generally ensuring all and fellow colleagues are running well)
WY: Technically bau-ga-liao (hokkien dialect for doing everything) where I deal with administrative work, sales, billing etc. as Team Supervisor. I will soon be moving over to a new department as a Senior, to focus on building the billing team with a colleague that has joined us recently. We will be engaging our customers by extending their storage contracts, and by advising them about payment matters.
CT: I attend to daily enquiries on a variety of platforms by providing ideas and solutions to customers with decluttering and storage issues. I strive to maintain a high level of customer service and to resolve customers woes efficiently.
Q: How did you end up joining the storage industry, and what made you decide to join the industry?
ST: After a visit to a storage facility at Kallang in 2013, I was intrigued by the maze of endless number of storage units and wondered what people were keeping in these units. As I was a new mom at that time returning to the workforce, I wanted to try working in a new industry; and so decided to try my luck and sent my resume to the nearest storage facility to where I was staying at that time (Bukit Batok). I received a reply for interview not long after. The rest is history.
WY: A recruit agent contacted me via LinkedIn, I wasn’t actively finding a new job as I should be. I thought “Hey, why not give it a shot and find out about this job and industry.” I didn’t know what other jobs I might take interest in as I have been in the hospitality line for almost 6 years since I last graduated from my Polytechnic education. This role met my requirements of being in an office environment with a stable income and some job flexibility. I decided to take up the job despite starting out with little knowledge in this industry. Here I am, doing fine and going strong after 2 years.
CT: I was initially contacted by an agent and coincidentally, I was looking for a full-time job within office hours. I worked as a retail service personnel for almost 17 years, and I love to interact with people from all walks of life. I ended up turning down an offer from a shipping company and – here I am!
Q: In view of International Women’s Month, what do you think is the most effective way to counteract the negative stereotype of feminism?
ST: As women, we should understand and sense when we are required to “double up” in situations when there is a need to, without forcing the ‘feminist card’ down people’s throats. By doing so, we will gain the respect of our male peers. We should use our strengths to complement the opposite gender; and not oppose or challenge it. Ultimately our aim is to co-exist and live in harmony; and live our best life!
WY: Life is never fair. Choose to prove to yourself and to the people around you that you are able to overcome life’s curveballs, and to accomplish tasks just like them. You may not be able to succeed today, but if you persevere long enough, you might surprise yourself and the people around you.
CT: I feel that speaking up with confidence and being firm on one’s beliefs can be one of the most effective ways. A lot of people might think that most women are indecisive and cannot make good decisions. However, I think otherwise. Women can also react/ decide on matters swiftly and accurately. Most women will strive to do our best to prove our worth and our decision-making abilities.
Q: What do you hope to achieve for women all over the world, if it is in your power to do so?
ST: If is in my power, I would ensure that all women have equal opportunities as men in employment. I also hope that more women would consider logistics as an industry that they would want to work in!
WY: I would like to help women to embrace their flaws, and to realise that beauty comes in different shapes and sizes. I would like to provide training sessions for women to have skillsets that are made available to men.
CT: I would like to ensure that all women have the capability to make a living, to live the life they deserve, and to hold their head high without having to rely on men to provide for them.
Q: Complete the sentence – When the going gets tough, the tough _______________
ST: When the tough gets going, the tough puts on music! I listen to a varied playlist on my headphones to psych myself up for work each day, and there’s nothing quite like music to ‘soothe the savage beast’ or so they say…
WY: When the tough gets going, the going gets easier and better with each try.
CT: When the tough gets going, this just means that I will see better days ahead!