International Women’s Day: The 5 women who do it their way

Business, Clients, Spotlight

As we celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re shining a spotlight on five amazing women that GoGoX has the privilege to work with in different capacities. They come from diverse backgrounds and hold unique roles, but all share similar values. These women show up every day, giving it their all and are determined to make an impact. 

Enter the entrepreneurs 

Shirley Phua, Director of Nutrition Kitchen, comes from an entrepreneurial family. “I always liked running a business, or working in a business, so eventually I joined my family business. After 10 years, I thought that it was time to be my own boss.” To feed her entrepreneurial appetite, Shirley and her husband brought Nutrition Kitchen – a startup from Hong Kong offering tailored healthy meal plans – to Singapore. She now serves as a director in the business where she manages multiple aspects of the operations. Since 2021, GoGoX has been collaborating with Shirley and her team as Nutrition Kitchen’s logistics partner of choice.

The freedom to explore and assess opportunities is something that Norasikin Salleh, delivery-partner of GoGoX appreciates. “After working full time for so many years, I wanted to try working in my own time and hit my own targets,” says Norasikin. Upon assessing her options for her post-nine-to-five life, she chose to deliver with us in 2022. “The GoGoX app is easy to use and I’m able to keep a higher percentage of my delivery fare. The platform fee from GoGoX is not as much as other companies.” 

Being our best self

For the past six years, GoGoX has been the intra-city logistics partner of IKEA Singapore. During this time, Wendy Poh was already assembling a formidable career at the Swedish giant. Now in her 19th year with IKEA, she is the Store Manager of the Alexandra branch in Singapore. By taking the opportunity to hold different positions, she gained a breadth of experience across various functions in Malaysia and Singapore. “I’ve had the opportunity to apply for one job, explore it and assemble the rest of my career by applying for many other jobs in my 19 years here.”  

For Wendy, the “biggest challenge is to bring this diverse group together to keep the IKEA store operations humming along like a well-oiled machine, 365 days a year.” She acknowledges that she cannot do it alone and credits her amazing team for going above and beyond to ensure customer satisfaction and a safe shopping experience.

Overcome the overwhelming

Felicia Pang became a delivery-partner with GoGoX in April 2020 amid the uncertainty of a novel pandemic. “A friend told me to try it and I’ve been with GoGoX ever since,” she shares.

“If you’re thinking about becoming a delivery-partner already, just try it,” says Felicia, about quashing doubts in her mind. “Just do it,” she reiterates. Felicia admits, as a delivery-partner, there are times she needs to take into account her physical stature. “At times, the weight of the items can be a challenge.” With experience, she says, “I learned that communicating with the customer before pickup helps because I can plan properly.” 

Joey Pang, also a delivery-partner since December 2020, accepts the challenges. “Delivering in the rain is tough, especially when it rains so much in Singapore” she concedes. Though, she says it’s a small tradeoff to “be your own boss.”

Lead with heart 

Being a leader comes with a lot of responsibility and influence. A leader identifies the strengths and weaknesses of her team members and plots a path for them to reach their potential. 

In Wendy’s eyes, “as a leader, I understand that I set the tone and pace for my store team by creating a safe, non-judgmental environment for people to learn from their mistakes.” Wendy and her team embrace the IKEA philosophy of using mistakes as learning opportunities. This encourages continuous improvement and innovation. 

Early on, Shirley learned that others found her approachable, so she put her character to good use. Because others felt comfortable seeking her out, she made sure to build trust with those who approached her. She says of her trait that “it’s important to be approachable as a leader. People say I’m sincere and trustworthy, so it’s quite easy for people to share things with me, whether good or challenging.”

Simple acts of kindness

Felicia has many happy memories of delivery days. “I once had a delivery request to a customer who was having a party for their kids. They kindly gave me a goodie bag to bring home to my child. They gave me a pack of drinks to bring home as well. These things can make your day.”

Despite the challenges, Joey shares similar sentiments. We asked her, what makes her happy after a delivery? She replied simply, “when a customer says thank you and you can see how excited they are to get their items.”

To the aspiring women leaders

Shirley realises that today “we live in a world where a leader isn’t defined by gender” and, big or small, she played a part. “I’m not the type who enjoys the limelight, but because of who I am as a person and the values I practise I’ve become a leader.”

Wendy reminds us that there was a time when she thought that the idea of her being a leader seemed far-fetched. “I was sceptical about taking on the role of a store manager, but I had great mentors and leaders around me.” Those mentors guided her to her two key tenets of becoming a leader:

Believe in yourself – Recognise your worth and trust in your abilities.
Be authentic – Be true to yourself and lead with authenticity. Do not be discouraged by failure but use them as an opportunity to improve and be resilient.

Neither Shirley nor Wendy started their careers thinking about breaking barriers for women. In contrast, Norasikin, Felicia and Joey were aware that they were entering a male-dominated field as delivery-partners – every day that they deliver, they challenge the status quo. Wherever on the spectrum you find yourself, let the wisdom of Norasikin ring true, “don’t let others tell you that you can’t.”