We celebrate #MothersinTech this May!

As we celebrate Mother’s Day this month, we have the honor of having these three inspiring women in the technology and innovation ecosystem share their views on managing motherhood and leading a career in technology startups. In this article, we hope to highlight their struggles, share some tips and tricks on how to make it work and debate on the definition of work-life balance.

(From left) Melisa Teoh, CMO of CXA Group which aspires to transform employee benefits in Asia by shifting spending from treatment to prevention; Ee-Leen Tan, Chief of Global Expansion of Ninja Van, a series B last-mile fulfillment tech startup; Karena Belin, Co-Founder of W Hub, an online community-based in Hong Kong that connects stakeholders in the startup ecosystem.

(From left) Melisa Teoh, CMO of CXA Group which aspires to transform employee benefits in Asia by shifting spending from treatment to prevention; Ee-Leen Tan, Chief of Global Expansion of Ninja Van, a series B last-mile fulfillment tech startup; Karena Belin, Co-Founder of W Hub, an online community-based in Hong Kong that connects stakeholders in the startup ecosystem.

Motherhood Versus A Career In Tech Startups

“Managing motherhood and a career is challenging in any business,” quoted Melisa when we asked about how different it is juggling motherhood and a career in tech startups as compared to corporate. She further explained that she has been fortunate to have great employers so far, so it has not been much of a difference. However, she acknowledges that startups are like newborn babies that fill you with excitement and anticipation but also demand persistent nurturing until they reach adulthood. The ability to experiment, innovate and move swiftly in startups can be addictive for people who enjoy the freedom to create and make an impact with their ingenuity. At CXA, health and wellness are a priority. Everyone is encouraged to set time aside for their personal wellness, and new moms are provided with a nursing room while parents are given the flexibility to work remotely when the need arises.


Working in startups is not all a bed of roses too. Hence, when we hear what Ee-Leen has to say about the work that comes with the flexibility, we can’t agree more.

Startups offer slightly more flexibility compared to corporates - It does not mean you work less (often it’s the opposite!) - but, it also means one can better manage one’s time
— Ee-Leen

Karena tells us that being her own boss gives her such a sense of purpose that she ends up with less time at home. However, with greater flexibility, she can choose moments where she can have higher quality time with the family and yet have the satisfaction of making an impact with her start-up.

Work And Family: How Do You And Your Spouse Make It Work?

Melisa shares that she and her husband work together to ensure that their priorities are met. They set aside family time to share daily experiences with each other. Throughout the week, they find opportunities to combine various strands of priorities to maximize their use of time. Here are some examples of how Melisa and her partner accomplish it: Use the first and last meals of the day as opportunities to connect with each other by learning through cooking or discussing different topics over meals, combine their exercising schedule with their daughter’s sports activities and lastly, create social events around shared interest with their daughter’s friends and parents.

Alternatively, you could rope in your parents or extended family to help with taking care of your children so it frees you up to concentrate on your career during working hours, knowing that your children are in safe hands. As Ee-Leen says,”any help from family is precious!”


Work-Life Balance - A Matter of Expectation

At ConnectOne, we believe that work-life balance is a matter of expectation and there is no single formula to having it all. The definition of quality and quantity between work and family is so diverse that what makes one mother ticks the box that she has great work-life balance may be frowned on by another. Our consultants have gone on long sabbaticals to see to family matters - and come back renewed and motivated to work hard!  We have a culture of ownership and encourage remote work as long as it helps us stay productive!  

Find your balance and stand with it. Find your song and sing it out. Find your cadence and let it appear like a dance. Find the questions that only you know how to ask and the answers that you are content to not know
— Mary Anne Radmacher

And finally, to the moms that are reading this… Thank you! We hope you have been inspired by our #MothersinTech who continue to work for something they genuinely care about while balancing the demands of a family.