This month’s Member Spotlight

Vân Nguyen

December 2017

Manager Business Development, Consumer Goods & Retail Industry at EY and Vice Chair of the LEAD Marketing Committee

Can you tell us a bit about your background and your role?

I was born and raised in the Netherlands with parents from Vietnamese origin. I studied International Economics and International Business Administration at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam. After my studies, I started working at EY in 2013 in Business Development. In the past years I worked as account manager on several top focus clients of EY in CPG and retail.

Why are you passionate about the mission of the LEAD Network?

Even though we live in 2017, the gender (and diversity) gap still exists. Within EY we have many initiatives to promote women and I believe we are on the right track, but for (senior) management I still don’t see enough women who are involved. The numbers and many reports on gender gap show that an organization such as the LEAD Network is not only nice to have, but crucial.

The LEAD Network actively stirs up discussion on the topic, calls companies to action and gives leaders the tools to do it. I believe this is necessary to make businesses work better and have an equal playing field for men and women alike.

What have you triumphed over?

Growing up in an Asian household, my upbringing tended to focus on modesty. Promoting yourself was something that was not encouraged neither seen as a virtue. I’ve learned in the last few years that in a professional environment, it is ok (or even necessary) to stand up for yourself, celebrate your achievements (and learnings) and make it known to others. This is a trait often attributed to men,  however, I really believe that all women would benefit from being less shy about their achievements and personal development and express it more on the work floor.

What would you say would be one of your biggest professional failures?

The way I communicate and give feedback. I tend to give very honest and critical feedback which can sometimes be perceived as negative. I like working in an efficient way and sometimes prefer to disregard the process because it can slow things down or it doesn’t add enough value (in my perspective). Luckily my colleagues all have different communication styles and that has given me the opportunity to learn from their feedback and the way they do things how it can be done otherwise.  Having people around you who hold up the mirror from time to time is very important to continue to develop yourself and become better.