Interviewed by: Justyna Kedra (email@example.com)
LOCATION: USA AND SAN MATEO
I am a Clinical Psychologist/Therapist of Color/Asian American Therapist, who provides high-quality counseling and psychotherapy to individuals in the Bay Area. I specialize in the treatment of Addictions, and social/relationship, cultural, career, and mood concerns, and work with special populations (e.g., Asian Americans, Blacks/African Americans, military veterans). I have the most “un-selfish-selfish job” because I am able to be a part of an individual’s transformational journey. There is still so much stigma surrounding seeking mental health treatment and some individuals who have difficulty seeking help, need a provider who understands their hesitation when coming to treatment.
Is it important to have mentors and mentor other people? Why?
Absolutely! Mentors have been integral to my career. My best mentors have been collaborative and willing to open doors for me to new opportunities, such as networking with other helpful professionals. There is also a positive psychological aspect of having someone believe in you, as demonstrated by putting their reputation on the line for you (e.g., introducing you to their mentors, colleagues). A mentor is a supportive guide to turn to when you feel lost; someone who offers his/her perspective to advance you towards your goals.
In return, being a mentor is a way to ‘pay it forward.’ When you invest in someone else and see them succeed/reach their goals even in the face of adversity, it changes that specific person and a great many others who this person interacts with.
Why do you think now is the time to be a female entrepreneur? Do you believe that times are changing for the better? Is it harder being a female entrepreneur or do you think it doesn’t really matter?
More and more strong, entrepreneurial women are sharing their voices/opinions, which pave the way for other women in business. My favorite quote from Kamala Harris (first female and mixed race Attorney General of California) via her mother, “You may be the first to do many things, but make sure you’re not the last.” Times are slowly changing for the better as more women and men advocate for equity. It is more difficult being a female entrepreneur because we are not members of the privileged majority nor are we necessarily seen as equals in the business world (e.g., equal pay is not a widespread policy). With that being said, I strongly believe that the more women embrace their authentic selves, strive to break barriers, assert themselves, and increasingly become represented in leadership roles, we are/will move towards equity.
Is it important to dream big? What is the big dream for your business?
Absolutely! I want my children to know that you can dream big and accomplish your goals as a strong woman! My big dream for my business is to work with Dr. Drew (just kidding)…Well that would actually be a dream come true…In essence, I would like to provide my perspective on a variety of psychological topics—I envision sitting on the show, Doctors where more information could be disseminated to encourage people to make changes, and to provide hope to marginalized individuals that help is out there. I would like to spread the main message that mental health is extremely important to overall health and wellness. We live in an interesting time where information is so easily accessible, but yet, talking about mental health in the media is oftentimes in response to tragedy. Talking about self-growth and/or preventative treatment (e.g., mindfulness and meditation) may benefit many lives, assisting people to manage stress and calm their minds in a hectic, fast-based world.
What does success mean to you? What does it mean to “be successful”? Can it ever be fully achieved or is it something that comes and goes?
Success is doing something that challenges me and provides me with the ability to provide for my family and enjoy leisure activities. Success is not a static, fixed-stated, but a continual process of meaning-making, learning, and self-confidence, even in the face of disappointment. It is the ability to elevate your knowledge, abilities, skills, and compassion towards self and others, in addition to mentoring others to strive towards self-growth.
Why do you think that female owned businesses are a VERY small percentage (that has not been growing) of businesses that get funded by venture capital? What can we do to change that?
For one, we need diversity among decision makers that reflect the growing demographic of female entrepreneurs; there are times when female entrepreneurs don’t ask for funding because they don’t see their identities represented among the funding source. This brings up the question, “Will my input be weighed with equal consideration to partners’ opinions? “ Furthermore, limited female venture capitalists/advocates of female owned businesses, may create a barrier to challenging the status quo.
Socio-culturally, many women are also sent messages that they may internalize—“be assertive, but not ‘bossy.’ If you are a successful business woman, you cannot have a family. If you have a family, you are not as ‘dedicated’ to those who are not primarily responsible for one’s family.” Furthermore, if funders covertly or overtly hold these views, this may lead a female-owned business to be rated less favorably than a male-owned business.
Change can take place, but it will not only require advocacy on the part of women, but from the majority as well, using their privilege to encourage and implement equity.