At Oracle, we thrive on diversity. One of the many ways we nurture this fundamental value is through our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which connect the diverse and inclusive communities that make up who we are as a company. The Oracle Professional Asian Leadership (OPAL) group focuses on developing Asian employees and their leadership potential by increasing access to professional development, raising cultural awareness, and mentoring knowledge.
This May, during Asian American & Pacific Islanders Heritage Month, OPAL hosted a range of activities to celebrate their leaders and share inspiring stories across the community.
We’ve gathered for you some of the best advice OPAL members have shared as part of these activities. Check them out below and share any of your own reflections for the month in the comments section.
“Be your own best advocate” – Win Chang, Director, Oracle Cloud Customer Experience
As part of Oracle for nearly 30 years, Win Chang often dreamt of creating an organization focused on the Pan Asian community. In 2015, she made it a reality by creating the OPAL ERG to inspire unity and leadership through professional development, mentorship, and cultural awareness.
Today, OPAL has 22 communities with over 3,600+ members, so it may come as no surprise that Win’s best advice for others is to be your own best advocate. “As a Chinese woman, I often thought that if I continued to work hard, my boss would automatically know how hard I worked,” she says. “Later, I learned the art of sharing my success through storytelling. When providing updates to my manager, I would weave specific details of my contributions into my team’s success story. This is a great way to be self-sponsoring, without appearing self-promoting.”
“Share your heritage and support for others” – Sarah Chu, Program Solutions Manager, Manufacturing and Distribution
OPAL Communications Lead Sarah Chu, who is proudly half Filipino and half Chinese, has always sought opportunities that can help her learn more about other individuals’ cultures, as well as her own. “Being part of OPAL has been rewarding and gives me a platform to share pieces of my heritage with my colleagues,” she says. Bringing her dad’s dumplings and her auntie’s lumpia to the recent Lunar New Year Celebration allowed her to share a piece of heritage with her colleagues, and enjoy theirs.
While she values the cultural learning opportunities OPAL provides, its leadership practices, such as panels and mentorship programs, have also supported her personal development and growth. “I’ve been at Oracle for nearly seven years and I’ve found camaraderie and a mentor network through OPAL,” she explains. “For anyone who’s looking to feel more connected with their campus or peers, I recommend joining an ERG. It opens up valuable learning and professional opportunities. For individuals who feel comfortable in their career, it also provides an opportunity to mentor individuals who are looking to follow a similar career path.”
“Be inclusive yourself” – William Leong, Director of Strategic Initiatives, GBU Cloud Services
Bill Leong is first-generation, American-born Chinese. He’s a firm believer in paving the way for other immigrants who come to the United States—not just Asians. Through his passion, he volunteers and works with immigrants through the Asian American Civics Association. He’s currently working with immigrants from Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Asia. “You cannot wait for someone to lend a hand or to show you the way,” he says. “Often, you need to be active in being inclusive yourself. You need to reach out and be part of the bigger circle and make it diverse.”
Bill also offers career advice for succeeding in a constantly changing, technological world. “You can play many roles when it comes to your job,” he explains. “You can be the one who’s on the leading edge, learning new technologies and helping to pull others forward. You can be the subject-matter expert on older technology that is still needed to understand the how and why of what makes business work today, and to keep it functioning. You can be the bridge between new and old to help migrate to the new. If you do none of that, you’ll be on the outside looking in. We all go through phases of being in one of these groups—the trick is to not stay in one group permanently.”
“Don’t be afraid to speak up” – Bo English-Wiczling, Director of Program Management, Developer Tools and Integration
Bo English-Wiczling is a Korean-American. She’s from the first generation in her family to go to college—and “the first female in my entire family (immediate and extended) to have a job or career,” she adds. She knew early on that she wanted to have a career in technology, so she learned to code on her family’s first computer and started her career as a web developer in the mid-90s. Now the Director of Program Management, Developer Tools and Integration, Bo offers some words of wisdom to achieve your career goals.
“Don’t be afraid to speak up; let your opinions and success be known,” she says. “I know some folks feel very uncomfortable talking about their own success, but we must. We need to celebrate what we’ve accomplished and not be afraid to toot our own horn. If we don’t, who will? If there’s something that you feel very passionate about, speak up and share your opinion. If you don’t, that perspective may never be considered, when it could’ve been a great idea.”
Hear more insights and advice in the interview with Win Chang below.
How will you use our OPAL members’ advice to advance both personally and professionally? Let us know in the comments section! Once you do, head over to our Oracle Careers website to explore our available opportunities for talented self-starters like you. Create the future with us.