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Read about how Michelle Chui, Head of Government Relations for Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan, is using her experience to inspire the next generation of talent.
Michelle Chui has always been attracted to the novelty of her work. From working on poultry stall license disputes to anti-money laundering investigations, learn how her decision to follow her passion led her to PayPal, where she’s challenged to find innovative solutions.
Tell us more about yourself – what led to your arrival at PayPal, and what do you do here in the company?
In my role as Head of Government Relations, I collaborate with both internal and external stakeholders to shape policy developments in matters which are important to PayPal in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan.
I’m a lawyer by training. When I graduated from law school, I thought I would spend my entire career in litigation. Now looking back, I realize it has always been the novelty of my work that gives me the hyper focus I need to be successful. I moved from a position within the government to a role with Hong Kong’s banking regulator. My work has covered a spectrum of regulatory work, ranging from poultry stall license disputes to anti-money laundering investigations.
When I started thinking about my next career move, I knew it was time for me to make a big jump, not within public services, but a leap into the commercial world. In an increasingly digitalized world, fintech felt like one of the most creative industries to me. Two years later, I continue to be excited by the work I do at PayPal.
How does PayPal champion possibilities for you, and how do you try to champion possibilities for others?
At PayPal, there is trust and a great degree of autonomy to do what you think is best for the company and your personal career. Fintech innovation and its governing public policies are constantly evolving. However, when situations are ambiguous and there is no precedent, there is also room to innovate. We celebrate innovation at PayPal, and that motivates me to keep thinking outside the box when we face challenges. The formula for success is simple: the more attempts and the more collisions of thoughts that occur, the more unconventional results one may get.
I grew up listening to songs about girl power. While the world has changed a lot and there are more opportunities for women and girls, many are still constrained by gender stereotypes and expected to play traditional roles within society.
Together with other likeminded women in the digital space, I’m establishing a support network for females looking to explore and be involved with Web 3.0 (the next iteration of the internet). By working with teenage girls at the critical point where they are deciding which paths to follow in their education journey, we want to show them the possibilities that exist within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Through my own experiences, I hope to break the bias that STEM jobs are restrictive or inflexible. In fact, there is so much room for creativity – in fact creativity is often required for breakthroughs and innovation. While everyone’s journey may vary, girls and women should be encouraged to explore different paths before making a leap of faith to do what they believe in.
Supporting Women in Tech
Every year, thousands of employees worldwide give back to their communities through participation in events held by our PayPal Community Impact Teams, through global grantmaking and employee matching gifts, skills-based mentoring, and volunteering. In 2020, employees contributed a total of 51,200 hours to support charities around the world.
Today, it is estimated that only 1 in 5 people working in technology is a woman. As we move towards a more digital world, it is crucial to continue encouraging greater diversity in the industry so that women continue to have a voice and a hand in shaping our future.
According to The Asia Foundation, formal and informal networks play a pivotal role in helping girls and women enter and succeed in STEM fields. PayPal is passionate about supporting the next generation of women in STEM, while also providing engaging volunteer opportunities for our employees.