Senior Director and Assistant General Counsel
LEADERS Worth Watching
Empowering the Next Generation of Asian Leaders
Education: BS, political science, Yale University; JD, University of Michigan Law School Company Name: TransUnion Industry: Information Services and Technology Company CEO: Chris Cartwright Company Headquarters Location: Chicago, Illinois Number of Employees: 10,100 Words you live by: Do good, give back and pay it forward. Who is your personal hero? Senator Mazie Hirono What book are you reading? The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias by Dolly Chugh What was your first job: Neighborhood babysitter Favorite charity: Greater Chicago Legal Clinic; Heartland Animal Shelter Interests: Tennis and travel Family: I love being auntie to my 2 young nephews who live near me.
2022 Second Quarter
How we choose to empower the next generation of Asian leaders is important, and something that means a great deal to me personally and professionally. In my experience, one simple way to support young professionals is through mentorship. Opportunities for one-on-one time—whether through an open door policy, a brief chat over coffee, or even ongoing coaching— can offer the next generation a unique chance to learn and to enhance their business acumen. For young Asian professionals, it’s especially beneficial to build these types of relationships with Asian leaders in similar fields. I have found that having mentors with similar identities or experiences to yours can show young professionals what leadership looks like, and foster a more inclusive environment in which to ask candid questions and advance career goals. I always enjoy connecting with up-and-coming Asian professionals, both within my company and in other companies and law firms. Just as essential is creating opportunities for connections between young professionals, which is something we as leaders can promote and make more accessible. The workplace has shifted considerably over the past two years, and it can be easy to overlook the value of daily in-person social interactions we used to leverage for networking. For those who work remotely, stopping by a colleague’s desk to ask a question has become an instant message without any face-to-face interaction. This may be a challenge for networking, but it’s also a unique opportunity for us to lead by example. We can encourage virtual connection in new and unique ways, including with the help of associate communities like employee resource groups, and informal and formal opportunities to connect and mentor. It’s up to us as leaders to use our positions to make them more visible. At my company, TransUnion, we’re working to make these support systems a reality for associates of Asian American and Pacific Islander heritage. For example, Pan-Asian Connect—our networking resource group promoting pan-Asian cultures inside TransUnion—is an excellent resource for camaraderie and networking. Pan-Asian Connect recently hosted a leadership panel for associates to learn firsthand from Asian leaders within our organization about their own career journeys, the state of Asian leadership at TransUnion, and more. This year, we also launched a training program to help our Asian associates enhance their management skills and build a foundational understanding of key business areas; I am proud to have been selected for the inaugural class. I feel supported in my role because our leadership is committed to taking action and making progress in support of our people and communities, as well as our enterprise Diversity, Equity & Inclusion goals.
Ann H. Chen