Host Carole Murphy Interviews BEZALEL Spokesperson Senovia Han
Audio on Heart Stock here.
What’s your background? Tell us a little about your personal story, such as where you grew up and your education.
I was born in Incheon, South Korea, raised in the U.S. but still very bi-cultural; struggled through 2 very different cultures, 2 very different languages, 2 very different histories. My early childhood was in New York and later in Southern CA; went to college and grad school in CA & New York as well.
Were you encouraged as a child and do you feel like your parents raised you to be empowered as a woman?
There were serious challenges in my relationship w/ my parents (language difference for instance) as they were hard-working immigrant parents from Korea w/ standards & expectations from the Korean culture of their time.
Yet my father in particular, and interestingly, always empowered me as a female. He told me I needed to be a career woman, strong and powerful in the world to help the weak; that I must achieve high success so that I can help others. His goals for me were, in the end, quite philanthropic with a respectful acknowledgment of my gender.
What are some your greatest personal challenges and successes as a woman working in tech.?
I personally haven't worked in tech for a long time. But I know a girl who has, and she shared with me how a male engineer asked her some technical questions. After she responded, he said to her: “You got all the answers right, keep smiling,” and walked away. She felt this was a gender-discriminatory and stereotyping act.
With regards to my own personal challenges and successes, I'd be glad to share at another time (when we have more time.)
What kind of advice do you have for young girls who want to pursue careers in tech.
Don't be afraid! Take risks! Go on adventures! Have faith! Just like anything else; if you want to achieve excellence or just achieve something, there will be resistance in some shape or form; and ultimately, overcoming resistance from within will make overcoming any outside struggles easier, rewarding, and even fun.
I also think it's important for young girls to have great role models or figures they can look up to. For me, it was Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to hold office in the U.S. Supreme Court. But I noticed that as a Caucasian woman, she was not in the same minority category as the colored woman.
I’d love to hear more about the development in Bezalel and what you're currently doing with the company. How do the founders embrace women and gender equity?
We’re currently at an exciting period of the company’s growth. We’re coming out with new and updated versions of current products; new Latitude cases, new magnetic cases for iPhone 8 & iPhone X, and a new Futura X .
We also have a new high-budget commercial currently being filmed and are expecting marvelous things in terms of online traffic and media exposure.
Our CEO, Frank Wu, is himself an immigrant from Taiwan and embraces all identities. Our core team is mostly women and they have rich cultural backgrounds in Taiwan. We also have a Latino-American male and Taiwanese males on our core team; and Frank is always working closely with key men and women who are African-American, Middle Eastern, and Caucasian.
What is the greatest contribution that women have to make? What is our greatest impact today as the business world becomes more and more tech oriented?
One of the ways women can make great contributions is just to be unceasingly positive as they work towards their goals; and to keep their focus on big-picture things like their purpose as they move forward--even if they're not on a pre-conceived path, or if they make tons of mistakes. I think women are excellent at adapting to different environments, learning new things, and overcoming many different challenges.
Our greatest impact for a world that’s becoming more tech-oriented is the ability to make use of tech in conjunction with empathy. Tech can be used to truly make the world a better place (I know it's cheesy and cliche)... but I truly believe that if brilliant and influential men & women can efficaciously combine tech with empathy, we can reach places that we never thought possible.